Positive Strides in Income and Education

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African Americans and Hispanics, the largest racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, made positive strides economically and educationally during the past year but continue to lag behind whites, a civil rights group’s annual study contends.

“The theme of this year’s State of Black America report is ‘protecting our progress,’ ” National Urban League CEO Marc Morial said.

In its recent study, the league found the standard of living for African Americans was 72.3 percent of that of whites, on average. For Hispanics, the equality index was a bit higher, at 78.4 percent. The index measures quality of life for blacks and Hispanics in terms of economics, health, education, social justice and civic engagement.

Minority employment is at its highest level in almost a decade, but “any progress made toward racial equality is increasingly under threat.” Morial said. More minorities have health care at a time when efforts are under way to roll back expanding coverage, he added.

The report indicated that African Americans made gains in education, with a growing percentage of blacks staying in school and obtaining associate degrees.

According to the report, racial disparities plague minorities in terms of social justice equality. As examples, the report noted that more blacks are jailed after being arrested than are whites, and that whites posted a greater decline than blacks in their likelihood of being victims of violent crime.

The study also found a troubling rise in hate crimes committed against members of religious and racial minorities. “A nation of a great mosaic that the United States of America represents cannot tolerate hateful incidents. It is corrosive, it is divisive and it is un-American,” Morial said.

The Trump administration has proposed major budget cuts to government programs that help low-income Americans, who are disproportionately black. The civil rights organization said it would press lawmakers and private groups to invest $4 trillion over the next 10 years in job training, enhanced education programs and infrastructure projects to revitalize minority communities.

Source: voanews.com

A Latina Google Strategist’s Views On Authenticity, Embracing Your Identity And The Power Of Instagram

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Dannie Fountain is known as a builder, whether she’s rebuilding her own identity or building a brand, she has a reputation for how tightly she can weave a story that just feels right.

While the skill set was there during her teenage years it was her freshman year of college that challenged her ability to put them to the test.

“I was adopted at 16, changing my identity all over again, and removing my ability to access the historical information that had been shared, because I no longer had access to their source – my mother’s anecdotal nuggets,” explains Fountain. “My identity changed once again during my freshman year of college. Through some health-related decisions, tough conversations, and a DNA test, I discovered that the wholly-British descent I’d been raised to understand was actually pretty off.”

The unexpected medical tests led to Fountain discovering that she was Latinx and deciding to melt into an identity that had always belonged to her.

Now as a strategist at Google and as an independent marketing consultant, Fountain uses her storytelling skills to support brands and their larger missions.

Below she shares how she champions inclusivity in all the spaces she inhabits, what advice she has for other Latinxs, and how she balances both her corporate job and side hustles.

Vivian Nunez: What made you join the team at Google in addition to working for yourself? 

Dannie Fountain: Truthfully, I wasn’t looking for a job when the Google opportunity happened. I was surviving (nay, thriving) in the rollercoaster of “feast and famine” that is entrepreneurship and I truly was in love with my life. When the Google opportunity first cropped up in my inbox, my reaction was one of imposter syndrome – who am I to believe I’m important/talented/brave/strong/cool enough to pursue an opportunity like this? But Google has this kind of kinetic power, one that won’t let you say no. So I pursued it, and the more I pursued it, the more I fell in love. Now, nine months later, I can truly smile when I say Google is my corporate home and the first place I’ve ever worked where I’ve unapologetically brought my whole self to work every single day. 

Nunez: How have you navigated the transition to an in-house, full-time job? 

Fountain: I’ve always been a “side hustler” in some form of the word – whether it was running my marketing consulting firm while in college or running my second business while maintaining my first. But this transition from freelancing to working at Google was an interesting one. Before I came to Google, I was on the road nearly 24/7 for speaking engagements and work. Not only was I coming back into a space where I had a boss again, but I also was going to have an apartment of my own for the first time in nearly 2 years.

The transition was smoother than expected in some ways (i.e. I have fallen in love with having a commute again) and harder in others (I didn’t actually stop traveling as much and so I still feel like I’m on the road all the time). Having coworkers and the resources to do all the things I’ve dreamed of doing is incredible – I love the opportunity for casual collision that sparks these moments of innovation that profoundly change the way I think about marketing. I’m beyond grateful for the access and opportunity I’ve gotten in the nine months I’ve been at Google. But at the end of the day, I’m a Googler and still a freelancer, so really not much has changed.

Nunez: How important is it for you that others understand that you are proudly Latina?

Fountain: In some ways, I feel so much shame for identifying as Latina. My grasp on culture and history is limited. My grasp on language is weak. My appearance is that of a white woman. It took me taking an actual DNA test and seeing the results with my own eyes before I’d actually start checking the “hispanic or latino” box on things, let alone verbally speaking that identity aloud.

But I also recognize my privilege. I know that I have the power to walk into a room and be presumed white and there is so much responsibility in that presumption. There’s this profound sense of urgency to make it unequivocally clear that [Latinx] is who I am, all in, 100%

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

How A Love For Math Turned Into A Career In Venture Capital

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When Anarghya Vardhana, a principal at Maveron, was growing up, the most common language spoken in her house was math. Her father was an engineer and her grandfather, a math professor. That formed her dream of solving the Riemann hypothesis, the theory that prime numbers follow a pattern and led her to study math at Stanford University.  She envisioned working in number theory and teaching at the university level. Then everything changed.

“I realized that I wanted to make an impact,” said Vardhana. “Maybe I could solve this amazing math problem; but even if I did, I would not really see the impact of it on people during my lifetime.”

The iPhone had launched and Vardhana got excited at the idea of combining technology, science and math with business to create something that immediately got into the hands of people and changed how they lived.

“I could still love science, math and technology, but do it in a different way,” explained Vardhana. “

That skill set took her from a first job at Google to an early stage startup in product management. She had some exposure to venture capitalists (VCs) but never thought it was a job for young people or someone who hadn’t sold a company. As she struggled with how to align her passions and professional interests, her sister urged her to become a VC.

Then only in high school, her sister outlined four points why:

1) Relationships are important to you and early stage venture is relationship driven.

2) You love researching and developing a point of view. VCs think around the corners to develop a thesis around where the world is headed.

3) You know technical process.

4) You are the only woman on your product team. Less than 2% of venture dollars go to women. You could be part of making sure capital flows in a way that’s equitable to women and people of color.

Vardhana also saw that venture would allow her to mentor. As a VC you have a dynamic relationship with your founders, where at times, you are also a coach and teacher.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Mellody Hobson Will Become Starbucks Vice Chair After Howard Schultz Departure

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Mellody Hobson, president of Chicago-based investment firm Ariel Investments, will be moving into a role as Starbucks’s vice chair following Executive Chairman Howard Schultz‘s departure on June 26.

A Chicago native, Hobson worked her way up after joining Ariel as a college intern in the 1990s, going on to become the company’s vice president of marketing, then a senior vice president, and eventually president at the firm. Ariel’s holdings include MSG Networks, Northern Institutional Treasury Portfolio, First American Financial Corp., and Kennametal, among others.

A member of Starbucks’ board of directors since 2005, Hobson has also served on the boards of Estée Lauder, DreamWorks Animation, and Groupon.

Throughout her career, Hobson has made financial literacy and community outreach a priority. Currently, she serves as chair on the board of directors of The Economic Club of Chicago, as well as chair of After School Matters, a Chicago nonprofit that provides teens with out-of-school time programs.

Continue onto Fortune to read the complete article.

This Latina VP Believes This One Trick Will Help Build A Diverse Pipeline

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Carly Sanchez has led with a people first mindset since the beginning of her career in higher education, now as the Executive Vice President and Head of Talent Acquisition Strategy and Delivery at Wells Fargo she is able to scale her impact.

“[My role] encompasses the leadership of all team member hiring globally for positions across Wells Fargo at all levels, with an emphasis on targeted recruiting for diverse segments,” explains Sanchez. “I serve as the primary liaison to the Chief Diversity Officer for all human capital diversity issues.”

As a Latina, Sanchez understands the impact of having the right structures in place that would help facilitate not only the hiring of a diverse talent pool, but also its retention.

“I think it is critical for Latinas to serve as sponsors and actively engage in identifying and sponsoring talent for positions to advance careers of those coming through the ranks,” shares Sanchez.

The goal is to ensure that those who are talented and qualified have the opportunity to walk through the right doors and feel like they belong.

“I gain the greatest satisfaction from helping identify diverse talent and enabling their future path through education as an admissions officer and now through facilitating opportunities for career advancement through recruiting, hiring and D&I work,” says Sanchez.

Below Sanchez shares more about her day-to-day work, what her hopes are for Latina peer mentorship, and her advice to all who are navigating corporate ladders.

Vivian Nunez: How would you define your career’s mission and how do you implement it on a day to day? 

Carly Sanchez: My career mission is to optimize opportunities for talented individuals that will allow and enable them to maximize that talent in an environment that is conducive and values a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds. On a day to day level, my role now is less focused on individual positions for which we are hiring (although I still do stay involved in that) and now more focused on designing a strategy and organizational structure that will enable the businesses and functions at Wells Fargo to attract and promote the best most diverse mix of talent to support the work.

Nunez: How do you ensure that hiring is as diverse as possible? 

Sanchez: Outreach and sourcing of diverse talent pools is critical, building the pipelines in advance of the opening of a position. This enables us to build diverse candidate slates for review and increases opportunities for selection in an equitable process. Our team partners with many diversity focused organizations to build talent pools, targets potential sources of talent (for example, working with military bases for hiring of transitioning military etc.), partners with HR partners and hiring managers to identify where we may have greater opportunity to increase diversity at all levels of the organization, and consults on issues related to D&I including how Unconscious Bias can negatively impact our commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Nunez: What advice do you have for Latinas who are looking to break into spaces that are predominantly white? 

Sanchez: Mentoring and sponsorship can be critical as Latinas look to bring their talent to different challenging environments.  Identifying individuals who can help you learn more about the role and meet individuals working in these organizations is ideal. It is also important to research and educate oneself about the organization, including developing a detailed understanding of the mission, the day to day work and any available information on the organization. This demonstrates your true interest and commitment when you have an opportunity to connect.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

Debra Perelman Named Revlon’s First Female CEO in Its 86-Year History

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It took 86 years, but Revlon has finally appointed a female CEO for the first time in its history. Just four months after being named Revlon’s COO, Debra Perelman will take over from interim CEO Paul Meister as the company’s new CEO, WWD reports.

Perelman, who is the daughter of billionaire financier and Revlon board chairman Ronald Perelman (who bought the company in 1985) has worked in the family business for 20 years. Her initiatives at Revlon, according to WWD, include shepherding the brand into the Internet age with a focus on e-commerce and now, instilling a “culture of innovation” at the company.

“We have some iconic brands in our portfolio and the categories they’re in today are categories that are growing — growing in the U.S. and growing in many markets around the world,” Debra Perelman told WWD. “It’s a good position for us to be in to really drive the business to capture leadership positions where we should be winning.”

As anyone who saw the Broadway musical War Paint knows, Revlon was founded in 1932 by brothers Charles and Joseph Revson and chemist Charles Lachman. Since then, it has acquired brands such as Elizabeth Arden and Almay and introduced fragrances like Charlie and Jean Naté. The company has recently been through a revolving door of CEOs of late, and as WWD notes, the hope is for Perelman to bring stability and innovation to the position.

Continue onto Allure to read the complete article.

 

Tuskegee names Lily D. McNair as its 8th president

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Dr. Lily D. McNair will become Tuskegee University’s eighth president after being unanimously selected by its Board of Trustees. She will serve as the first female president of the institution in its 136-year history.

McNair currently is provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Wagner College in New York City. She will begin her duties at Tuskegee on July 1, 2018.

“When we launched our presidential search last October, our goal was to identify someone who could champion both Tuskegee’s historic legacy and her place in the future of higher education,” said John E. Page, chair of Tuskegee’s Board of Trustees. “Our Board of Trustees is confident that Dr. McNair brings to Tuskegee the precise skill set required to ensure we continue thriving as one of the nation’s leading HBCUs.”

Since 2011, McNair has served as the second-ranking executive of Wagner College — a private college of 2,200 students located on New York City’s Staten Island. A clinical psychologist by training, Dr. McNair’s higher education career includes other academic, research and executive appointments at Spelman College, University of Georgia, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Vassar College.

A native of New Jersey, Dr. McNair holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from Princeton University, and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Burt Rowe, a 1970 Tuskegee graduate, president of the Tuskegee National Alumni Association Inc., and search committee member, attested to McNair’s collaborative approach to engaging alumni, donors and other university stakeholders.

“I am honored and excited to welcome Dr. McNair to the Tuskegee family. She is a trusted and well-respected leader who understands Tuskegee’s unique heritage, culture and traditions,” Rowe said. “Deeply engaging and collaborative, she is committed to ensuring that all voices of the Tuskegee family will be heard, and I am confident that alumni will enjoy working with Dr. McNair to continue moving ‘the pride of the swift-growing South’ forward.”

Continue onto the Tuskegee University Newsroom to read the complete article.

NYSE will be run by a woman for the first time in 226-year history

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The New York Stock Exchange is about to be run by a woman for the first time in its 226-year history.

The exchange announced that Stacey Cunningham will become the exchange’s 67th president as of Friday. Cunningham, who is currently NYSE’s chief operating officer, started as a floor clerk at the exchange in 1996.

In 2002, Catherine Kinney became the NYSE’s first woman co-president. But that was at a time when the exchange’s CEO or chairman was the ultimate boss. Now that responsibility falls on the president.

When Cunningham started at the exchange it was overwhelmingly male, and it is still dominated by men. Of the 21 executives of Intercontinental Exchange Group (ICE), NYSE’s corporate parent, only four including Cunningham are women.

Her appointment comes as as Wall Street and the NYSE are facing increased pressure to be more inclusive of women. It recently agreed to have the “Fearless Girl” statue moved to a spot in front of the exchange.

The biggest challenge faced by Cunningham is diminished significance of major exchanges in an era of electronic trading.

At the time Cunningham first joined the exchange 22 years ago, the NYSE and rival NASDAQ still controlled the overwhelming majority of equities traded in the United States. Today both exchanges handle far fewer trades than those completed electronically.

Continue onto CNN to read the complete article.

5 Great Reasons to Get an MBA

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By Maria Alexandra Bujor

An MBA, or a Master of Business Administration, is a very hot topic nowadays. Is this just a trend, a trifle, or is there real value in pursuing an MBA? It is expensive and demanding and it has high entry requirements, so why should you opt for an MBA?

We will try to make that clear and list the advantages of an MBA, especially when it is a top business school with a very good reputation. So, here are the top 5 reasons for which it is worth it to start studying a master in business administration.

  1. Higher salary

The average salary for an MBA graduate is considerably higher than that of an employee with a regular master qualification. For MBA graduates the average salary ranges from $70.000 (in governmental or non-profit Institutions) to $120.000 (in consultancy, finance or healthcare). That is almost twice as much of what you can expect to earn with a regular University degree. In this case, in 2-3 years, you cover the investment made in your MBA education which is estimated to cost, for a 2 year MBA at a top business university, $110.000 on average.

  1. Better career opportunities

This advantage of an MBA degree goes hand in hand with the first one and it is actually the cause of the first one. Graduates of an MBA have, due to their qualification, higher chances of obtaining and holding a high level management position. It is estimated that 70 percent of the MBA graduates worldwide are senior managers or board directors. This type of position brings along a higher salary but of course also a higher responsibility and longer working hours.

  1. Better consolidated business network

As an MBA student you have great networking opportunities. Through this type of study you get to know and interact in a relevant manner with colleagues, professors and teaching staff with great on-field experience. Furthermore, if you are not doing a part-time MBA next to your job or within your company, you have good chances to meet potential employers through the various internships that are part of most top MBA programs. Last but not least, you gain access to the extensive alumni network of that particular MBA and of others. This extensive business network is bound to pay off throughout your whole career making you the first-hand recipient of all relevant information in the field and giving you better chances at seizing the best opportunities.

  1. New skill and knowledge acquisition

You may think it sounds trivial and may say to yourself isn’t that what any study program is supposed to do? Yes, it is, but an MBA education is usually pursued in a very specific situation by a young professional with a few (2, 3 or more) years of experience and sometimes even by senior employees that feel up for the challenge. After some time in the professional life (even as little as 2 years), it is in the human nature to conform to a certain repetitiveness and to stagnate in a comfort zone. This limits your disposition for learning and new skill acquisition—why should I learn something new when what I know works just fine, it’s safer to stick to what I know best. Studying a Master of Business Administration forces you to get out of your comfort zone, deal with the latest issues, apply the newest management techniques and just constantly challenge yourself, your practices and your approaches.

  1. A holistic perspective over the business world

As mentioned before, through studying an MBA you become part of a great network of professionals and companies and you constantly challenge yourself with the newest problem-solving. These things together give you a great overview of the business world, a deep understanding and a certain receptiveness to the slight changes of this environment. This type of overview and sensitivity is very hard to achieve without spending a lot of time on it. Also, as a regular employee, your access will be restricted to much of the relevant information. As an MBA student or graduate, this insight comes with the territory and is a great asset, not only to you as a manager, but also to any potential employer.

If you are the type of person that can handle the challenge of holding a leadership position, of having a lot of responsibility and of being in a constant learning and development cycle, then you are probably a good candidate for an MBA.

Source: MastersPortal.eu

Stacey Abrams Wins Georgia Democratic Primary for Governor, Making History

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stacy abrams

Georgia Democrats selected the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the United States on Tuesday, choosing Stacey Abrams, a liberal former State House leader, who will test just how much the state’s traditionally conservative politics are shifting.

By handily defeating Stacey Evans, also a former state legislator, Ms. Abrams also became Georgia’s first black nominee for governor, a prize that has eluded earlier generations of African-American candidates in the state. The general election is sure to draw intense national attention as Georgia voters determine whether a black woman can win in the Deep South, a region that has not had an African-American governor since Reconstruction.

She will face either Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, the top Republican vote getter Tuesday, or Secretary of State Brian Kemp. Mr. Cagle and Mr. Kemp will vie for their party’s nomination in a July runoff.

Ms. Abrams’s victory, confirmed by The Associated Press, came on the latest 2018 primary night to see Democratic women finding success, as voters in Kentucky, Arkansas and Texas also went to the polls. Among the winners was Amy McGrath, a former Marine fighter pilot, who upset Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington in a House primary in Kentucky.

But it was the breakthrough of Ms. Abrams that drew the most notice. A 44-year-old Yale Law School graduate who has mixed a municipal career in Atlanta and statehouse politics with running a small business and writing a series of romance novels under a nom de plume, she is now a central character in the midterm elections and the Democratic Party’s quest to define itself.

In a Facebook post declaring victory Tuesday night, Ms. Abrams, who won more than 75 percent of the vote, acknowledged the general election would be tough and cast herself as the candidate representing “the Georgia of tomorrow.”

Speaking later to a throng of supporters at a downtown Atlanta hotel, Ms. Abrams did not directly invoke her barrier-breaking nomination but held up her candidacy as a sign of the state’s progress.

“We are writing the next chapter of Georgia’s history, where no one is unseen, no one is unheard and no one is uninspired,” she said.

Continue onto the New York Times to read the complete article.

The Growing Influence of Women Entrepreneurs

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Business people meeting in conference room

There are many challenges that women face in the modern workplace — and that goes double for the boardroom or when trying to break through the ever-present ‘glass ceiling.’ These issues are never more of a challenge than when a woman decides she is going to go ‘off on her own’ as an entrepreneur. With locating reasonable financing, confronting gender bias and the paucity of appropriate mentors and the diminutive learning curve, a business owned and run by a woman can be a real struggle for survival.

Because of these special challenges, some backward-looking people still insist that women aren’t cut out to become business owners in their own right. This kind of negative mindset increases, sadly, when the woman is a person of color or disabled — or in any other way marginalized by lingering male prejudices. To break down these persistent barriers to success, women must be willing to understand and recognize the problems they face when beginning a woman-centric enterprise. With understanding comes the determination to not let such medieval concepts upset their plans and helps to bring more women into entrepreneurial endeavors.

Finding the money

Traditional lenders, such as banks and credit unions, are some of the worst offenders when it comes to gender prejudice. Studies show that such lending institutions continue to be resistant to loaning out seed money to women entrepreneurs, to the extent that their approval rating is as much as 20 percent less than it is for men who are starting their own companies. While women do have a healthy access to alternative lenders offering business loans, which somewhat levels the playing field, these other lenders, usually online, charge interest rates that are always higher than a regular bank. So this means a woman-owned business starts off with a heavier debt load.

One alternative that seems to be working in women’s favor, though, is the rise in crowdfunding initiatives. This is a completely gender-neutral venue for raising capital for new businesses.

Mentoring

The process of mentoring is a recognized necessity for most male entrepreneurs, and there are many channels through which a man can obtain another older and experienced man’s help in starting up a new business. The same cannot be said for women — yet. Luckily, the numbers are going in an encouraging direction.

While traditional infrastructure, such as banks, is still male-dominated, other areas, especially in sales and marketing, are now becoming rapidly equalized between men and women, and a woman who is beginning her own business should look to the marketing and/or sales sector for an experienced and savvy mentor to help her steer her ship through the riptides and shoals of the startup ocean.

Continue onto Entrepreneur to read the complete article.