Category Archives: Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion

Will there be an Easter in 2020? – by Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher

As a child, on Easter Sunday, my mother had my clothes neatly pressed laid on the bed. My wardrobe consisted of a light knee length dress, normally sky blue or ivory, with white socks, and white patten leather shoes. She’d tie a light blue ribbon in my hair and hand me rosary beads to place in my tiny white purse. Then my parents, brother and I went to church. I had been too young to understand the importance of the day. All I cared about was getting home to my basket of chocolate and toys. After mass we’d go to my grandmother’s house for pasta with simmering tomato sauce cooking on the stove and a rack of lamb with fresh garlic hot in the oven. It filled the room with a delectable aroma. Year after year we continue the same food tradition, not the wardrobe, and spend it with family. But this year may be different…

I’ve seen movies about it and even wondered if it could happen, but to live it, is surreal. Easter is April 12th. Will we be with family? Will anyone be able to spend it with their family or go to church? With Covid-19 aka Corona Virus across the world, who knows?

Continue reading Will there be an Easter in 2020? – by Lisa M. Scuderi-Burkimsher

Understanding Asian American Communication — by Dr. Julia Wai-Yin So

Do you recall the first time you stepped into an international business reception at a major hotel and found yourself amidst a sea of Asian faces? If so, you may also have noticed a diversity of Asian cultures and conversations  in some incomprehensible languages: Cantonese Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, and perhaps others.  If you have been put off when people in your presence have spoken a language other than English, you are not alone.

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Leadership in Crisis – by Robyn Lebron

One of the hardest things you may have to do over the next few days, weeks and months  is to BE the Leader that holds the light and strength for everyone around you.

You have all learned by now that certain people have special spirits, and people are drawn to you for your leadership, your courage and your inner strength.  This will happen even more right now, when there are so many searching for answers. In order for you to do that, you need to understand that these experiences will cause you to blossom into the leaders you are meant to become!

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Women’s History Month Tribute to the Queen of Soul – by Elwood Watson

During Women’s History Month we pause to remember and celebrate the achievements of iconic women who positively contributed to shaping the social fabric of America.

One such woman is the spectacular singer, Aretha Franklin. She is still affectionately known as the “Queen of Soul” to her countless millions of fans and others worldwide who span generations of every race, color, gender, age and ethnicity.

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Corporate Women in Tech Part 2 – by Tamara Backovic

How Dominant Is Bro Culture in Tech?

Whether we like it or not, it is clear that gender equality in the tech world is still a dream, not a reality. When it comes to women in tech statistics, they show a drastic gender gap. 

For instance, women hold only 24% of jobs in the tech field.

Nonetheless, the situation seems to be improving in the recent period. The likes of Indra Nooyi or Ginni Rometty are leading by example. These women can act like the lighthouses, which we all need to help us enter a better future.

So, how does the “bro culture” affect the position of women in the modern tech industry? To answer this question, we will need to dig deeper into the corporate world. Thus, let’s not waste any more time and start looking for clues and relevant information.

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Corporate Women in Tech Part 1 – by Tamara Backovic

Is Moving up the Corporate Ladder in Heels Mission Impossible?

In the recent period, impactful campaigns, such as #MeToo, have once again drawn attention to the issue of gender inequality. More precisely, the position of women in modern society has been discussed and dissected.

Even so, the statistics on women in tech show that women hold only 20% of all job positions in the industry.  Marginalization, in this case, is an understatement!

So, how can women overcome gender bias and climb the corporate ladder? Is 2020 the year to put an end to those patterns of behavior that discriminate against women and their accomplishments? Let’s find out.

Continue reading Corporate Women in Tech Part 1 – by Tamara Backovic

Campus Diversity in Data Science – by Robert Florida

Meet the Class of 2020:
Kevin Womack Works to Increase Diversity in Data Science

campus diversityAs an undergraduate student at Morehouse College, Kevin Womack double majored in mathematics and computer science. To study two such demanding fields was doubly difficult, he says. But, crediting his mother (an engineer) and his father (a computer scientist), Womack says that quantitative reasoning came naturally to him and he was undaunted by the workload. Now a student in the master’s degree program at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, Womack excels in his coursework and is an advocate for increased diversity in data science. Here, he discusses his background, his career goals, and his commitment to diversity.

Tell us about your time as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.

Continue reading Campus Diversity in Data Science – by Robert Florida

Remembering: A Woman’s Life Well-Lived – by Judy Kimeldorf

Reflecting at 80

Judy Kimeldorf was born in 1940 and witnessed or participated in world-changing events from the erection of the Berlin Wall to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, and now the disappointing step back into nationalism and fascism. She spends her time in retirement on community projects including Food Banks, monthly standing out with Trump-GOP protest placards programs, coordinating a program providing back-to-school supplies for limited income families, and guiding her local home owners association. I (her husband of 40+ years) invited 50 of her close friends to celebrate her 80th birthday. Judy and I celebrate  birthdays by remembering and reflecting, and this year, Judy recalled experiences shaping her life across 80 years. This piece is built from that speech and contains lessons for us all about balancing our fears and disappointments with our hopes and blessings.
~
Martin Kimeldorf

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N-word 2020 – by Terry Howard

Terry Howard
Terry Howard

Years ago, I penned a piece, “The N-Word Still Stings,” a day after having the word – rather, the dagger – hurled at me from beer guzzling cowards on the back of a pickup truck while I was out walking in the neighborhood. Which brings us back into the N-word conundrum in February 2020. It continues to raise its ugly head – during African American History Month 2020, mind you. During “post racial America,” mind you. During America “made great again,” mind you.

You see, in a small city in the South, one still reeling from an acrimonious removal of the name of a Confederate general from the local school, a white kid called an African American classmate the “N-Word.” And the black kid’s mom went ballistic. When the local newspaper picked up on this controversy, it published it. Soon the small city deteriorated into a city-wide freak out along racial line.

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Bias: Diversity and Inclusion Trends 2020 – by Soumaya Khalifa

D&I – Intentionality

Advisory Board - Soumaya Khalifa
Soumaya Khalifa

It’s exciting to start a new year and a new century with the hopes that this year will be better and offer many opportunities.  The work in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) must be intentional and not a one-time activity to check-off the box. Successful organizations in the field tend to have D&I as part of their organizational DNA just like safety.  Some trends for this year include: intentionality and understanding for the business case for D&I, increase in unconscious bias awareness, and the expanding of the Muslim ban on its impact in the workplace. 

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