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Discrimination

Discrimination
Discrimination

Axios: Apple Parts Ways with Employee Amid Backlash

The hiring of Antonio Garcia Martinez spurred an online backlash Wednesday after employees discovered disparaging things he says about women in his new book "Chaos Monkeys." In the book, he describes Bay Area women "weak" and "naive," amongst other things. The incident is particularly remarkable because, compared to other tech giants like Facebook and Google, Apple employees rarely organize. Apple confirmed to Axios that Garcia Martinez no longer worked for the company Wednesday afternoon.

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#StopAsianHate: We Need to Talk About What It Means to Be ‘White-Adjacent’ in Tech

"It's that mix of privilege and exclusion that gives us just enough power to speak up but not enough to gain equitable access to opportunities and safety" write Block Party co-founder Tracy Chou and Project Include Co-founder and CEO Ellen K. Pao in a new Medium article for the #StopAsianHate campaign. The essay examines the role of Asians in tech, describing how the community is both overrepresented in tech generally but underrepresented in positions of executive power. During the pandemic, Asian tech workers have faced significantly more harassment than their counterparts because of rising anti-Asian racism. Pao and Chou encourage the AAPI community to find solidarity with other ethnic groups while fighting for the better treatment of AAPIs in tech and in the US more broadly.

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The Wall Street Journal: Google Plans to Double AI Ethics Research Staff

In a speech at the Wall Street Journal's Future of Everything Festival, Vice President of Engineering Marian Croak said she will be expanding the size of the responsible AI team to 200 researchers. She began leading the AI ethics team in February after Google fired co-leads Timnit Gebru and Margaret Mitchell.

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East County Today: Senator Levya’s “Silenced No More Act” Clears Senate

California Senate Bill 331 would expand California's existing prohibition of broad confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses to cases where workers are required to sign them as part of a severance agreement. Former Pinterest employee Ifeoma Ozoma, who alleged racial and gender discrimination against the company, is co-leading the legislation with Senator Levya.

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Protocol: Amazon’s Non-Compete Agreement ‘Unfairly Handcuffed’ Her: How One Manager is Pushing Back

Charlotte Newman first came forward about harassment and discrimination at Amazon in early March. However, many may be surprised to know that she is still working for the company whilst suing them, because the company's non-compete agreements would keep her from taking on any similar positions for 18 months. Though non-compete agreements are uncommon in most of Silicon Valley because California does not enforce them, tech workers in other major hubs, like Seattle, are still vulnerable.

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Insider: Basecamp Employees are Distraught Over the Company’s Policy Changes. And a Diversity Council had to Shut Down Before its First Meeting.

After Basecamp CEO wrote a controversial blog post outlining new codes of conduct for employees Monday, several of those employees took to social media to express their frustration. Most controversial of the new rules is that which bans political conversation in the workplace. "Todays policy changes are disheartening and fill me with sadness. I'm angry for my friends that have lost their voices," wrote one employee, named John Williams, on Twitter. The changes also came just days before the company's diversity council held their first official meeting, giving them just two weeks to wind down their work. Basecamp cofounders Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson have responded to the criticism by doubling down in new blog posts, and Heinemeier Hansson told Insider employee reactions are split.

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The Nation: How Sexism is Coded into the Tech Industry

Tech has scrambled the way we conceptualize work, argues Adrian Daub, a Stanford professor and director of the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research. As an example, he focuses on Yelp — a company that, he says, mirrors care work in that its "gamification" tricks people, and mostly women, into doing free labor such as writing reviews. Though gender representation in tech is a major issue, Daub says media outlets have paid insufficient attention to how work itself is gendered in Silicon Valley, coded through organizational hierarchies and who is given tasks dependent on emotional and "people" skills. This issue, he says, is deep seated in tech culture, and cannot be solved by pipeline programs or by shoehorning women into positions of power.

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Bloomberg: Google Ethical AI Group’s Turmoil Began Long Before Public Unraveling

When AI researcher Timnit Gebru was fired in December of 2020, it set off a media firestorm about a culture of discrimination inside the company. But according to Gebru, Mitchell, other members of the Google ethical AI team, and peer researchers in the space, tensions had run high for four years prior. This deep-dive traces how divisions escalated, from when Mitchell arrived at Google in 2016 to now, months after Gebru and Mitchell's firings, with the resignation of Samy Bengio. According to the researchers, Google had a preexisting reputation for racism and sexism, and both of them had expected to face discrimination at the company. But the promotion of a colleague accused of sexual harassment, systemic undervaluing of women employees, and research disputes made for a working environment even worse than expected.

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The New York Times: An NDA was Designed to Keep me Quiet

Ifeoma Ozoma writes of the widespread misuse of nondisclosure agreements to suppress frank and truthful discussion of workplace discrimination and argues in favor of The Silenced No More Act, a proposed California law barring corporations from enforcing NDAs against employees who have filed formal claims in court or with an administrative agency, expanding this protection to *all* forms of state-recognized discrimination – sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender discrimination were protected in 2019. The bill is before the California Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon.

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The Guardian: She sued for pregnancy discrimination. Now she’s battling Google’s army of lawyers

Completing the trifecta of last week's news reporting on employment issues at Google, the Guardian profiled Chelsey Glasson, who sued Google in 2020 for pregnany discrimination, and detailed the company's efforts to deny her claims.

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Insider: Judge orders SpaceX to hand over documents in Federal discrimination investigation

SpaceX efforts to deflect a Department of Justice investigation into its hiring practices explode in the Northern District of California.

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Fast Company: How conflict avoidance holds back workplace equity

Code2040 leaders Mimi Fox and Karla Monterroso argue that conflict avoidance reinforces structural inequality in workplaces, particularly those involved in tech. Conflict avoidance, for example, reinforces tone policing, or the way women of color are told they sound "harsh" or "angry" rather than heard for the substance of what they're saying. It also reinforces concepts like "culture fit," which can exclude people of color because of a perceived increased risk of workplace clashes. In this article, the two women break down ways conflict avoidance reinforces toxic workplace behaviors, and offer actionable tactics for combatting it.

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Silicon Valley’s reckoning with caste discrimination is deferred, for now

In Santa Clara court Cisco argues against its employees' civil rights.

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