Archive for the ‘Glass ceiling’ Category

Study: African-American men don’t reap same career benefits from mentoring as Caucasians

Monday, December 19th, 2011

( Networking within an organization and having a mentor are widely thought to promote career success, but a new University of Georgia study finds that African-American men don't receive the same measurable benefits from these professional connections that Caucasians do.

Study co-author Lillian Eby, a professor in the Industrial-Organizational Psychology Program in the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, said the finding shouldn't discourage from seeking mentoring and networking opportunities. Rather, it emphasizes the need for women and minorities to think broadly about the mentors they choose and with whom they network. People tend to have professional and social networks that are composed of people who are similar to them, she explained, and African Americans remain underrepresented in high-level positions.

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New Mexico Black Groups Claim Bias at University

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

(New York Times) A group of African-American pastors in New Mexico, along with the Albuquerque chapter of the N.A.A.C.P., said Tuesday that they have filed a complaint with the Justice Department alleging that black faculty and staff members at the University of New Mexico and its hospital are subject to discrimination.

The Title VI complaint, which was also filed with the federal Department of Education, says university administrators have created a racially hostile environment for black faculty members, students and the staff.

Specifically, it asserts that African-Americans have been excluded from positions in the school’s upper administration; that black women at New Mexico were virtually left out of all positions of authority; and that blacks on the faculty faced disparity in salaries compared with fellow minority colleagues.

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Guess How Many Venture Capitalists Are Black or Latino

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

( The National Venture Capital Association has completed its 2011 census. Now we all know the business of doling out money to tech startups is a pasty one—right? we're all clear on this, yes?—but the association this year trumpets "signs of increasing ethnic diversity." So, take a wild guess at the combined percentage of blacks and Latinos among venture capitalists.

Did you guess two percent? If so, congratulations, you win another several decades of continued de facto exclusion and OMG HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A RACIST push back. After surveying 600 VC professionals, NVCA found the industry to be 87 percent white, 9 percent Asian, and 2 percent black or Latino. The low numbers of blacks and Latinos apparently precluded even breaking out separate tallies, even though these are the two largest U.S. ethnic groups after whites, constituting 16 and 12 percent of the overall national population, respectively.

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Do black tech entrepreneurs face institutional bias?

Friday, November 11th, 2011

(CNN) Wayne Sutton has been asking venture-capital investors and Silicon Valley executives a question that's not often broached here in the epicenter of the technology industry:

"Why aren't there more black people in tech?"

The vast majority of top executives at the leading Silicon Valley tech firms are white men. Women and Asians have made some inroads, but African-American and Latino tech leaders remain a rarity. About 1% of entrepreneurs who received venture capital in the first half of last year are black, according to a study by research firm CB Insights.

This lack of diversity in Silicon Valley made headlines last month when influential tech blogger Michael Arrington, in an interview for CNN's upcoming documentary "Black in America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley," said, "I don't know a single black entrepreneur." Arrington later recanted the statement, saying he was caught off guard by the question, but the sensitive issue sparked a public dispute between the newly minted venture capitalist and CNN's Soledad O'Brien.

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Defense Dept.’s longest-serving general and African American retires

Friday, November 4th, 2011

(Washington Post) When Al Flowers was born, his grandmother brought him home in a shoe box and sat all night by the wood stove to keep him warm.

When he was 10, he went to the tobacco fields with the adults, “cropping” leaves by hand and dumping them in a cart drawn by two gray mules.

He lived in a tin roof house with no running water and bathed in a No. 10 washtub.

Coming of age, he thought: There must be something more.

There was.

This month, Maj. Gen. Alfred K. Flowers, 63, retires from the U.S. Air Force as the military’s longest-serving active-duty general.

He is also the longest-tenured active-duty service member in the Air Force, and the longest-serving active-duty African American in the six-decade history of the Defense Department.

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Judges: Bench diversity needed “now more than ever”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

(SFGate) Justice Michael Douglas is the first African American on Nevada’s Supreme Court and served a stint as chief justice, a rotating position, earlier this year. Speaking recently in San Francisco, where he went to law school, Douglas recalled the welcome he received the first time he entered a Nevada courtroom as a lawyer.

It was in 1982 when the newly hired Legal Services attorney showed up in a three-piece suit to represent a low-income client who wasn’t in court. Douglas said the judge looked down, saw a black man sitting by himself at the counsel table, and assumed that the client hadn’t been able to find a lawyer so the case would be defaulted. Only when the opposing attorney spoke up did His Honor realize that Douglas, too, was a lawyer, he said.

“I was slapped in the face. …It brought me back to reality,” Douglas, now in his seventh year on his state’s high court, told law students and attorneys at a Golden Gate University panel on “Chief Justices of Color.”

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Govt. program to promote Asian-American leadership

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

(Asian Journal) To promote Asian-American leadership in government, the White House Initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) has launched a training program for managers.

The program is expected to increase the number of senior and mid-level managers in the federal government.

“(This is) part of ensuring that our government looks very much like our community. We are committed to preserving that diversity in government,” Kiran Ahuha, WHIAAPI executive director told media last Oct. 14.

The one-year mentor training fellowship program is expected to enhance communication and leadership skills in these individuals.

“There is a sense of frustration among AAPIs because of cultural upbringing,” Ahuja said, referring to how these individuals think they are seen as future leaders.

Ahuja noted that doubts about their communication style or “how outspoken” they need to be are common questions among AAPI government employees.

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Obama makes potentially historic pick for 9th Circuit

Monday, September 26th, 2011

(McClatchy) Senate Republicans balked the last time President Barack Obama nominated an Asian American from California to a prominent bench seat, which some conservatives considered a stepping stone to the Supreme Court.

Now, with the nomination of Los Angeles-based U.S. District Judge Jacqueline Hong-Ngoc Nguyen to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, Obama and GOP lawmakers will get another chance to either fight or reconcile over a potentially historic appointment.

"I look forward to a speedy confirmation by the Senate," Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said.

In the current political climate, this might be wistful thinking.

Obama's prior choice for the 9th Circuit, then-law professor Goodwin Liu, saw his nomination languish under a GOP wet blanket for some 15 months before he withdrew last May. Ninety-two federal judiciary vacancies remain, including 17 on appellate courts.

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Are there any qualified African American Males Amongst us?

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

( Last week, the Senate confirmed the first African-American woman to sit on the 6thU.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Bernice Donald. Earlier, she was the first African-American woman elected as a judge in Tennessee, the first appointed as federal bankruptcy judge in the nation and first confirmed as a U.S. district judge in Tennessee.

President Barack Obama is moving at a historic pace to try to diversify the nation's federal judiciary: Nearly three of every four people he has gotten confirmed to the federal bench are women or minorities. He is the first president who hasn't selected a majority of white males for lifetime judgeships.

According to Sheldon Goldman, author of the authoritative book "Picking Federal Judges pointed out that more than 70% of President Obama's confirmed judicial nominees during his first two years were "non-traditional," or nominees who were not Caucasian Males. That far exceeds the percentages in the two-term administrations of Bill Clinton 48.1% and George W. Bush 32.9%.

At the same time there were no African American Males Amongst them either which brings from the African American communities these types of questions; Are there any qualified African American Males Amongst us, or are we still at the back of the bus, or maybe at the bottom of the barrel?

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Study: Minorities underrepresented in STEM jobs

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

(Washington Post) Hispanics and non-Hispanic blacks have over the past decade been underrepresented in U.S. jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in large part because of a lack of equality in educational opportunity, according to a new report being released today.

The Obama administration has made increasing and improving STEM education a priority, asserting that the country’s economic future depends on a strong workforce in these fields.

The report, issued by the Commerce Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration, says that regardless of race and Hispanic origin, higher college graduation rates are associated with higher shares of workers with STEM jobs.

But, it says, non-Hispanic whites and Asians are much more likely than other minority groups to have earned a bachelor’s degree, and, in part for this reason, have a larger share of STEM jobs.

Full story…

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