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Wanted for Immediate Hire…6 Ninjas

By the Japanese Government! Fare of countless movies and fiction novellas, the Ninja now has a “Day Job”.

CALLING ALL NINJAS: JAPAN IS HIRING

Have you got kickass ninja skills but can’t convince anyone to pay you for them?

Here’s your chance. In an effort to draw in more tourists, Japan’s Aichi region is looking to hire six full-time ninjas. According to the Aichi Prefecture’s job ad, requirements include physical fitness and acrobatic skills. Successful candidates will be paid 180,000 yen ($1,600) per month.

Experts in the art of assassination, espionage, sabotage and other forms of irregular warfare, ninjas were 15th century Japanese mercenaries. The six present-day ninjas will have less deadly duties, performing for tourists, demonstrating the use of the trademark shuriken weapons—like ninja stars—and posing for photos.

Ideal candidates should “enjoy being under the spotlight, even though he or she is a secretive ninja,” Satoshi Adachi from the prefecture’s tourism promotion unit, told AFP.

Japanese language skills are not essential, Adachi said, but applicants must have a passion for the country’s history, the BBC reports. Those who make it through will perform in Nagoya Castle and other locations throughout Japan.

Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe pledged to boost tourism in the aftermath of the tsunami in the northeast region of the country five years ago. Attracting visitors is also particularly important in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

Anyone over 18 can apply to be an Aichi ninja, and applications are open until March 22.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2016 in General

 

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Silicon Valley Funds CBC Parties for “Diversity”

Perhaps I am a bit too cynical, but HTF does funding yet another cabaret make jobs for underemployed, and unemployed black tech workers?

And HTF is it that with 12% of the graduates in Computer Engineering being black, there is a “shortage in the school pipeline”?

Bullshit!

The way things are done in the tech business is you hire some competent recruiters (“headhunters”) to go and get what, and who you want to hire. There is no shortage of minority middle managers, tech staff, and senior tech staff – although you may have a hard time getting them to move to the West Coast whitopias anymore. That shouldn’t be an issue – because most of these companies have data centers and offices all over the east coast, and a lot of companies hire “virtual” workers…

I been in this business over 20 years, working in senior positions for startups, as well as big players and hold patents in the technology…I haven’t heard jack shidt from these people – although I do get calls from big eastern based companies.I know a couple of guys who read my blog are senior techies like myself…When exactly was the last time you got a recruiting call from Google or Amazon?

But I guess it is just easier to buy off the CBC with a couple of parties.

Under diversity pressure, tech courts minority groups in D.C.

Congressional Black Caucus chairman G.K. Butterfield warned that “talk is not enough,” in diversity in tech.

Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies are quietly funneling money to minority groups in Washington, including those affiliated with black and Hispanic lawmakers — a move that comes as the firms face growing criticism about the lack of diversity in their workforce.

The donations, known as “honorary expenses,” fund events like dinners and cocktail receptions where members of Congress and federal regulators are the guests of honor. The leader of the pack is Google, which spent a record of more than $490,000 on such expenses last year — devoting most of it to minority groups like the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, according to newly filed federal ethics reports.

Apple chipped in $1.2 million for an awards gala for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Uber wrote a $10,000 check to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the disclosures show. It marked the first time either Apple or Uber reported any honorary expenses.

The recent uptick in these donations coincides with growing political pressure on the tech industry over diversity, as companies struggle to address complaints that their employees are largely white and male. The debate has taken root in Washington, including with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which sent a delegationto Silicon Valley in August to demand that the industry recruit more African-Americans.

The tech industry’s newest tactics don’t appear to have quelled the outcry from Capitol Hill, and they don’t sit well with some diversity advocates.

“We’ve had years now of campaigning and advocacy around the diversity problem … [but] the only thing that’s gotten better with these companies are their talking points,” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of ColorofChange, a nonprofit that works on civil rights issues. The problem, he added, is “not going to be solved by throwing money at the CBC and other institutions.”

Asked about their spending, Apple and Uber declined to comment for this story. A Google spokeswoman said the company believes it’s important to “help policymakers understand our business and the work we do to keep the Internet open and encourage economic opportunity.”

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute serve as the educational and policy arms of their respective caucuses on Capitol Hill. While they’re technically separate organizations, many black and Hispanic lawmakers serve as board members for the nonprofit groups. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, meanwhile, is a nonprofit that provides scholarships and other support for African-American students at historically black colleges and universities.

The CBC Foundation, for one, stressed that the tech industry’s donations have gone to a good cause. They’ve allowed for “professional development briefings for our interns offering them real-world, first-hand exposure to careers” in key tech fields, Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a statement. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund did not comment for this story.

But the checks can also double as powerful forms of leverage in Washington, where influence often is measured in dollar signs. “There are many ways companies and other organizations can establish a presence in Washington, and gain access to politicians. And one way to do that — that some people pay less attention to — is by giving money to a charitable cause that a politician is associated with,” said Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsive Politics.

Such contributions are a “well-trodden path,” in the words of Novak, for established industries in Washington, from big tobacco companies to telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast. The donations, in addition to supporting nonprofits, provide lobbyists with greater access to lawmakers and regulators.

And Silicon Valley certainly could use more allies in Washington when it comes to diversity issues.

Apple is almost 70 percent male globally and 54 percent white in the U.S., according to the company’s most recent diversity report, though the company emphasized that many of its new hires have been women, Asian, Hispanic and African-American. Google’s workforce is also 70 percent male globally and 60 percent white in the U.S., despite its own efforts to diversify. Uber, for its part, has not released a report detailing the composition of its employees.

Those poor report cards prompted the Congressional Black Caucus last May to launch an initiative dubbed Tech2020, hoping to pressure tech companies to add more African-Americans to their ranks. The CBC later dispatched top lawmakers to the Valley — including its chairman, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) — to make that point directly to executives at Apple, Google, Intel and other firms.

Butterfield sounded the theme again in September at the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference, where he warned that “talk is not enough. And we need more than an amen from the choir. … We want to see results.”

Tech companies have pledged to fix the problem, but as they invest in hiring initiatives, they’re also pumping big money into Washington. Over the course of last year, Google covered $150,000 in honorary expenses for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and provided an additional $95,000 in multiple checks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, according to an analysis of the ethics records.

Another roughly $150,000 in spending went to “various vendors” that aided events with women, black and Latino lawmakers, the records indicate. At the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference in September, Google played a key sponsorship role at a reception that featured FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, according to an invitation for the event.

Google has donated to the CBC Foundation before, but its “honorary expenses” for the group and other minority organizations have increased in recent years. Asked whether this amounts to a form of lobbying, the CBC Foundation stressed in a statement that the support benefits the organization’s mission: “Our sponsors and partners provide support to our organization because they share our goals of providing important opportunities for the communities we serve.”…More

 

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The Black Professional Minefield

If you are a black professional in America, the more than likely you work in an environment surrounded almost entirely by white people. I remember back in the 80’s, speaking before a group of 2,000 of my peers at a corporate conference and being the only black face in the room, along with a half dozen other minorities and women. An executive job in an American corporation is a Fly-Trap. You are there, but the chances of a lateral move to another company to move up, which is a common strategy available to white managers – is difficult, if not impossible. You probably can count on one hand the number of black CEOs, Presidents, or Sr VPs recruited by other companies for executive positions outside of the company in which they earned their position in the first place. An issue which makes the expansion of black CEOs in the Fortune 500 difficult.

It goes beyond just simple watercooler small talk in that black folks are more likely to be fans of Football and Basketball, while whites are fans of Hockey and Baseball. And you are never going to be able to explain the Black College Greek tradition of a Step Show. Being bi-lingual, speaking at least two English dialects…

And learning to love Broccoli and kale as a salad.

And yes, you have to put up with the occasional racial micro-aggression (typically born more of ignorance than anything else), as well as the full on racism. Nor are your white co-workers or peers going to get why BLM has resonance with you, who aren’t living in the poor part of town, aren’t covered in tats, or are speaking in the dialect of the lower class.

Being Black—but Not Too Black—in the Workplace

To be a black professional is often to be alone. Most black doctors, lawyers, journalists, and so on—those in white-collar positions that require specialized training and credentialing—work in environments where they are in the racial minority.

This comes with challenges. Beyond outright discrimination, which many still face, there are psychological costs to being one of just a few black faces in a predominantly white environment. In a study of black professional workers in a number of different occupations, I found that these employees worked to carefully manage their emotions in ways that reflected the racial landscapes they inhabited.

In particular, black professionals had to be very careful to show feelings of conviviality and pleasantness, even—especially—in response to racial issues. They felt that emotions of anger, frustration, and annoyance were discouraged, even when they worked in settings where these emotions were generally welcomed in certain contexts—think litigators interacting with opposing counsel, or financial analysts responding to a stressful day on Wall Street. Interestingly, this often played out at trainings meant to encourage racial sensitivity. Many of the black professionals I interviewed found that diversity trainings—intended to improve the work environment for minorities—actually became a source of emotional stress, as they perceived that their white colleagues could use these trainings to express negative emotions about people of color, but that they were expected not to disclose their own honest emotional reactions to such statements.

One of the most interesting recent contributions to this area of research comes from legal scholars Mitu Gulati and Devon Carbado. In their book Working Identity, they argue that while everyone needs to create and put forth an “appropriate” workplace identity, for members of minority groups—women of all races, racial-minority men, LGBTQ people—this becomes particularly taxing because their working identities must counter common cultural stereotypes. For example, black men may feel compelled to work longer hours as a way to repudiate stereotypes of a poor work ethic among blacks. To make matters more complicated, such strategies can backfire, reinforcing other stereotypes: Working those long hours may lead colleagues to assume that the workers lack the intellectual preparation needed for high-status professional jobs.

Carbado and Gulati also note that minority professionals tread cautiously to avoid upsetting the majority group’s sensibilities. Put simply, they can be visibly black, but don’t want to be perceived as stereotypically black. As Carbado and Gulati write, a black female candidate for a law firm who chemically straightens her hair, is in a nuclear family structure, and resides in a predominantly white neighborhood signals a fealty to (often unspoken) racial norms. She does so in a way that an equally qualified black woman candidate who wears dreadlocks, has a history of pushing for racial change in the legal field, is a single mother, and lives in the inner city does not.

The same is true for professional workers who are members of other racial minority groups. For instance, Latina attorneys may be able to advance further at work if they take pains not to speak with any trace of an accent. These are challenges in addition to the more well-known ones—the difficulties finding mentors of the same race, coping with racial stereotypes, being treated as a representative for one’s entire racial group.

So what does this mean for black workers in professional environments? First, it’s indicative of the degree to which race shapes occupational outcomes. In many circles, people feel more comfortable reducing racial issues to class-based ones, assuming that poverty explains much, if not all, of the differences between minorities and whites.

But for blacks in professional positions, issues of poverty are not the problem. Poverty does not explain biases in hiring, the need for particular types of emotional management, and the careful self-presentation that minority professionals engage in at work.

Second, all of this ought to encourage a rethinking of some of the existing efforts to create more diverse work environments. Do diversity and inclusion initiatives take into consideration how minorities placed in those environments feel? How can policies create not just more equitable hiring processes, but address the emotional toll of being a racial minority in a professional work setting?

In the current political climate, there is generally support for solving race-related employment challenges by focusing on job training and education—in other words, increasing human capital to improve access. Given the research, it’s also important to consider how to create better workplaces for the minority professionals who are already in these jobs.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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What Not to Get That Degree In

Used to be, a college degree was a reasonably sure fire ticket to employment. Not in today’s America. Here are some numbers which are scary…

Interestingly enough – there are several engineering fields on this list. So much for “rebuilding” America. The majority of these are services oriented.

A Tin Cup, Instead of a job

25 college majors with the highest unemployment rates

The worst nightmare of a college student has got to be graduating without a job. And the college major that a student selects can actually increase his or her chances of getting stuck in an unemployment line.

College majors that are hampered by highunemployment rates include a variety of psychology degrees, fine arts and architecture. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce delved into U.S. Census Bureau statistics to determine the employment rates of 173 college majors; I crossed them against a list of the most popular college majors.

College majors with the highest unemployment

  • 1. Clinical psychology 19.5%
  • 2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%
  • 3. United States history 15.1%
  • 4. Library science 15.0%
  • 5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology 10.9%
  • 6. Architecture 10.6%
  • 7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%
  • 8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
  • 9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%
  • 10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%
  • 11. Engineering & industrial management 9.2%
  • 12. Social psychology 8.8%
  • 13. International business 8.5%
  • 14. Humanities 8.4%
  • 15. General social sciences 8.2%
  • 16. Commercial art & graphic design 8.1%
  • 17. Studio art 8.0%
  • 18. Pre-law & legal studies 7.9%
  • 19. Materials engineering and materials science and composition & speech (tie) 7.7%
  • 20. Liberal arts 7.6%
  • 21. (tie) Fine arts and genetics 7.4%
  • 22. Film video & photography arts and cosmetology services & culinary arts (tie) 7.3%
  • 23. Philosophy & religious studies and neuroscience (tie) 7.2%
  • 24. Biochemical sciences 7.1%
  • 25. (tie) Journalism and sociology 7.0%
 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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It’s Not the Education System That’s Broke

[MISMATCHstats]You hear this refrain frequently – that American companies can’t find qualified or educated workers. With the recent exposure that many companies automatically exclude the unemployed as potential employees – it’s becomming incresingly obvious that it is not the education system that is the problem…

It’s the companies themselves.

Some years ago many companies started using automated search engines which sorted resumes looking for keywords. The growth of the Internet has also meant the growth of potential resumes which a company can choose from. Keyword searches are based on the faulty idea that someone who is qualified for a potential position will include those words in the resume. So for instance, a candidate with an ITIL, Six Sigma, or PMI certification would include those terms in the resume. Since real work skills, accomplishments, and experience don’t translate to such simpleminded analysis – the impact of this was to devalue the experience of anyone who could actually do the job, and raise the value of folks who became certification whores.

Leading to the surreal environment where the self proclaimed “father of the Internet” couldn’t get hired for a technical job in the industry he created – or a guy who had actually designed and built bridges over rivers for 25 years…

Is suddenly “unqualified” for a job to design and build bridges, because he hadn’t built a bridge over a creek.

Enabled by the power of the computer, Human Resources folks were able to get very precise in developing requirements for potential hires. This meant developing skills criteria where no one, who wasn’t already doing the job for the hiring company (and usually even the person in the job couldn’t qualify for), could ever fit. Years ago, I took a job with a company which had developed a proprietary technology which was only utilized at that time in 3 other places in the world, including DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – which is a small group of really smart guys working on super secret technology projects), and MIT being two of the three other places. My advantage? I had at least read about it in technical publications. Recognizing that the pool of folks who knew anything about the technology was exceedingly small – the company had an aggressive internal education program to bring employees up to speed.

Today, companies don’t want to invest in training employees – believing that the alphabet soup of outside certification agencies is somehow going to produce qualified employees. It doesn’t, what it produces is a lot of employees with the common toolkits to work – which is a large distance from having the real functional skills.

Being in the tech industry means getting approached by headhunters several times a week, sometimes on resumes that are 10 years or more old. My last name is the same as a company which produces a very sophisticated software system. For years I’d get calls from breathless headhunters looking for programmers familiar with the system. Never occurred to these folks that if I was the guy who had created the system, and CEO of the company bearing my last name…

WTF would I be looking for a junior or mid-level programming job? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2011 in American Genocide, American Greed

 

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Racism Will Make You Stupid

In another of those Racism Making People Stupid Moments (the last one was Rush Limbaugh defending the violent criminal gang, LRA), yet another Republican lets his racism against President Obama get in the way of common sense…

Accornero, apparently is upset about “illegel” immigrants. Small problem with “Acornhead’s” logic though – more illegal immigrants have been deported under Obama than during Bush. Indeed, the number has risen each year during the Obama Administration, and by some counts, President Obama has deported more illegal aliens in 3 years than Bush did during the entire 8 years of his stolen Presidency.

The next problem with “Acornhead’s” logic is that “illegal” immigrants aren’t exactly our “enemy”. As in any group of people there are some illegal immigrants who are criminals, or commit criminal acts – but they aren’t here to kill the fatted calf (they are not as stupid as conservatives!)…

They are here to make money, the old fashioned way…

By working for it.

Suddenly, at least in the eyes of the froth-mouth right wing – anybody who wants a job and wants to do honest work for a living is “Public Enemy #1”, “traitors”, a “mob”. When the working folks of this country become the enemy…

I think we know who the real traitors are.

Harry Accornero, New Hampshire GOP Lawmaker, Accuses President Obama Of Treason

A Republican New Hampshire state lawmaker is calling for the formation of a commission to bring charges of treason against President Obama.

Harry Accornero (R-Laconia) sent an email to every New Hampshire state representative stating that President Obama “has crossed the line, and under Article III section 3 of our Constitution is guilty of treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy and attempting to overthrow our government from within.”

“I am formally asking you to bring a commission of treason against Mr. Barack Husain [sic] Obama,” wrote Accornero in the email, posted by Blue Hampshire and obtained by The Huffington Post. “We have a President who allows our borders to be violated by illegals of any country while we are at war. He allows them work permits, access to our services and when apprehended by law enforcement refuses to have them jailed or deported.”

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Accornero said he had to act on the injustices he feels the Obama administration is performing.

“I’ve been contemplating this for awhile and just been getting fed up with what’s going on in Washington and what the president is doing to our country,” he said. “I wrote a few letters into the local paper and I sent it to Congressman [Frank] Guinta and it just falls on deaf ears.”…

 
 

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SAT Scores Tank

The Writing/Reading part of the College Test has hot new lows. “Merde” – we are producing more conservatives!

One of the drivers of this is likely the fact that 27% of those taking the SAT don’t speak English as a first language. 10 Years ago that number was 19%.

I’m not a big believer that the College Tests, the SAT and tit’s competitor the ACT indicate anything more a than acculturation to the education model. Change the model, and you change the “important” skills. The issue here is we have a system which encourages kids to go to college, even though we aren’t creating jobs for them when they graduate. Perhaps the “problem” in American Education is finding a way to make it more reactive to market demand?

And perhaps we need on hell of a lot more Scientists and Engineers, and an economy which rewards people with those skills.

SAT Scores Fall as Number of Test-Takers Rises

Average SAT scores fell across the board this past year—down 3 points in critical reading, 2 points in writing, and 1 point in math.

This year, 1.65 million students in the high school graduating class of 2011 took the college-entrance exam, up from 1.6 million for the class of 2010, according to results released today.

The increase in test-takers can lead to a decline in mean scores, the College Board says, because more students of varying academic ability are represented.

Regardless of the drop in mean scores, according to a press release from the New York City-based College Board, the test’s sponsor, “there are more high-performing students among the class of 2011 than ever before.”

Each section of the test is scored from 200 to 800, with a 2400 for all sections combined being perfect. Critical-reading scores in this year’s report compared with last year’s dropped from 500 to 497, math from 515 to 514, and writing from 491 to 489, for an overall score change from 1506 to 1500—all statistically significant. Since 2007, the first year that College Board June cohort data are available, critical reading and math scores have each had a 4-point decline, while math scores have remained stable.

The new total test-taking figures show the gap further narrowing between the SAT and the rival ACT, which unveiled its numbers last month with 1.62 million students in the class of 2011 taking the test, an all-time high for the Iowa City, Iowa-based testing company as well. Last year, the College Board began including all test-takers through June of their senior year and did so again.

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 14, 2011 in General

 

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