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The Last Black Engineer at Twitter…

One of the problems with the social media job sites is that they encourage you to post a picture. People who want to discriminate on age, race, or ethnicity easily can do so. This facilitates job discrimination, which by the statistics is common in a number of industries, and epidemic in terms of age discrimination. I suggest taking down your pic (and let’s not even go into having an open Facebook) to make that discrimination a bit harder, and to eliminate any connection to any group which might identify your ethnicity. It won’t fix the Dayvonwon, and Tramaninanisha problem…But it helps.

The other hurdle is the automated resume readers used by recruiters. I worked for GE a number of years ago, where nearly everyone in management went by the title “Manager”. A Manager in GE terms could be a guy who managed 5 floor sweepers in the office at night – or a guy with 28,000 reports and responsibility for a billion dollar manufacturing business. An automated resume checker looking for “keywords” can (and usually does) miss that. Further with the explosion of job titles, and the fact that in small companies on manager can wear a lot of hats makes the job search really an exercise in listing keywords, and not qualifications. Some years ago, just to screw the system, I searched out the keywords and phrases utilized by the brain-dead tools, and listed them all alphabetically as the last page of my resume. Dozens of calls a day, about 80% for jobs at 1/2 or less of my salary from the HR autobots who hadn’t bothered to read the resume, or if they did, had no idea what was being said. Not a loss – because any company utilizing this sort of tool to recruit executive level candidates, is so effed up even if you take the job – the problems are so massive, you can’t fix it.

Lastly, the problem with the West Coast companies in terms of hiring qualified black engineers and managers is twofold. One, the tend to hire from each other, meaning the same group of mostly white and Asian folks just circulate, and two – due to re-segregation legislation like Prop 209 in California…There are very few black or Hispanic graduates in the STEM Field on the West Coast. The are, however plenty graduating from universities on the East Coast, which wasn’t infected by that Ward Connerly racism disease. Second issue is getting those grads to move to the “left coast”, into a corporate and community environment which may be hostile. Not saying there is hostility – but I’m just sayin’ most black folks feel a little more comfortable, when there are more black folks walking around than would commonly be found on the streets of Sydney Australia. Especially when you consider that the majority of black STEM degree holders are coming from HBCUs.

Here is the case of Twitter…Which I would estimate derives about 30-40% of their Tweets from black folks.

Top Black Engineer Blasts Twitter’s Lack Of Diversity

The company no longer has any African-Americans in engineering leadership positions, the former Twitter employee says.

Twitter say it’s committed to creating a more diverse workforce, but, like the rest of the tech industry, it has yet to succeed. This week, a former employee offered a glimpse into the beleaguered microblogging company’s struggle to be more inclusive.

“With my departure, Twitter no longer has any managers, directors, or VP’s of color in engineering or product management,” Twitter Engineering Manager Leslie Miley wrote on Medium on Tuesday. Miley was among those laid off from the company in October, although he made clear his intention to leave before the company announced the cuts, according toTechCrunch.

Elaborating about his time as one of Twitter’s few black engineers, Miley critiqued the company for failing to push back against unconscious bias as it seeped into hiring practices and culture:

Personally, a particularly low moment was having my question about what specific steps Twitter engineering was taking to increase diversity answered by the Sr. VP of Eng at the quarterly Engineering Leadership meeting. When he responded with “diversity is important, but we can’t lower the bar.” I then realized I was the only African-American in Eng leadership.

There are few African-American or Latino employees in any part of the company — and none at the top, according to the company’s own diversity data, released in August.

This, however, is not just a Twitter problem. It’s a tech industry problem, as Miley noted in a separate post, written earlier in October, about diversity in his field. Miley presents a theory as to why this is the case: It’s about pattern matching. Successful people think future successful people are going to look like them (or the people they see around them). When a company hires for a specific pattern, it’s not a surprise that everyone begins to look the same.

This is why Miley thinks that younger tech companies are actually less diverse than the older companies. From Miley’s post:

This shows up in recruiting organizations targeting specific schools, employee referrals, and promotions of like minded individuals. Yahoo > Google > LinkedIn > FaceBook > Twitter. After Yahoo each of these companies’ diversity numbers have been worse than the company that followed them. I believe this is because Google recruited from Yahoo, LinkedIn from Google, and so on. Each subsequent company becomes less diverse due to the sub-conscious amplification of educational, cultural and work history biases.

Twitter, meanwhile, is sticking to its diversity commitment….More here

 

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The Thugs of Silicon Valley

Bunch of strange stuff has been going on in High-Tech for the last 5-10 years. I have discussed previously the use of H1 Visa employees from other countries to steal American engineering jobs, paying H1’s  half or less than what a qualified American Engineer would get.  Resulting in several hundred thousand American kids who did the right thing, and got a college education in the Tech field…Being unable to get a job.

Then there was the outright age/salary discrimination against experienced and older workers. Resulting in the strange situation where the very guys who invented much of the current technology in the first place…becoming pariahs in the view of company HR.

If that wasn’t criminal enough, now we find that some of the biggest names in the Tech business have participated in a conspiracy, the result of which is to eliminate the ability of American workers to find a new job.

One of the things Unions did back in the days of the Robber Barrons was to break this sort of “restraint of free trade” up. One of the reasons conservatives are so anxious to destroy unions is they know if Unions move from the manufacturing of physical devices into the High-Tech development world…

Theirr clients won’t be able to get away with this shit.

The Techtopus: How Silicon Valley’s most celebrated CEOs conspired to drive down 100,000 tech engineers’ wages

In early 2005, as demand for Silicon Valley engineers began booming, Apple’s Steve Jobs sealed a secret and illegal pact with Google’s Eric Schmidt to artificially push their workers wages lower by agreeing not to recruit each other’s employees, sharing wage scale information, and punishing violators. On February 27, 2005, Bill Campbell, a member of Apple’s board of directors and senior advisor to Google, emailed Jobs to confirm that Eric Schmidt “got directly involved and firmly stopped all efforts to recruit anyone from Apple.”

Later that year, Schmidt instructed his Sr VP for Business Operation Shona Brown to keep the pact a secret and only share information “verbally, since I don’t want to create a paper trail over which we can be sued later?”

These secret conversations and agreements between some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley were first exposed in a Department of Justice antitrust investigation launched by the Obama Administration in 2010. That DOJ suit became the basis of a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of over 100,000 tech employees whose wages were artificially lowered — an estimated $9 billioneffectively stolen by the high-flying companies from their workers to pad company earnings — in the second half of the 2000s. Last week, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied attempts by Apple, Google, Intel, and Adobe to have the lawsuit tossed, and gave final approval for the class action suit to go forward. A jury trial date has been set for May 27 in San Jose, before US District Court judge Lucy Koh, who presided over the Samsung-Apple patent suit.

In a related but separate investigation and ongoing suit, eBay and its former CEO Meg Whitman, now CEO of HP, are being sued by both the federal government and the state of California for arranging a similar, secret wage-theft agreement with Intuit (and possibly Google as well) during the same period.

The secret wage-theft agreements between Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Intuit, and Pixar (now owned by Disney) are described in court papers obtained by PandoDaily as “an overarching conspiracy” in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act, and at times it reads like something lifted straight out of the robber baron era that produced those laws. Today’s inequality crisis is America’s worst on record since statistics were first recorded a hundred years ago — the only comparison would be to the era of the railroad tycoons in the late 19th century.

Shortly after sealing the pact with Google, Jobs strong-armed Adobe into joining after he complained to CEO Bruce Chizen that Adobe was recruiting Apple’s employees. Chizen sheepishly responded that he thought only a small class of employees were off-limits:

I thought we agreed not to recruit any senior level employees…. I would propose we keep it that way. Open to discuss. It would be good to agree.

Jobs responded by threatening war:

OK, I’ll tell our recruiters they are free to approach any Adobe employee who is not a Sr. Director or VP. Am I understanding your position correctly?

Adobe’s Chizen immediately backed down:

I’d rather agree NOT to actively solicit any employee from either company…..If you are in agreement, I will let my folks know.

The next day, Chizen let his folks — Adobe’s VP of Human Resources — know that “we are not to solicit ANY Apple employees, and visa versa.” Chizen was worried that if he didn’t agree, Jobs would make Adobe pay:

if I tell Steve [Jobs] it’s open season (other than senior managers), he will deliberately poach Adobe just to prove a point. Knowing Steve, he will go after some of our top Mac talent…and he will do it in a way in which they will be enticed to come (extraordinary packages and Steve wooing). Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in American Greed

 

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