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Netflix tells employees to quit if they’re offended by new culture memo

Streaming giant Netflix has told its employees to leave the company if they’re offended by the content the company is producing. The directive appeared in a company memo......»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsMay 13th, 2022

Netflix tells employees they can quit if they don"t want to work on content they disagree with, according to new company culture guidelines

The streaming platform updated its company culture webpage for the first time since 2017 following a historic loss of subscribers. Employees protest Netflix's decision to air Dave Chappelle's comedy special "The Closer" which includes transphobic comments.Al Seib / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images Netflix updated its company culture guidelines for the first time since 2017 to include an "artistic expression" section.  It says "Netflix may not be the best place" for employees who cannot work on content they disagree with.  The streamer is looking to rebound from a historic drop in subscribers and sudden layoffs. Netflix updated its company culture guidelines for the first time since 2017 to include an "artistic expression" section that warns employees they may be required to work on content that's counter to their personal values. "Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service," the memo says. "We let viewers decide what's appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.""Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you'd find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you," it continues. The move follows a tumultuous quarter for the streaming giant marked by a historic loss of subscribers and an unexpected round of creative layoffs. The company credited its first subscription drop in over a decade to growing competition, password sharing, and macroeconomic factors such as inflation and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. However, critics of the service, such as Tesla CEO Elon Musk, have blamed Netflix's financial difficulties on "woke" content that Musk called "unwatchable."The company faced further scrutiny last October, when Netflix employees planned a walk-out to protest Dave Chappelle's controversial standup special, "The Closer," in which Chappelle makes transphobic comments. Netflix's co-CEO Ted Sarandos defended the decision to air the show in internal emails to employees. Netflix has been discussing cultural issues within the company for the past 18 months, a spokesman told The Wall Street Journal. The recent update to the website aims to help prospective employees "make better informed decisions about whether Netflix is the right company for them," the spokesman said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 14th, 2022

Elon Musk praised Netflix for telling employees to quit if they couldn"t work on content they disagreed with. He previously bashed the platform as having a "woke mind virus."

Elon Musk called the Netflix guidelines a "good move" after last month saying "the woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable." Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Netflix's company-culture guidelines say staff should be able to work on content they find harmful. In response to a tweet about the guidelines, Elon Musk said it was a "good move" by Netflix. Musk last month said of Netflix: "The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable." Elon Musk praised Netflix for its new company-culture guidelines saying the company might not be the best place for employees who couldn't work on content they might disagree with or find harmful.In response to a tweet about the new policy, Musk tweeted, "Good move by @netflix."Netflix recently updated its company-culture guidelines for the first time since 2017 to include a new section titled "Artistic Expression.""Not everyone will like — or agree with — everything on our service," the guidelines say, adding: "We let viewers decide what's appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.""As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values," the guidelines continue. "Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you'd find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you."Netflix's policy change came after the platform experienced a record quarterly loss of subscribers, which the company attributed to increased competition, password sharing, and other factors including inflation and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.Musk previously blamed the loss of subscribers on Netflix being "woke," writing on Twitter: "The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable."It's unclear exactly what content the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire was referring to, but he said in a follow-up tweet: "Can they please just make sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi/fantasy?"Some Netflix employees publicly criticized the company in October for airing a special in which the comedian Dave Chappelle made inflammatory comments about transgender people. The special was not removed from the streaming service despite protests.Musk's views on content moderation have been under increased scrutiny since he announced last month that he planned to buy Twitter in a $44 billion deal and signaled plans to loosen content moderation on the platform.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 16th, 2022

Elon Musk praised Netflix for telling employees to quit if they can"t work on content they disagree with after previously bashing the platform"s "woke mind virus"

Elon Musk called the Netflix guidelines a "good move" after last month saying "the woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable." Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Netflix's company culture guidelines say staff should be able to work on content they find harmful. In response to a tweet about the guidelines, Elon Musk said it was a "good move" by Netflix. Musk last month said of Netflix: "The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable." Elon Musk praised Netflix for its new company culture guidelines that say it might not be the best place for employees who cannot work on content they disagree with or find harmful.In response to a tweet about the new policy, Musk tweeted: "Good move by @netflix."Netflix recently updated its company culture guidelines for the first time since 2017 to include a new section titled "Artistic Expression.""Not everyone will like—or agree with—everything on our service," the guidelines say, adding "we let viewers decide what's appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.""As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you'd find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you," they continue.Netflix's policy change came after the platform experienced a record loss of subscribers, which the company attributed to increased competition, password sharing, and factors like inflation and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.Musk blamed the loss of subscribers on Netflix being "woke," writing on Twitter: "The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable."It's unclear exactly what content the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire was referring to, but he said in a follow-up tweet: "Can they please just make sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi/fantasy?"Netflix came under fire from some of its own employees in October for airing a comedy special from Dave Chappelle in which he made transphobic comments. The special was not removed from the streaming service despite protests.Musk's views on content moderation have been under increased scrutiny since announcing last month he will buy Twitter in a $44 billion deal and make it a haven for free speech.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytMay 15th, 2022

Elon Musk praised Netflix for telling employees to "quit" if they can"t work on content they disagree with after previously bashing the platform"s "woke mind virus"

Elon Musk called the Netflix guidelines a "good move" after last month saying "the woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable." Patrick Pleul/Pool/AFP via Getty Images Netflix's company culture guidelines say staff should be able to work on content they find harmful. In response to a tweet about the guidelines, Elon Musk said it was a "good move" by Netflix. Musk last month said of Netflix: "The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable." Elon Musk praised Netflix for its new company culture guidelines that say it might not be the best place for employees who cannot work on content they disagree with or find harmful.In response to a tweet about the new policy, Musk tweeted: "Good move by @netflix."Netflix recently updated its company culture guidelines for the first time since 2017 to include a new section titled "Artistic Expression.""Not everyone will like—or agree with—everything on our service," the guidelines say, adding "we let viewers decide what's appropriate for them, versus having Netflix censor specific artists or voices.""As employees we support the principle that Netflix offers a diversity of stories, even if we find some titles counter to our own personal values. Depending on your role, you may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful. If you'd find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you," they continue.Netflix's policy change came after the platform experienced a record loss of subscribers, which the company attributed to increased competition, password sharing, and factors like inflation and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.Musk blamed the loss of subscribers on Netflix being "woke," writing on Twitter: "The woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable."It's unclear exactly what content the Tesla and SpaceX billionaire was referring to, but he said in a follow-up tweet: "Can they please just make sci-fi/fantasy at least *mostly* about sci-fi/fantasy?"Netflix came under fire from some of its own employees in October for airing a comedy special from Dave Chappelle in which he made transphobic comments. The special was not removed from the streaming service despite protests.Musk's views on content moderation have been under increased scrutiny since announcing last month he will buy Twitter in a $44 billion deal and make it a haven for free speech.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 15th, 2022

Is The Woke Cultural Agenda Of Union Leaders Undermining Support For Organized Labor Groups?

Is The Woke Cultural Agenda Of Union Leaders Undermining Support For Organized Labor Groups? Authored by Batya Ungar-Sargon via Outside Voices, Doug Tansy is living the American Dream. A 44-year-old Native Alaskan, Tansy is an electrician living in Fairbanks in a house he and his wife Kristine own. Kristine has a social work degree, but for 13 years she stayed home to raise their five kids. It was something the couple could afford thanks to Tansy’s wages and benefits, secured by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. All of Tansy’s union friends have similar stories; those who chose not to have kids traveled the world on the money they earned.  Buena Park, CA, Monday, April 11, 2022 - Union organizer answers questions as Southern California grocery workers vote to approve a union contract at UFCW Local 324. (Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images) Tansy started an apprenticeship right out of high school, a decision he calls “one of the best things I ever did for myself.” His high school pushed everyone to go to college, which Tansy did, but to pay for his first year he took a summer job working construction. It provided an instructive contrast with his college courses. “College was certainly challenging, but it didn't excite me. Construction did. It grabbed me,” Tansy told me. “I was always told ‘find what your hands want to do, and when you do, do it with all your might.’ And I did.” Tansy now serves as the assistant business manager of the IBEW in Fairbanks and as president of the Fairbanks Central Labor Council, which is sort of like the local chapter of the AFL-CIO. “I consider myself a labor person and that simply means a lot of what we do is focus on the middle class,” Tansy explained. “Putting really great wages into our economy and helping people save up to get ahead, to pay off a house.” But the union is about more than just securing a middle-class life for working class Americans. Tansy calls it a fraternity. “If I ever have trouble, I can make one phone call and that's the only call I need to make,” he says. “They will take care of the rest of it and whatever I need will be coming.” And this support system traverses ideological and ethnic divisions. The IBEW in Fairbanks has Republicans, independents, Democrats, progressives, and everything in between. Debates can get testy, especially when social issues like abortion come up in the breakroom. Tansy has also on rare occasions experienced racism. And yet there is a deep bond connecting the members of the IBEW that crosses ideological lines. This bond is the result of a simple fact: that more unites members of the union than divides them, and that what unites them is sacred. “Having good wages, good benefits, good conditions, and being treated fairly and with dignity in retirement should not be only for Republicans or Democrats or red states or blue states,” Tansy explained. “To me, these are nonpartisan issues that should be for everybody. And that's how we reach our common ground.” Tansy’s story is not unique. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans who belong to unions in the U.S. make on average 17% more than their non-unionized brothers and sisters, with a median $1,144 in weekly earnings—compared to $958 for those not unionized. It’s not just wages, either. Unions offer apprenticeships and ongoing training, a debt-free career, a pension, and workplace safety and other protections. They give workers a seat at the table and a voice to balance out the power of the businesses they work for, no mean feat at a time when the majority of working-class Americans are living lives of precarity. Working-class wages decoupled from production and stagnated in the late 70s; it’s estimated that over $47 trillion of working- and middle-class wages have been sapped from the bottom 90% of earners and redistributed to the top 1% since then. So it’s no surprise that approval of labor unions is the highest it’s been since 1965: 68% of Americans told Gallup they approve of unions last year. And yet, despite this fact, Americans aren’t signing up to join unions at record rates. Just the opposite: fewer Americans than ever belong to unions, a scant 6% of Americans working in the private sector. Many believe they are a dying institution in the U.S. Some cast this as proof of yet another case of working-class conservatives choosing a cultural stand against their economic interests. William Sproule is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters and says his union is actively engaged in combating negative stereotypes about unions when recruiting. “In the South and other parts of the country, the Southeast, even some of the middle of the country, you say the word ‘union,’ people have been basically brainwashed to think that there are people like me who are some kind of fat-cat millionaires who are stealing money from their pension funds and all this other stuff, all these bad things they try to present about unions,” Sproule says. Of course, there are political reasons unions aren’t popular in some corners of the South. Labor has for a century been affiliated with the Democratic Party and remains so. Sproule views the Democrats as much better for organized labor, and though the Carpenters Union will endorse pro-labor Republicans, right now he says it’s important that the Democrats maintain control over government. “The predominant anti-union forces do seem to come from the Republican Party,” Sproule says, citing things like punishing, anti-union “Right to Work” laws. The Carpenters Union advised its members to vote for Joe Biden based on the policies President Trump pursued that were hostile to organized labor—things like deregulations at the National Labor Relations Board and appointments of pro-business judges, among other things.  Certain pro-labor positions are undoubtedly the province of the Left, from minimum wage campaigns, to support for the NLRB and the PRO Act, to even the expansion of social security benefits. Then there’s healthcare. When employers are responsible for employee healthcare, they have immense, unfair, and corrosive leverage over their workers. The push for universal healthcare is crucial for stabilizing the downward slide of many working-class families, and it is something only Democrats bring up, however sporadically. And yet, thanks to an emergent class chasm in America, the laboring class is increasingly made up of people who find more in common with the Republican Party. In 2020, Bloomberg News found that truckers, plumbers, machinists, painters, correctional officers, and maintenance employees were among the occupations most likely to donate to Trump (Biden got the lion’s share of writers and authors, editors, therapists, business analysts, HR department staff, and bankers).  Others have blamed the fear of corporate consolidation—and corporate retaliation—for a lack of interest in unionizing. The pressures of starting a union are immense, like trying to hold an election in a one-party state, David Rolf, Founding President of Seattle-based Local 775 of the Service Employees International Union and author of The Fight for Fifteen: The Right Wage for a Working America, explained. “Sort of like if you were running to become the mayor, but before you were allowed to be the mayor, you had to first fight to establish that there should be a mayor at all. And then once you establish that there should be a mayor, then you find that your opponent is the only one with access to the electorate for eight hours a day, and that they've had the voter list for years and you just get it six weeks before the election. Also they have unlimited resources.” Meanwhile, there are numerous stories of ugly union busting and retaliation at companies like Tesla and Amazon. But even in companies where union busting is minimal, many people don't want to go to work and have a permanently conflict-based and litigious relationship with their boss, Rolf explained. And there’s the fact that things like sectoral or regional bargaining are just not part of the American worker’s lexicon. But in addition to overcoming the immense challenges of starting a union from scratch while facing corporate union busting, there’s another, less discussed reason workers give for not flocking to unions at a time when they are most in need of what unions offer: a political and class divide separating the people leading unions from the rank and file. More and more, unions are led not by people like Doug Tansy, who sees his job as overcoming partisan divides, but by people enmeshed in a progressive culture that is increasingly at odds with the values of the people the unions purport to represent. And it’s resulted in the paradox of waning union membership despite the near record level of popular support for unions. Labor is definitely having a moment. Anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 workers went on strike in October 2021. Workers at four Kellogg cereal plants ended an 11-week strike after announcing a deal had been made with the company. The first Starbucks voted to unionize a branch in Buffalo, New York, and has been followed subsequently by other branches across the nation, many of them voting unanimously. At the end of last year over 10,000 workers at John Deere ended a five-week strike after making substantial improvements to their working conditions. Those included a 20% increase in wages over the next six years as well as a return on cost-of-living adjustments and gains to their pension plan. Most recently, an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island became the first Amazon center to unionize, an effort that the corporation spent $4.3 million to combat. The COVID-19 pandemic created a much tighter labor market, which has given workers the upper hand in negotiations for the first time in decades. Expanded unemployment and stimulus checks gave many workers a cushion, some for the first time in their lives, which, combined with the absence of childcare for much of the pandemic and a shortage of workers due to illness or even death, created a real labor shortage. In some cases, that shortage has led to resignations. Over 4 million Americans quit their jobs in November, the majority of them low-wage. In other cases, it’s led to workers demanding better conditions in order to stay—and succeeding at getting them. Chris Laursen lives in Ottumwa, Iowa and has worked at John Deere as a painter for 19 years. He says the strike was a long time coming and sees in it evidence of the rebirth of the American labor movement. “The strikes like the one that we spearheaded showed working people that it is possible to take a stand and get a seat at the table and secure better wages and benefits for your families and yourselves,” Laursen says. “The cheap labor bubble’s busted. Gone are the days where you can bring in employees and not pay them anything.” Like in the IBEW, for John Deere workers, the union’s power is a non-partisan proposition. Ottumwa is the kind of factory town that went for Barack Obama in 2012 then for Trump in 2016. A 2018 rally for Bernie Sanders saw 800 people turn out—followed by one for Trump two weeks later which drew a crowd of 1,200. “Twenty years ago, if you were a Republican here, you were pretty much a closet case about it,” Laursen, who was a delegate for Bernie Sanders, says. “That's really not the case anymore.”  Key to the strike’s success was a laser-like focus on what united the striking workers over what divided them. “We didn't want to politicize the strike or have anything that could divide us, because we understood the importance of us staying together,” Laursen explained. “People who own all the stuff and the media, they want to divide the herd and get us fighting amongst each other. And it really is nonsense because we work in the same place, and our kids go to the same schools. We eat in the same restaurants. We have a lot more commonalities than we do differences.” The COVID labor market has been a boon for non-union workers, too. Latasha Exum is a health aid in a school in Cleveland. She’s in charge of evaluating children who need medical attention. Exum has been in the medical field for 10 years—she’s certified as a medical assistant—but she’s new to her current job and not sure she’ll stay (she loves children, but she worries about how much they spread germs in the age of COVID). And due to the current pressures of the job market, she’s certain that she would be able to find another one. She had no trouble finding this job and was even able to negotiate for a higher starting pay, although the supply chain crisis has made her job harder (thermometers and even band aids have been in short supply).  “Pay isn't everything as far as working conditions,” Exum explained. “Pay is one of the factors that some places are willing to wiggle and negotiate, but the conditions might not be the best.” The COVID economy hasn’t worked for everyone, though. Jenna Stocker is a former marine who worked retail at a pet store in Minneapolis throughout the pandemic. Her job was deemed essential, and she couldn’t afford to miss a paycheck, so while millions were able to work from home, she went to work every day. “I couldn’t afford to stay home and bake bread,” she said. “And those who did looked at us like we were lepers. Essential workers were looked down upon for having a job that allowed other people to stay home.” And she does mean lepers. “They didn’t want to touch us,” Stocker recalled. “When I would deliver dog food, they made me leave it outside. It was dehumanizing.” But it was also part of a larger trend Stocker has noticed, of feeling what she calls “morally wrong” for being poor or working class. There’s a smugness that’s imposed on the lower classes by those in the upper classes, and the class divide is only getting worse. Yet within the working class, divisions evaporate. “I work with a whole spectrum of people, including liberals and conservatives,” Stocker says. “It’s just not something that divides us. We have to work together. We have to make it work. Politics is not something we let divide us at work or in our friendships.” They simply don’t have that luxury. One of the things that the labor shortage has done is something the federal government failed to do: It normalized the idea of a $15 an hour wage. 80% of American workers now make at least $15 an hour—up from 60% in 2014. But that’s nothing close to a living wage for most American cities. Working-class wages have simply not kept up with production; all that extra GDP that’s come from increased production went instead to the top 1%. “Had you merely kept pace with the economy since the 1970s, a full-time, prime-age worker in America who in 2020 made $50,000 a year, that person would be making between $93,000 and a $103,000 a year without any growth in their personal income or share of GDP since the 1970s,” Rolf said. “Half of the income people should have expected to receive over that time was functionally stolen by a series of public policy and boardroom decisions that rewired the economy as upwardly sucking.” Jason Offutt is a 47-year-old from Parma, Ohio who paints lines on roads and in parking lots. He’s seen wage stagnation firsthand. Offutt took a summer job as a line painter when he was 16 and stayed with the company after he left school. He worked for a number of other companies after that, until he was finally able to buy a line-painting machine—it was a friend's, and it was in pieces—for $1,000. He put it back together by hand, and now he works for himself. “I just got tired of watching everybody else making money that I was busting my butt for,” Offutt told me. It took a while to become viable, but once Offutt got in the church directories, the jobs started to come regularly.  In the 30 years Offutt has been a line painter, he’s seen the security of working-class life collapse. “Inflation has gone up so much, even compared to when I started,” he told me. “I was making $16, $17 an hour back in my 20s and 30s, so that was pretty decent money back then, if you had one kid and didn't have too many responsibilities. But as you get older and your kids get older, your son's out working and he barely has enough to pay for his apartment, where I could work and pay for my apartment and car and still be ok. Now, if you’re working class, you've got to have two incomes, two and a half incomes, just to be an above-board person and enjoy your life. Back then, you could do great on just one income.” The percentage of American workers who have what might be called a secure job—who work at least 30 hours a week and earn $40,000 a year with health benefits and a predictable schedule—is less than one in three, and for people without a college degree, it’s just one in five. That’s what Oren Cass, executive director of American Compass and author of The Once and Future Worker, recently found in an extensive survey. “The economy has generally bifurcated into a labor market that has relatively better paying, secure jobs in what we would call knowledge industries, that have tended to see expansion and wage growth and so forth, and generally less secure jobs in shrinking or stagnating industries, that tend to be filled with people without college degrees,” says Cass. One of those people is Cyrus Tharpe, a 46-year-old hazmat truck driver from Phoenix. Tharpe has spent his entire life living below the state median household income everywhere he has lived, and he is deeply cynical about talk of a resurgent labor movement. “Everything is getting worse,” Tharpe tells me. Working class bodies are born to work until they are in too much pain to do so—and then die. “If you’re working class, you die in your early seventies. You know that and there's nothing you can do about it. This is the business model,” Tharpe says. Most of the successful strikes have been won by the tiny percentage of workers who are already unionized. But the 94% of workers in private sector jobs without union representation like himself are just out of luck; to them, attempting to unionize means an antagonistic relationship with management or retaliation from bosses or risking their jobs entirely, facing an influx of new workers flown in from elsewhere or a corporation shutting down the branch where they work. These are luxuries most American workers just can’t afford. Someone from the AFL-CIO in Arizona once reached out to Tharpe and asked if he was interested in forming a union. He said yes and asked for contact information for the lawyers who would back him up when his boss started pushing back. He never heard back from the union representative. It's exhilarating to see workers at places like Amazon and Starbucks unionize. But those jobs tend to be temporary ones—by design at a place like Amazon, which is infamous for paying people to quit. Meanwhile Starbucks workers are often younger and even college-educated. Though both are huge employers—Amazon is America’s second biggest—they also aren’t typical of working-class jobs. And there’s a question of scale, too. The efforts at the Amazon warehouse in Staten Island succeeded where others had failed in large part due to the eschewal of a national union in favor of the creation of a new one specific to the site—the Amazon Labor Union. Far from an endorsement, the success of the Staten Island Amazon warehouse is largely being viewed as a rebuke of organized labor. Moreover, there’s something of a Catch-22 to starting a union in the workplaces where people most need union protections and collective bargaining: It requires someone who paradoxically doesn’t really need the work, who will be ok if the corporate backlash is extreme and they lose their job. Gianna Reeve is a 20-year-old shift supervisor who has worked at a Starbucks in Buffalo for a year and a half. Reeve is a student at Buffalo University where she’s studying psychology, and she is active in the effort to unionize her branch, hoping to follow the lead of another Buffalo Starbucks, the first to unionize. For now, Reeve’s branch seems to have voted against unionizing, though the pro-union faction is contesting the results. Reeve came to Starbucks from Tim Hortons, which she says was grueling work. At Starbucks, employees—Starbucks calls them “partners”—seemed happy to come to work, and Reeve initially felt that they were respected by the company. But in mid-August, a coworker texted to ask if they could talk about something to do with work but “outside of work.” They met at another coffee shop that had recently unionized—a symbolic choice, it turned out—and Reeve’s coworker explained the unionization effort to her and asked if she was interested in helping out.  “I was like, yeah,” Reeve recalled. “I mean, of course, if it means better working conditions for people like my partners, then absolutely.” Reeve was thinking of the people she supervises, most of whom are older than her. She made a point of checking her privilege, pointing out the sad irony of union organizing. “I don't blame any of my partners for being scared or being against unionizing,” she told me. “I'm in a position where I'm able to say, yeah, you know what, let's do it either way. But it's a privilege. I don’t have kids. I don’t have a family I support,” she explained. “I don’t really have anything personally that tethers me. I know that I’m going to be financially and benefits-wise stable, no matter what, so it’s not really a threat they can put against me.” But it’s not just economic privilege. There is an emerging cultural disconnect between the people who most need unions and the people who sometimes run them. At the national level, union staff—especially on the political and public policy side of things—are very likely to be part of what one longtime union leader called the “revolving door of Democratic operatives in Washington.” They have often been guilty of subordinating core working-class interests to what he called “the permanent culture of progressive college-educated coastal elites.” And they are alienating the workers they're supposed to be representing—who are much more socially conservative. A YouGov/American Compass survey of 3,000 workers found that “excessive engagement in politics is the number one obstacle to a robust American labor movement.” “Among those who said they would vote against a union, the top reason cited was union political activity, followed by member dues,” the survey found. “These workers anticipate that unions will focus on politics rather than delivering concrete benefits in their workplaces, and don’t want to pay the cost.” Meanwhile, fear of retaliation was the least cited reason workers gave for why they haven’t unionized. The alliance of unions and Democratic politics often goes beyond labor issues, whether it’s the president of the AFL-CIO applauding a Netflix walkout over a Dave Chappelle special, or one of America's biggest unions endorsing Supreme Court packing, or unionization efforts drawing on slogans like Black Lives Matter to convince workers to vote yes. “When you survey workers, which is what we did, what you find is that this is the thing that they most hate about unions,” Cass told me. Jeff Salovich is a pipefitter foreman at the Minneapolis City Hall, which means he’s in charge of all the heating, air conditioning, and ventilation systems for local government offices, including those of the police chief, the fire chief, City Council, and the mayor. Salovich has been with the Local 539 since 2002, something he’s proud of. But he’s worried about the future of labor in America.  “I think unions are dying,” Salovich told me. And he blames what he calls “political theater.” “There's too many progressives in my mind that don't really understand unions. And although they're trying to represent unions, they're actually doing more harm to unions than they are good.” Though Salovich’s union has people from across the political spectrum, it leans conservative, and there is a divide forming between the blue-collar members and the top-down liberal culture that’s being imposed upon them. “A great majority of the people that I work with—other pipefitters and plumbers and mechanical trades—I would say at least 75% of the workers tend to lean more conservative and are more concerned about keeping their jobs instead of saying the right things or addressing people by pronouns and this and that, all the theatrics that are going on,” he said. “Whereas the people that are running things are being pressured by outside influences to succumb to that.”  For example, in the pipefitter trade, there’s a tool called a nipple that connects different pieces of pipe. But as part of what Salovich sees as progressive pressures on leadership, the word is now verboten, and if you're caught saying it, you'll get reprimanded by your boss. It’s a small example of a much larger trend, he explained. “I think there's that breaking point where people will start to leave if they feel like their dues money is going to political alliances that don't line up with their family's convictions,” he explained.  Many conservatives in the union just stay quiet, hoping this new tidal wave will blow over. But for some, even the good pay and benefits that the union provides isn’t worth it. So, they’re willing to give up their economic interests for cultural issues? “No,” Salovich explained. “Because my interests are not just limited to my paycheck. It's your life,” he said. “They don't understand that people just want to work. I'm coming from a mechanical side. As far as trade staff like painting and plumbing and carpentry and trades that people work with their hands, we don't want to have to be perfect in how we address people and how we talk or be afraid to talk or be who we are as people And the Left side, the progressives, are really pushing a lot of agendas that are not aligned with how we raise our families.” There are a lot of people willing to work for half as much as the unions are offering for peace of mind and a stress-free environment, and to not see their dues go to groups that fund Planned Parenthood. But the more progressive culture may also be contrary to their economic interests; after all, marriage has been correlated with significantly higher earnings, especially for men. They may not have the data at hand to support what they can observe in their communities, but working-class people resisting a politics that is indifferent at best and hostile at worst to traditional values like marriage are, it turns out, acting in their economic interests, too. Many union leaders are cognizant of this cultural divide, like Doug Tansy of Alaska. Tansy is a registered Democrat, but he actively works to combat the politicization of his union. “I purposely always try to get people that will check me,” he told me. “I definitely want that conservative voice at the table, debating with me and decision-making with me because, left to my own devices, I will go too far. I represent a very diverse membership and I use my conservative friends to help check me, to make me defend my ideas and to defend my choices, because I don't want to be one-sided.” But how many Tansys are there?  There’s a devastating irony to the fact that it was a bipartisan anti-worker consensus that resulted in stagnant wages and downward mobility for America’s working-class, and that it is now partisanship that is keeping a strong working class from fighting back.  Americans are often told how divided the nation is, how politically polarized, how we entombed in our own tightly sealed echo chambers. But this is not the reality for millions and millions of working-class Americans outside the few elites who make up our political and chattering classes. Political polarization is a luxury they cannot afford in a marketplace dominated by powerful, profit-maximizing corporations. With the blessing of free-market policies pushed by both political parties in the U.S., millions of good working-class jobs have been shipped overseas, jobs that once catapulted working-class Americans into the middle class and now do the same for the burgeoning middle class in China and elsewhere.  What would help America’s working class? A number of solutions came up with everyone I spoke to. Vocational training was the first. America is unique among wealthy countries in its refusal to invest in skilled trades, something that in countries like Germany and Switzerland has offset the drastic effects of offshoring manufacturing. Universal healthcare was another thing nearly everyone I spoke to agreed upon. Regional or sectoral bargaining was another option that came up, or just a larger culture of collective bargaining that isn’t tied to individual workplaces; it’s why across Northern Europe, corporations like Starbucks and Amazon are forced to deal with unions. And we need new federal labor laws that protect workers—not just businesses.  But none of these goals are achievable so long as organized labor is a political football and what one longtime union organizer and leader called a “subsidiary of the Left wing of the Democratic Party.” Rather than holding the benefits of organized labor hostage until Republican workers agree to fund groups that support Planned Parenthood, those who claim to want a strong labor movement would do better to meet workers where they are—which is increasingly on the social and political right. In other words, Americans who truly care about a stable and thriving working class, one that has access to the American Dream, would do well to learn what workers understand: that more unites us than divides us. In other words, politicians and pundits and journalists and influencers who seek to advance workers’ causes should stop trying to lead and should start following.  Batya Ungar-Sargon is the deputy opinion editor of Newsweek. She is the author of "Bad News: How Woke Media Is Undermining Democracy." *  *  * NOTE FROM GLENN GREENWALD: As is true with all of the Outside Voices freelance articles that we publish here, we edit and fact-check the content to ensure factual accuracy, but our publication of an article or op-ed does not necessarily mean we agree with all or even any of the views expressed by the writer, who is guaranteed editorial freedom here. The objective of our Outside Voices page is to provide a platform for high-quality reporting and analysis that is lacking within the gates of corporate journalism, and to ensure that well-informed, independent reporters and commentators have a platform to be heard. To support the independent journalism we are doing here, please obtain a gift subscription for others and/or share the article Tyler Durden Fri, 04/15/2022 - 19:15.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytApr 15th, 2022

Insiders say RAINN, the nation"s foremost organization for victims of sexual assault, is in crisis over allegations of racism and sexism

22 current and former staffers said that RAINN, which has deep ties to Hollywood and corporate America, is facing an internal reckoning. Scott Berkowitz, RAINN's co-founder and CEO, began his career in politics, advising former Sen. Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign at just 14 years old.RAINN; Kris Connor/Getty Images; Alyssa Powell/Insider22 current and former staffers say the organization favored by Hollywood and corporate America is in crisis. 'How can RAINN be helping survivors externally, when they're traumatizing survivors and their own employees internally?'April Cisneros says the first time she was sexually assaulted at her private Christian college was in 2015, while she was playing piano in the school's conservatory. A music tutor came into the small practice room and began to touch her. The second time, one year later, she remembers waking up in a hotel room near campus after drinks with classmates. One man was forcing his hand into her pants while another ejaculated on top of her. The incidents were devastating, and further compounded by a conservative religious community that lacked empathy for her pain or a framework to understand it. "Maybe it's demons attached to you that attracted this fate," she recalls one pastor telling her. Others placed the blame on her, wondering if she set the right boundaries with men. While studying abroad at Oxford University in 2016, in an effort to get far away from what she suffered back home, Cisneros attempted to take her own life.Soon after, she Googled for help, and the website for the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, or RAINN, flashed across her computer screen. RAINN, which was founded in 1994 as a nonprofit, bills itself as the nation's largest anti-sexual-violence organization, operating a 24-hour hotline for victims and pushing for state and federal policies to punish sex offenders and support survivors. It has deep ties to corporate America and Hollywood, partnering with Google and TikTok and media like "I May Destroy You" and "Promising Young Woman," both of which center on sexual assault. (Insider itself utilizes RAINN's hotline; our publishing system automatically appends a referral link to RAINN at the bottom of every story about sexual assault.) In 2019, it reported nearly $16 million in revenue. It says its programs have helped 3.8 million people, and 301,455 people called its hotlines last year.The organization was a beacon in a difficult time, and Cisneros soon threw herself into supporting it. She cycled 1,500 miles across the country for a fundraising drive; later, after the Trump administration rolled back Title IX protections for campus-sexual-assault victims, she decided to get involved more directly. April Cisneros biked across the US to raise money for RAINN.April Cisneros"I was so angry," Cisneros told Insider. "I just remember thinking, 'Well, why don't I just, like, go try to be a part of the solution?'" She began working for RAINN in 2018 as a communications associate.But she soon discovered that it looked very different from the inside. Instead of the supportive, inclusive victims' advocacy organization that offered her hope in the depths of her depression, Cisneros found herself in a demoralizing workplace overrun by what she described as racism and sexism. She recalled that during the filming of a video about survivors' stories, her boss asked a participant to smile while recounting a sexual assault. "If you don't," Cisneros remembered her boss saying, "it'll look like you have a bitch face."Cisneros is among 22 current and former RAINN staffers who spoke to Insider and described a roiling crisis over race and gender in the over-200-person-strong nonprofit. These people described a culture in which a routine training was beset by racist caricaturing, executives ignored employees' requests for change, and people who were deemed political risks — including sexual-assault survivors — were silenced. According to these accounts, in one instance, a supervisor badgered an employee during the time she took off to recover from an abortion. In another, an Asian staffer was replaced on a project with a white man after their boss deemed him a better fit because of his race and gender. One staffer sent a resignation letter, obtained by Insider, in which she bemoaned "toxic managerial behavioral patterns" and worried that "young employees like myself, many of them survivors themselves, are currently being treated like their rights at work do not matter, like their comfort and security and health at work doesn't matter, like the skills they bring to work are worthless."RAINN declined to make its founder and president, Scott Berkowitz, available for an interview. In a statement, the group said it had made great strides in diversifying its workplace and addressing the concerns of its employees of color. It accused the current and former staffers who came forward to Insider of providing "incomplete, misleading, and defamatory" information about "a handful of long-outdated and disproven allegations.""RAINN is proud of the work our committed staff do, day in and day out, to support survivors of sexual violence," the statement read. "As an organization, we owe it to our committed staff to provide a work environment where they feel safe, appreciated, and heard … Over the last several years, like most organizations, RAINN has worked to expand and implement comprehensive Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and goals. We regularly update staff on our progress toward achieving those goals, and solicit feedback on potential areas of improvement. While there is always room to build on our efforts, we are continually working to foster an open dialogue between employees and leadership to ensure ideas and concerns can be heard and addressed."RAINN hired Clare Locke LLP, a boutique libel law firm that has gained a reputation for representing clients facing #MeToo allegations, including Matt Lauer and the former CBS News executive Jeffrey Fager, to respond to Insider's inquiries. During Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, the firm's cofounder Libby Locke came to his defense, writing: "No wonder Judge Kavanaugh is angry. Any man falsely accused of sexual assault would be."When Insider asked RAINN whether Clare Locke's work was consistent with the organization's mission and values, the firm's partner Thomas Clare emailed a statement attributed to RAINN: "Given your questions contained outright lies about RAINN and our staff, and publication of those claims is potentially defamatory, we hired defamation counsel. We recognize we have a right to legal representation, and our attorneys have helped us disprove your ridiculous and libelous allegations."Some RAINN employees fear that the corporate dysfunction has poisoned the work of the largest sexual-violence organization in the country, which they continue to view as crucial, despite their own experiences. "How can RAINN be helping survivors externally when they're traumatizing survivors and their own employees internally?" Cisneros said.How RAINN became Hollywood and corporate America's go-to partner Through savvy marketing and hard work, RAINN has become to sexual assault what Planned Parenthood is to reproductive health: the premier, full-service resource for people struggling with a crisis and the ultimate destination for donations to help people who have been victimized.The global embrace of the #MeToo movement, and the contemporary focus on the depth and pervasiveness of sexual assault, has further aided RAINN's ascension. Companies in crisis often turn to the organization to telegraph their commitment to social responsibility. After dozens of women sued Lyft, claiming they were assaulted by its drivers, the company worked with RAINN to roll out extensive safety initiatives and contributed $1.5 million to its coffers.Hollywood has also embraced the organization. RAINN was cofounded by the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Tori Amos, who promoted the organization's hotline at her concerts and sat on its advisory board. In 2018, Timotheé Chalamet pledged his earnings from Woody Allen's "A Rainy Day in New York" to groups including RAINN, as did Ben Affleck from productions affiliated with Harvey Weinstein. Christina Ricci, a star of Showtime's breakout hit "Yellowjackets," has served as an official spokesperson since 2007, and the platinum-selling pop artist Taylor Swift has donated to the organization, something it publicized from its social-media accounts.—RAINN (@RAINN) April 8, 2021 But Berkowitz has largely stayed out of the public eye. He began his career as a political wunderkind, advising Sen. Gary Hart's 1984 presidential campaign at just 14 years old. A profile in his grandparents' hometown newspaper in Pennsylvania said he was personally responsible for collecting $100,000 in donations for Hart — a feat achieved in between classes at American University, where he was already a sophomore. After graduation, Berkowitz continued to work in and around politics. His experience in the field, he said in a 2019 interview with RAINN, taught him about the "extent of the problem" of sexual violence in the United States and the opportunity to fill this "service gap.""I knew next to nothing about the issue," Berkowitz said. "It just seemed like a good idea." Christina Ricci has been a RAINN spokeswoman since 2007.Michael Kovac/WireImage/Getty ImagesEarly on, Berkowitz ran the day-to-day operations, and his early fundraising prowess served him well. After a series of sexual assaults at the infamous Woodstock '99 festival, promoters and record labels did damage control by giving RAINN 1% of the proceeds from the festival's CD and video releases. "In raw self-interest, the money and attention that would come from it would allow RAINN to promote the hotline better, provide more counseling, print more brochures," Berkowitz told the Village Voice. RAINN's budget swelled in tandem with its brand. Total revenue rocketed from more than $1.2 million in 2009 to nearly $16 million in 2019. Berkowitz's compensation grew from $168,000 to over $481,000 over the same period. Even though RAINN's tax returns list Berkowitz as its president and indicate that he was paid nearly a half a million dollars in the year ending in May 2020, RAINN says that he is not in fact an employee and does not receive a salary. Instead, for reasons that RAINN did not explain, he is paid through A&I Publishing, a company solely owned by Berkowitz that contracts with RAINN. "Scott Berkowitz is paid solely as an independent contractor through A&I Publishing and does not receive any salary or benefits," it said. "He has never received any employee compensation from RAINN."RAINN's tax records tell a slightly different story. The group has reported paying a total of $561,500 in consulting fees for "strategic and financial oversight" to A&I Publishing from 2001 to 2006, during which time Berkowitz drew no salary from RAINN. Since 2007, though, RAINN has reported directly paying Berkowitz a total of $3,529,000. (RAINN says he "is recused from all board consideration of his compensation.")Over the same period, RAINN also began reporting payments to A&I to service $288,000 in debt that it owed the consultancy at 5% interest. RAINN's tax records don't reflect that the organization ever received any cash from A&I; instead, the loan is described in its 2006 tax return as "issuance of debt for prior year services." RAINN says the loan, which has been repaid, stems from "deferred payment for fees" that RAINN owed A&I "for a number of years."'How does an organization like RAINN make such an egregious mistake?'With the Woodstock '99 deal, Berkowitz struck on a highly successful strategy — corporate penance — and he would often return to it. But he also looked to the public sector for funding opportunities.One of RAINN's largest sources of revenue — $2 million a year — is its contract to run the Department of Defense's Safe Helpline, which offers confidential, anonymous counseling to members of the military who have been affected by sexual violence. Multiple staffers who spoke with Insider said Berkowitz was exceedingly sensitive about maintaining the contract. They said that he had gone to great lengths to stay in the Department of Defense's good graces and that they believe RAINN has at times been overly deferential to its interests. Michael Wiedenhoeft-Wilder in February 2022.Evan Jenkins for InsiderMichael Wiedenhoeft-Wilder, a former flight attendant and roller-rink operator who previously served in the Navy as a medic, said that in 1982, just months after he enlisted, a Navy physician raped him. The doctor, who outranked Wiedenhoeft-Wilder, threatened him with prison time if he came forward. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder said it was the first of multiple sexual assaults he suffered, all of which resulted in a diagnosis of complex post-traumatic stress disorder.Wiedenhoeft-Wilder stayed silent about the assault for nearly 30 years. He became depressed and experienced paranoid suspicions that the government was spying on him, ready to silence him if he ever told the truth about his assault.But decades of therapy empowered Wiedenhoeft-Wilder to eventually come forward. He discovered the Safe Helpline, which then led him to RAINN's Speakers Bureau, a roster of more than 4,000 volunteer survivors who share their stories with the media, student groups, and other organizations. When Wiedenhoeft-Wilder signed up with the bureau, his story was selected for publication on RAINN's website. In October 2019, he worked with April Cisneros, who helped manage the Speakers Bureau, to prepare the story.But the story was abruptly killed. Cisneros said Berkowitz decided to pull Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's account once he realized that it involved an officer assaulting an enlisted man."Once we actually wrote up his story, Scott was like, 'No, we're not even getting into this,'" Cisneros told Insider, adding that Berkowitz refused to send the story to the Department of Defense for review, as it routinely did with accounts of military sexual assault. Cisneros said Berkowitz told members of the communications team that promoting the testimony of a man who had been assaulted by one of his superiors could harm the military's reputation and upset the Department of Defense. Cisneros told Insider she believed that Berkowitz did not want to risk losing the government's funding.Wiedenhoeft-Wilder was shocked. He had spent time with Cisneros revisiting the details of an assault that haunted him for 30 years, all for nothing."I've spent the last several days trying to deal with the devastating news that the article about my military sexual trauma being canceled for someone else," he told Cisneros in an email on October 31 that Insider reviewed. "How does an organization like RAINN make such an egregious mistake? Do you have any idea how this mistake has affected me? It's absolutely devastating. Just one more failure for me.""I feel victimized all over again," he wrote. "What did I ever do to you people to deserve this!"Cisneros, worried about Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's mental health, forwarded the exchange to Berkowitz and Keeli Sorensen, then the vice president of victim services, she said. "Maybe you just tell him you made a mistake," Cisneros recalled Sorensen telling her. She felt Sorensen's suggestion was, in effect, to "[fall] on my sword for RAINN."Cisneros told Insider that she told Wiedenhoeft-Wilder a lie about a scheduling conflict and blamed the mix-up entirely on herself. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder didn't believe her. "I know she wasn't telling me the truth," he told Insider. "I knew it wasn't her fault. It was a really weird, very strange thing to do to someone."Cisneros was heartbroken. She felt that she'd betrayed Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's trust and was distressed because she felt an anti-sexual-violence organization had asked her to deceive a rape victim. "What's so sad is people treat him like he's so paranoid about being silenced by the military, but that paranoia is at least … legitimate," Cisneros said. "And it happened again at RAINN."Sorensen denied having any involvement in the incident and said she was "not authorized in any way to instruct Ms. Cisneros in this matter," adding that Berkowitz had "total authority" with respect to the publication of Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's story. She said she did not know why Berkowitz pulled the testimony."I had no part in the matter," Sorensen said, "but it's my recollection, based on my conversation with Ms. Cisneros, that she had promised Mr. Wiedenhoeft-Wilder that she would publish their story before having secured final approval from Mr. Berkowitz."RAINN also said that if Cisneros had promised Wiedenhoeft-Wilder a spot on its website, it had "no knowledge of that and she was not authorized to make that commitment."Cisneros disputed that. She said that she provided Berkowitz with details of Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's story before reaching out and that he approved. "Scott gave me the greenlight to move ahead with the process if [Wiedenhoeft-Wilder] expressed interest," Cisneros said."We have no recollection as to why this survivor's story did not run in the fall of 2019," RAINN said, adding that some isolated quotes from Wiedenhoeft-Wilder's interview — stripped of their military context — were shared on RAINN's social-media accounts. The statement pointed to other stories from survivors of sexual assault in the military that RAINN had published; none of those featured scenarios in which an attacker outranked their victim.Evan Jenkins for Insider"We are not aware of the Department of Defense expressing concern over RAINN's coverage of military survivors," RAINN said, "nor is it standard practice for RAINN to consult with [the department] regarding the material and resources it publishes unless they directly mention Safe Helpline. RAINN frequently publishes the stories of military survivors and will continue to do so as it works to carry out the organization's mission to eradicate sexual violence from every corner of society."Anxiety around RAINN's relationship with the Department of Defense came up again in 2019. Six former staffers said one RAINN employee felt compelled to frantically retract public comments she had made in support of Black trans victims of violence amid the Trump administration's efforts to expel trans people from the military. The woman suddenly and mysteriously departed the organization on the day her remarks were published.(The woman's identity is known to Insider, which is not naming her because doing so may expose her to professional harm. The woman declined to comment for the record.) On March 7, 2019, to mark International Women's Day, the employee was one of "8 everyday women" featured by The Lily, a women-focused website published by The Washington Post. The Lily post listed the woman's age, background, position at RAINN, and responses to a questionnaire about her favorite fast-food chains and movies. But she came to fear that her seemingly uncontroversial answer to one question could become a professional liability.InsiderThe answer came a few months after the Trump-era transgender military ban went into effect, reanimating debates over trans rights. Two sources told Insider that the woman told them that RAINN's leadership expressed alarm over her contribution to the article and was frustrated that the woman had spoken to the media without getting consent from leadership.One source told Insider that Jodi Omear, then RAINN's vice president of communications, said minutes after reading the article that it was "too controversial" and that she worried it "could jeopardize our contract with the Department of Defense." The source said Omear escalated the article to Berkowitz and the human-resources director, Claudia Kolmer, because she was confident they would feel the same.Omear told Insider that because the former staffer had been under her supervision, it would be "inappropriate" to comment on her exit from the organization.On the day the questionnaire was published, the woman called the reporter at The Lily who'd conducted the interview and asked her to remove the reference to RAINN, as well as her comments about trans people, according to four sources familiar with the situation. The writer agreed. Insider viewed an original version of the interview that contained the employee's affiliation and comments about trans rights; the version currently published online does not.Two former employees said the woman was escorted out of the office by human resources the day the story was published. RAINN said that "it is standard practice that an employee separating from the organization is accompanied by a RAINN human resources representative when leaving the premises in order to collect their office keys, security fob and other credentials," adding that it "reached a separation agreement" with the woman a week after the story was published.One staffer who sat near her described the woman as a "fabulous" employee who was heavily invested in the projects they were set to work on together."It was one of the reasons why it was so shocking," the staffer said. "Like, where'd she go?"In its statement, RAINN claimed that the woman's remarks were an unauthorized attempt to speak on behalf of the Pentagon. "[The RAINN staffer] spoke with a Washington Post reporter on-the-record, on behalf of RAINN and the Department of Defense Safe Helpline, which she was not authorized to do," the statement said. "Contractually RAINN is barred from speaking on behalf of the Department of Defense or Safe Helpline." The Lily billed the interview as an opportunity to "step inside the lives of 8 everyday women." Aside from identifying her employer and job description — a format applied to other women featured in the post — the woman's interview did not touch on RAINN or the Department of Defense. Instead, she answered questions about her favorite body part and what she would change about her upbringing if she could.Still, RAINN said, the woman broke the rules: "The issue at hand centered around a clear violation of RAINN policy. RAINN supports all transgender survivors and has worked to remove the barriers to reporting sexual violence in LGBTQ communities, and to elevate the stories of transgender survivors, particularly for transgender persons of color for whom sexual violence is all too prevalent."Asked why, if that were the case, the woman would ask The Lily specifically to remove her comments about trans victims, RAINN said it was "unaware of any evidence indicating [the woman] was pressured to retract or remove" the comments. "RAINN is always mindful of honoring its contractual obligations not to speak on behalf of the DoD and the Safe Helpline," it said. "The fact someone commented on other subject matter or issues was irrelevant."A white male staffer was deemed a better fitJackii Wang joined RAINN's public-policy team in 2019, hopeful that she could use her experience working in national congressional offices to advance legislation that would help sexual-assault survivors. But she said her boss, RAINN's vice president of public policy, Camille Cooper, instead saddled her with administrative responsibilities like writing greeting cards. Wang said Cooper regularly discounted her ideas and "berated" her when they disagreed on issues the younger staffer considered minor. It became "psychologically terrifying," Wang said. Wang didn't immediately view that as discriminatory — multiple staffers said many of Cooper's employees complained of similar treatment. But during a performance review in December 2019, Wang said, Cooper attempted to explain her perception of Wang as defiant by rattling off stereotypes that Wang felt were "very targeted towards my Asian identity.""Camille asked me questions like, you know, 'Is your family very strict?' 'Do they expect perfectionism from you?' ... 'What was your childhood like?' Do I have problems with authority because of my family background?" Wang told Insider. What started as an implication became explicit, Wang said, when Cooper announced she would pull Wang off a lobbying assignment.Jackii WangDaniel Diasgranados for InsiderAt the time, RAINN was working on a Florida bill that would close a loophole in the state's statute of limitations for teen survivors. Cooper called Wang and another staffer into her office and told the two women she had decided to send a white male colleague in Wang's place, Wang said. Wang asked why."And she was like, 'Well, you know, because he's a white male,'" Wang recalled.Wang was mortified. While she had experience working with Florida legislators, her male colleague wasn't even registered to lobby in the state. Wang and the other staffer said Cooper argued that he would connect better with white conservatives in the state."He can talk about baseball. He can really, like, connect with these men," Cooper said, according to Wang and the other staffer present. "And these men really hate women.""Her reasoning for picking a white man over me for the project is that he'll be received better," Wang said. "But if that's the logic that she's following, then, like, I guess I shouldn't work anywhere because white men are received better everywhere."Neither Cooper nor the man responded to requests for comment.Wang said she reported the incident to Kolmer, the human-resources director, and Berkowitz in March 2020, along with a detailed recounting of other complaints about Cooper's leadership. But Wang said Kolmer never took serious action. When Wang quit that June, she sent Berkowitz a blistering resignation letter. "As you know, she has harassed and bullied every single person on our team, including an intern, and has blatantly discriminated against me," Wang wrote.Berkowitz thanked Wang for her time and for informing him, and asked Kolmer to discuss the issues Wang raised. Cooper continues to serve as a vice president, the face of RAINN's policy arm.RAINN said that Wang was too junior a staffer to lead a statewide lobbying effort and called her claims of discrimination "false and defamatory.""RAINN took Wang's allegations seriously and investigated the matter thoroughly," the statement said. "Ultimately it was determined that the basis of Wang's claims of discrimination were unfounded."RAINN did not deny Wang's claim that Cooper told her a white man would connect better with conservative legislators.Cooper wasn't the only executive to receive complaints. One current staffer and one former staffer described a meeting in which Jessica Leslie, the vice president of victim services, defended Berkowitz's unwillingness to address the concerns of staffers of color."You have to understand where he's coming from," they remember Leslie saying. "I mean, he's a white man, and you're all people of color — like, he's really nervous around you."One of the staffers was furious. "We just wanted to have a conversation. We're not about to berate the man," she told Insider. "This is not true," RAINN said. Its statement said that at a Safe Helpline shift managers meeting, a group of managers asked Leslie if Berkowitz would meet with them. When Leslie asked them to craft an agenda first, RAINN said, the shift managers asked Leslie if Berkowitz wanted an agenda because he was "uncomfortable talking to women of color." "The shift managers created this narrative," RAINN said, "not Leslie."Through an attorney, Leslie said she agreed with RAINN's responses and called the allegations against her "demonstrably baseless."A racist training, a pay disparity, and an email uprisingStaffers of color told Insider that they were often underpaid compared with their white counterparts; one, a nonwhite Latina woman who asked to remain anonymous, said she made $35,000 a year and lived in public housing to keep her head above water. After she quit for a higher-paying opportunity, RAINN filled her job with a white staffer who earned roughly $20,000 more, Cisneros said, adding that the white staffer disclosed her salary. (Three additional sources with knowledge of her salary corroborated Cisneros' account.) RAINN said the salary discrepancy was a result of both the role being "restructured" to include "significantly more responsibility" and the fact that the white staffer had an advanced degree.Four current and former RAINN staffers recalled that after RAINN's white office manager left for a new job, her replacement, a Black woman named Valinshia Walker, was asked to perform janitorial tasks that were not in her predecessor's job description — including scrubbing floors on her hands and knees, washing dishes, and disinfecting conference rooms. "Let me be very clear: [Walker's predecessor] never washed dishes from the sink. Ever," one former staffer said. "Val? You would come in, and Ms. Walker was cleaning the conference room. Like, wiping down all the tables. Spraying down the chairs. Doing the kitchen, she's washing dishes from the sink … You would see her walking around with the mask on and gloves because she literally cleaned. Like a cleaning lady."Walker declined to comment for the record. "The beliefs of your sources are simply not true," RAINN said, adding that Walker was hired as the "office coordinator," which had a different set of responsibilities than the "office manager" she replaced. "Maintaining a clean office has always fallen under the responsibilities of the HR and admin staff as a whole, this includes the office manager and office coordinator," the statement said. "We are not aware of any instances where Walker was asked to handle cleaning responsibilities beyond those that were part of the office coordinator's regular duties."Staffers also recalled what became a notorious and hamfisted mandatory sexual-harassment training in early 2020 led by an outside employment attorney hired by RAINN. According to more than a dozen employees, the attorney used a series of racist stereotypes to illustrate examples during the training."So let's just say, you know, there's Nicki [Minaj] and Cardi B are employees, and they're at their desks, and they start twerking," Cisneros recalled the lawyer saying. "Is that inappropriate workplace behavior?"At one point, Cisneros said, the lawyer proposed a hypothetical scenario in which a Latino-coded man — participants recalled his name was "Jorgé" or "José"—  kissed a coworker. The lawyer asked if the behavior could be appropriate "because this is Latino culture." "Your information regarding this training is inaccurate," RAINN said. "The examples in this legal training were all past legal cases using fictitious names." It added that staff concerns "were immediately addressed and the training was subsequently modified based on their feedback."Sarcia Adkins, a shift manager for the Department of Defense Safe Helpline who attended the training, was furious. She wrote an email to multiple executives, including Sorensen, Kolmer, and Berkowitz, on March 5 demanding action from the organization. "I wanted to get up and walk out at various points and it was one of the more traumatic experiences I've had at RAINN as a woman of color," she wrote. Kolmer acknowledged her complaints and promised to meet with Adkins alongside Berkowitz and Sorensen to discuss changes to the training and her issues with the nonprofit's culture.Adkins said that Kolmer didn't follow up that March but that Sorensen did reach out to schedule a one-on-one meeting. RAINN said Adkins agreed to meet Sorensen but "did not show up, without notification or explanation," and "did not follow up after she skipped the meeting." Several months later, after a former colleague intervened, Adkins did meet with Berkowitz and Sorensen. Adkins told Insider she was underwhelmed. "They pick what they want you to talk about," she said.The dysfunction came to a head during the summer of 2020, after the murder of George Floyd sparked a series of bitter internal conversations about RAINN's track record on race. In June 2020, Berkowitz sent an email with the subject line "A Note to the RAINN Family" to the entire staff. In it, he acknowledged the unrest and pledged to support the company's Black staffers.Sarcia Adkins replied to the email with a list of demands and copied the entire organization. She asked for mandatory cultural-competency training and a commitment to hiring Black employees for leadership positions. (RAINN says that 43% of its top seven staffers are people of color.) Adkins — who has been with RAINN since 2014 — asked Berkowitz why he hadn't reached out following the deaths of Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Philando Castile, and dozens of other victims of police violence."RAINN has never been a place [that] acknowledges or uplifts their black staff, not just people of color, and the injustices we face in the world and within the structure of RAINN," Adkins wrote.Following the police killing of George Floyd in 2020, Scott Berkowitz sent an email to staffers acknowledging the resulting unrest and pledging to support the company's Black staffers. But employees at RAINN began responding en masse, including one person who asked why a similar message was not sent after other police killings of Black people.Provided to InsiderIn 2021, in response to the outrage over the George Floyd email, the organization began internally releasing draft proposals on diversity, equity, and inclusion with goals the organization planned to achieve or had already accomplished. The laundry list of objectives, which Insider reviewed, included a plan to "develop new relationships to ensure a diverse pool of internal and external candidates for all open positions" and "collect more data to identify the causes of turnover."But people working in the organization say little has been achieved, or even attempted."Hiring practices are not getting better," said a current RAINN staffer, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation. "There's been no management training. Turnover is horrendous." In its statement, RAINN recounted the diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts it began implementing in 2021, including "expanded recruiting," "revised exit interviews," and "researched training on DEI-related issues.""The summer of 2020 sparked important cultural conversations in companies and organizations across the United States, RAINN among them," the statement said. "As we've seen nationwide, there is more work to be done. Over the past two years, RAINN worked with experts and garnered input from staff to develop and implement Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion policies and goals … Changes implemented to date include increasing diversity within senior management to better reflect our staff diversity and the people we serve, implementing an anonymous third-party ethics hotline where employees can voice concerns without fear of reprisal, offering expanded professional development and internal promotion opportunities, and increasing health and mental health benefits for employees, the four top priorities identified by staff."As evidence of its success in addressing the concerns of its employees of color, RAINN provided Insider an email that Aniyah Carter, a staffer on the Department of Defense Safe Helpline, wrote to the vice president of communications, Heather Drevna, in June 2020. Carter, who is Black, had been one of the most outspoken staffers demanding change at RAINN after Berkowitz's George Floyd email fiasco. When Drevna sent a follow-up email to staff announcing an employee survey and more personal and sick days, Carter replied with a note of thanks."I just want to personally thank you and the senior team for this," she wrote. "It's one thing to listen to and hear us. It's another thing to take action. I am proud of the responses of my colleagues and I am grateful for the swift action from leadership. It is my sincere hope that we continue to make a necessary shift in the right direction. Please let me know if there is any way I can be of assistance."Scott Berkowitz at the "Tina The Tina Turner Musical" Cocktail Reception, co-hosted by Anna Wintour in support of RAINN, on January 31, 2020.Tiffany Sage/BFA/ReutersWhen Insider asked Carter about the email, she said any movement in the right direction quickly stalled."They sent an email and that was it," Carter told Insider. "So my 'sincere hope' was crushed. It's so insulting for me. When this first happened and you were optimistic and gave us the benefit of the doubt, you say it here," she said, mocking RAINN's use of her email. "And it's like, OK, but two years later here we still are. And I've mentioned how I'm frustrated, but you're going to take words from two years ago feeling optimistic about the future and spin it as if that applies to today? Seriously? That was very upsetting because it makes me feel like this is more about optics than, like, how your staff really feels."'OK, well, who's gonna do the press clips?'When April Cisneros arrived at RAINN, she began working for Jodi Omear. Cisneros said she quickly ran up against Omear's domineering management style, which often seemed dismissive of and belittling to other women. Besides the "bitch face" comment, Cisneros said, Omear joked about how office dress codes could reduce the risk of sexual assault by preventing people from wearing provacative outfits. "I understand we're not supposed to blame the victim," Cisneros recalled Omear saying, "but, like, what do you expect to happen if you're in a dimly lit room and people of the opposite sex [are] wearing pants with holes in them?" Omear did not deny making either comment but told Insider that when training people who lacked experience with on-camera work, she directed them to "over-exaggerate facial expressions." She also said she "advocated for casual professional attire across the organization."Cisneros' low point at RAINN occurred in January 2019, when she unexpectedly became pregnant. She decided to take a sick day to visit a doctor. She told Insider she informed Omear the day before and outlined when her unfinished work would be completed.Omear became angry, Cisneros said, demanding to know why she didn't give more notice and insisting on further details. Omear called Cisneros at 9 p.m. demanding answers. Cisneros broke down and told her boss about the surprise pregnancy. According to Cisneros, Omear replied, "OK, well, who's gonna do the press clips?"The next day, as Cisneros met with her doctor, her phone buzzed with calls and texts from Omear. Between the stress of an unplanned pregnancy and Omear's incessant check-ins, Cisneros said, she "started bawling" under the stress.  A day later, Cisneros received a prescription for a two-day medical abortion. She requested an extra day off to recover, but Omear continued to pester her, texting and calling Cisneros for updates on RAINN's monthly marketing report. Cisneros said she finished the report from home while waiting for the bleeding to die down. (A RAINN staffer who was familiar with the incident corroborated Cisneros' version of events.)Omear told Insider that it would be "inappropriate" to comment on Cisneros specifically and did not directly answer a series of questions about Cisneros' allegations. "In general, when working with communications staff, especially in a fast-paced environment on such an important issue, it is/was important to ensure that other team members were able to cover assignments to meet any potential deadlines and organizational needs," she said in an emailed statement.RAINN said that it "was not aware of this incident happening in real time" and that it "supports employees taking time off and does not support managers encroaching on sick time."Omear's conduct was the final straw for Cisneros, and she wrote to human resources to complain. Cisneros said Claudia Kolmer told her in a meeting that the conflict "was a big misunderstanding" and that she should have come clean about her pregnancy sooner. (RAINN said that Kolmer told Cisneros that different managers have different preferences about how they should be notified of sick time and that "Cisneros was never asked to share sensitive personal or medical information.")Dissatisfied, Cisneros unloaded on Omear to Kolmer, accusing her boss of making inappropriate complaints about the loud breathing of a colleague who used a wheelchair and the habit of another colleague, who was blind, of walking into Omear's office by mistake, Cisneros said. (Another former RAINN employee corroborated the complaints to Insider.) Cisneros also said she told Kolmer that Omear made lewd remarks about the attractiveness of a sexual-assault victim set to make a public-service announcement. Omear denied making the lewd comments. She also denied complaining about disabled colleagues but said that she did recall "thanking one of my staff for helping" a blind colleague "when she couldn't find her way around the office."Cisneros rallied the entire RAINN communications department to put together a detailed list of other allegations of inappropriate behavior by Omear, which she collected in a memo for Kolmer and Berkowitz.Omear left RAINN that July, ostensibly to launch her own communications consulting firm. But Cisneros said Berkowitz told her that he had pushed Omear out in response to Cisneros' efforts. "We want you to know we're letting her spin her own story," Cisneros said Berkowitz told her. "But this is a direct result of the conversation you all have with us."The experience nonetheless angered staffers. Cisneros left RAINN the next year.Another colleague, Martha Durkee-Neuman, wrote a scathing resignation letter shortly after Omear announced her exit, addressing it to Omear, Berkowitz, and Kolmer."Jodi leaving of her own accord with no accountability is not justice," Durkee-Neuman wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Insider. "It is not justice for the countless people that she has fired or driven from RAINN. It is not justice to pretend that nothing has happened, that staff were not forced to go to HR over and over and over until something was finally done." "I do not believe any of this work of justice or restoration will happen at RAINN, so unfortunately, this is no longer the right organization for me," she added."After the communications team raised concerns [about Omear] with Claudia Kolmer," RAINN said, "RAINN worked swiftly and diligently to investigate the staff's complaints. RAINN took appropriate action to address the findings of that investigation and Omear separated with RAINN shortly thereafter."Martha Durkee-Neuman's resignation letter.Martha Durkee-Neuman'What is left?' On November 19, 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of charges related to the shooting deaths of two people at a civil-rights rally in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Some time later, Leslie, then the interim vice president of RAINN's victim-services department, addressed the organization's Black staffers. "I am deeply saddened by the pain and violence that has continued to plague our Black neighbors and communities," she wrote. "I want to recognize how this may be affecting you, as you navigate your day and the work you do at RAINN." She then touted the racial diversity of the victim-services department.Nearly 18 months had passed since the organization sent around its email about the death of George Floyd. Despite various promises and initiatives, in the eyes of many staffers, little had changed. But here it was again, another email promising to listen to staffers of color. Employees were enraged.Aniyah Carter, the Safe Helpline worker whose email RAINN provided to Insider, reminded her boss that nearly two weeks had passed since the verdict. "By now, we have already had to check in with ourselves so that we can continue our day-to-day lives," she wrote. "And while the opportunity to check in with managers is still absolutely available (and encouraged), the reminder to do so would have been more beneficial if it occurred when this took place." Carter also highlighted the gap she saw between leadership's stated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and its on-the-ground support of its employees of color, a sentiment echoed by other staffers who spoke to Insider.Daniel Diasgranados for InsiderFor Cisneros, the repeated failure of the organization to address the concerns of its staff speaks to something darker, and she is worried about how the culture at RAINN is affecting its ability to help abuse survivors."If church can't help, if school can't help, if the police can't help, if the hospital can't help, if my family can't help, my friends can't help — and now this nonprofit that is specifically saying that it's here to help people like me can't help?" she said."Like, what is left?"Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderFeb 25th, 2022

Retail won"t tackle the labor shortage until it reverses decades of worker neglect and becomes a viable, long-term career again

Retailers need to bring back sustainable jobs with fair wages, benefits, and career progression to attract new workers, experts told Insider. The invention of discount stores in the US in the 1960s changed retail jobs.Joe Raedle/Getty Images A record number of US retail workers are quitting their jobs. Decades of low wages and a lack of career progression are taking their toll, making the labor shortage worse. Retailers need to start offering sustainable jobs again to fix this crisis, experts say. After 15 months of working in a pandemic, Michael quit his job as an associate at a furniture store in Arkansas in May 2021. He'd reached breaking point. Long shifts hauling furniture around the store, unpleasant customers, inconsistent scheduling that made his home life hard, and a rat infestation that wasn't addressed for months in the store had taken their toll on his mental health.Michael, who requested his last name remain anonymous but whose identity is known to Insider, said he tried his best to get along with managers and supervisors, "but at the end of the day, poor communication, unrealistic expectations, and looming punishment for not meeting certain standards is the end-all of healthy work dynamics.""Unemployment is scary, but I knew there had to be more to life than this," he told Insider. "There had to be more to life than getting screamed at by random strangers. There had to be more to life than retail."Michael is among thousands of retail workers who have quit their jobs this year hoping to move to better-paying positions in more stable industries. He has since accepted a new job as a teaching assistant at an elementary school, initially taking a pay cut, which he says is well worth it. While the "Great Resignation" was born out of the pandemic, the sentiments behind it have been brewing for years in retail. Decades of stores neglecting workers has turned retail work into a CV stop-gap rather than a viable career, experts tell Insider — and it's now coming back to haunt the industry. Retail and foodservice has been the sector worst hit by workers quitting their jobs, and now the industry faces a crippling labor shortage that became more intense as the holiday season approached.Big-box stores changed retail workPre-1960s, working in retail was considered a solid, sustainable job, Marc Perrone, president of UFCW, the US' largest retail worker union, told Insider. The wages weren't the best but they also weren't the worst, he said, and when you factored in extra benefits – overtime, bonuses, pensions, employee discounts, medical, disability, and life insurance – workers felt like the futures of them and their families were taken care of. These were attractive jobs.This began to change in the early 1960s with the arrival of big-box stores such as Walmart and Target, whose business model was to offer low prices to customers by keeping labor costs down. It was also the start of a shift away from full-time to part-time work. Stores realized they could hire double the workers without having to pay overtime or benefits, and could schedule employees' work around consumer demand. Some retailers view labor as a cost rather than an investment.Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle/Getty ImagesThis had a huge impact on retail jobs, Perrone said — and for many people, it was no longer possible to make a sustainable living.Workers were given limited benefits with little to no long-term career opportunities, Mark Cohen, director of retail studies at Columbia Business School, told Insider, adding that staff became "commoditized and somewhat dehumanized as a result."Their roles changed, too. Workers were hired to stock shelves and run the checkout rather than to be customer-service experts, which meant personal relationships between customers and workers evaporated. The loyalty between employer and employee soon followed. The rise of technology for certain tasks further made each individual less valuable. "There was no need for employee loyalty," Ed Delaney, a state representative for Indiana, who has campaigned for worker rights, told Insider. "Retailers could just churn workers and get a new one in," he said.Balance of power back with workersNow, for the first time in decades, the balance of power has shifted, and retail businesses are realizing that they need to address working conditions, wages, and career prospects if they want their jobs to be seen as desirable.Progress has been limited so far. Some stores have raised wages, while others are offering perks such as signing-on bonuses to incentivize workers — but this is no guarantee of a stable career or long-term higher pay, according to Delaney. "It's just: 'I need you now and I'm stuck with paying you this.'" With thousands of jobs still to fill, retailers are at a crunch point. "Retail employment will have to once again be seen as an entry-level career starter rather than just a lowly paid 'job,'" Cohen said.Workers who have left the sector will take a lot of convincing to go back. Michael, for example, tells Insider he'd need more than a wage hike."The entire culture and process of retail would need to change," he said."I can't take back the years in retail and foodservice that have aged and weakened me," he said, "but I can move forward knowing I don't have to be trapped in that environment any longer."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 25th, 2021

How to tell if you"re a covert narcissist

Our work-advice columnist tells a reader how to tell if they're a narcissist, plus a look inside Launch House's work-hard-play-hard culture, in Insider Weekly. Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I'm Matt Turner, co-EIC of business at Insider."Am I a covert narcissist?"That's the question at the heart of Rebecca Knight's latest work-advice column this week. Rebecca's spent her career answering these kinds of questions, most often focused on the emotional life of work. As boundaries between home and work blur in the WFH era, they're more relevant than ever.Also in this week's newsletter:Noom markets itself as an anti-diet app. Users say they count calories and receive generic advice from expensive subscriptions.Private-equity firms are locked in a power struggle with their investors, and lawyers are raking in cash no matter what.Launch House allows startup founders to live and work in mansions. Now it's facing scrutiny over safety.Let me know what you think of all our stories at mturner@insider.comSubscribe to Insider for access to all our investigations and features. New to the newsletter? Sign up here. Download our app for news on the go - click here for iOS and here for Android.From narcissism to hybrid life, our work-life columnist tackles tough questions 20th Century Fox Correspondent Rebecca Knight takes us behind the scenes of her work-life column What's Working?:What most interests me about work and careers are the people-problems. When launching my column, "What's Working?", I wanted to find a way to talk about these things and help workers through the challenges they face.Work and home have merged into one in this pandemic. There is much more of an acknowledgement and a focus on what's going on in our personal lives outside of work. The reader questions I'm getting most often are about personality clashes in the remote setup and about people reassessing what they want out of their lives and out of their jobs.My most memorable column so far was about remote-work paranoia. A reader worried: "There must be another Slack channel that everyone else is having fun on and leaving me out of." That reader tapped into something that a lot of us are feeling right now - and as a remote employee myself, I sometimes feel it, too.So that's why it's important to remember that we're all doing our best in this pandemic. Have compassion for yourself and for others. And if you need any advice, send me a question at rknight@insider.com.Read Rebecca's latest column here: 'I always thought that I was a socially anxious introvert. Now I worry I'm a narcissist. What do I do?'Noom says it offers personalized weight-loss support. Users say otherwise. Noom An industry leader in weight-loss apps, Noom has millions of dollars worth of venture-capital funding. It claims to use psychological methods and customized plans to help users lose weight - though users say they largely get cookie-cutter content. While the app sells itself on a concept of psychological reset and long-term weight control, a registered dietician said Noom advises an extremely low daily calorie goal - "It's not really an adult serving size." Here's why some clients reported feeling anxious and burnt out. Get the full story on Noom's canned advice and expensive subscription service.Private-equity firms are locked in a power struggle with their investors Samantha Lee/Insider Private-equity firms and their investors are at each other's throats with expensive demands and competing interests. Legal teams from both parties are caught in the middle, waging a secret war that investor attorneys see as "a game of holding the line." Ambiguous contractual changes between legal teams, firms, and investors muddy the water, and changes are rarely uniform across the industry. The back-and-forth often results in seven-figure legal expenses, as private-equity-firm billing rates can cost up to $1,500 per hour. But the battle, according to one attorney who works for investors, is one-sided in favor of private-equity.Read about the expensive legal war between private-equity firms and their investorsA wild party and COVID outbreak have raised safety concerns for Launch House Eray Alan Los Angeles startup Launch House, a coliving program meant for founders, threw a mismanaged house party with hundreds of guests. Police had to shut it down - but that's part of the "work hard, play hard" ethos of Launch House, according to former residents.While at times, Launch House was poorly controlled and potentially unsafe, with COVID-19 outbreaks and parties, residents also said there were many benefits. A strong community, invaluable network, and fireside chats with like-minded entrepreneurs all remain part of the culture. But the safety concerns have put the company under scrutiny.This is how Launch House plans to move forward - with the help of venture capitalists.More of this week's top reads:Better's CEO has a specific hiring philosophy that allowed him to quadruple its workforce during the pandemic.These 9 BlackRock execs are powering Aladdin, a powerful behind-the-scenes tech software the asset manager has staked its future on.Shopify beat Amazon in one important metric, as competition intensifies between the e-commerce giants.Insider correspondent Kate Taylor exposed Brandy Melville's allegations of discrimination and sexual exploitation. Here's how she got the story. Alphabet life-sciences unit Verily is planning to untangle itself from Google ahead of a potential IPO.This Stitch Fix employee quit during a fiery all-hands meeting. She says stylists are being manipulated and silenced.Investors of cannabis startup Civilized are pushing out the founders. Insider has the full memo.Compiled with help from Phil Rosen, Lisa Ryan and Jordan Erb.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 26th, 2021

Forcing staff to return to the office full time is "unrealistic", say senior execs at Davos

After months of confusion over return-to-work policies, some C-suite leaders are finally giving up on the idea of a full-time office return. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been embroiled in a battle with staff over plans to mandate which days they are in the office.Brian Stukes / Contributor Getty Execs from banking, finance, and education used the Davos Summit to call for hybrid-working models. Most workers don't want to return to offices full time, and forcing them to is "unrealistic."   If firms want to attract staff, they should give them flexibility, the execs said.  After months of back and forth, business leaders finally appear to be letting go of the full-time office.Senior executives from banking, investment management, and education are using the Davos Summit to call for  flexible and hybrid-work policies as a cure to the Great Resignation.  They warn that firms that won't offer their employees a choice over where and how they work risk losing out, amid still-surging quit rates, mass job vacancies, and a labor force whose attitude to work-life balance has been fundamentally changed by the pandemic. "The genie is out of the bottle. Anyone who tries to put it back in is maybe not being realistic about what's actually happened," Ravin Jesuthasan, a global transformation leader at the asset-management company Mercer, told Insider at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Different sectors vary, but when polled for Microsoft's 2022 Work Trends Index, as many as 50% of leaders said their companies plan to require full-time, in-person work within the next year.Yet according to a poll of 30,000 workers by the ADP Research Institute, 64% said they'd consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full time. It was one of multiple surveys to show a similar trend. "Requiring people to come to work is not going to work," Jeff Maggioncalda, the CEO of the online-education provider Coursera, told Insider. "You might be able to get your medium-level talent to do that, but your best computer scientists and data scientists, they're not gonna come," Maggioncalda said. Although Coursera still has offices, it operates a remote-first policy.Some banks, often maligned by outsiders for their presenteeism work culture, are starting to agree. "We will never go back to the old 80% to 90% of the people in the office," Thomas Gottstien, Credit Suisse's CEO, told Bloomberg on Monday.The bank's flexible work policy leaves it up to teams and managers to decide how often they're in. The policy —  like that of CitiBank and others — is a diversion from the hardline mandates pushed by the likes of JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, companies that are sticking to their guns that work should be office-based. That is "unrealistic and is not what employees want," Gottstien said. He told Bloomberg that around 37% of employees at Credit Suisse had returned to the office. Workers want flexibility, not just remote workThe majority of firms that have adopted a hybrid-work model since the pandemic began operate what Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford professor and remote-work expert, refers to as the "3:2: or "Vanilla" model, where staffers split their time two days at home and three days in the office. His and other studies suggest that the majority of workers who can want to split their time between work and home. Many organizations fail when they "lead with policy," Mercer's Jesuthasan said. "It's not flexible unless it's a choice."Companies should focus on outcomes rather than quotas with their hybrid-work approach, he added. "If you turn around and say, 'You have to be in the office three days a week,' it's like, 'No, you know what, tell me why.'"Apple CEO Tim Cook's ongoing battle with staff over mandates that workers should be at their desks on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays is indicative of the challenges companies can face. It has already seen one Apple director quit.Flexibility often means different things for different generations, staffing giant ManpowerGroup's regional president for Northern Europe, Riccardo Barberis, told Insider of the firm's in-house employee survey. It found that older employees were "tired of bad bosses," while the younger generation said they "don't want to be seated as a passenger" with someone else controlling their career path."It was very clear that one size fits one," he added.Hybrid-work policies are challenging If not properly implemented, with clear boundaries and rules for communicating, hybrid work can lead to a "two-class" system of workers that favors those working in person over those who don't. That could exacerbate existing inequalities in the workplace. Luc Remont, an executive vice president for Schneider Electric Group, told Insider his organization was focusing on the "balance" between home and office work after being more remote for the last two years. "Heart-to-heart, face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact," remains beneficial for "difficult, transformation discussions," he said."It takes a lot more skill for managers to manage a hybrid team — and they're not properly trained and they need to be trained," Christy Hoffman, the general secretary of UNI Workers Union, which represents service workers globally, told Insider. It's easy for managers to say "let's just go back to how it was before, because it's too much trouble to figure this out," she said. "That's not really what anybody wants."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 26th, 2022

Davos senior execs say forcing staff to return to the office full time is "unrealistic"

After months of confusion over return-to-work policies, some C-suite leaders are finally giving up on the idea of a full-time office return. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been embroiled in a battle with staff over plans to mandate which days they are in the office.Brian Stukes / Contributor Getty Execs from banking, finance, and education used the Davos Summit to call for hybrid-working models. Most workers don't want to return to offices full time, and forcing them to is "unrealistic."   If firms want to attract staff, they should give them flexibility, the execs said.  After months of back and forth, business leaders finally appear to be letting go of the full-time office.Senior executives from banking, investment management, and education are using the Davos Summit to call for  flexible and hybrid-work policies as a cure to the Great Resignation.  They warn that firms that won't offer their employees a choice over where and how they work risk losing out, amid still-surging quit rates, mass job vacancies, and a labor force whose attitude to work-life balance has been fundamentally changed by the pandemic. "The genie is out of the bottle. Anyone who tries to put it back in is maybe not being realistic about what's actually happened," Ravin Jesuthasan, a global transformation leader at the asset-management company Mercer, told Insider at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Different sectors vary, but when polled for Microsoft's 2022 Work Trends Index, as many as 50% of leaders said their companies plan to require full-time, in-person work within the next year.Yet according to a poll of 30,000 workers by the ADP Research Institute, 64% said they'd consider looking for a new job if they were required to return to the office full time. It was one of multiple surveys to show a similar trend. "Requiring people to come to work is not going to work," Jeff Maggioncalda, the CEO of the online-education provider Coursera, told Insider. "You might be able to get your medium-level talent to do that, but your best computer scientists and data scientists, they're not gonna come," Maggioncalda said. Although Coursera still has offices, it operates a remote-first policy.Some banks, often maligned by outsiders for their presenteeism work culture, are starting to agree. "We will never go back to the old 80% to 90% of the people in the office," Thomas Gottstien, Credit Suisse's CEO, told Bloomberg on Monday.The bank's flexible work policy leaves it up to teams and managers to decide how often they're in. The policy —  like that of CitiBank and others — is a diversion from the hardline mandates pushed by the likes of JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs, companies that are sticking to their guns that work should be office-based. That is "unrealistic and is not what employees want," Gottstien said. He told Bloomberg that around 37% of employees at Credit Suisse had returned to the office. Workers want flexibility, not just remote workThe majority of firms that have adopted a hybrid-work model since the pandemic began operate what Nicholas Bloom, a Stanford professor and remote-work expert, refers to as the "3:2: or "Vanilla" model, where staffers split their time two days at home and three days in the office. His and other studies suggest that the majority of workers who can want to split their time between work and home. Many organizations fail when they "lead with policy," Mercer's Jesuthasan said. "It's not flexible unless it's a choice."Companies should focus on outcomes rather than quotas with their hybrid-work approach, he added. "If you turn around and say, 'You have to be in the office three days a week,' it's like, 'No, you know what, tell me why.'"Apple CEO Tim Cook's ongoing battle with staff over mandates that workers should be at their desks on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays is indicative of the challenges companies can face. It has already seen one Apple director quit.Flexibility often means different things for different generations, staffing giant ManpowerGroup's regional president for Northern Europe, Riccardo Barberis, told Insider of the firm's in-house employee survey. It found that older employees were "tired of bad bosses," while the younger generation said they "don't want to be seated as a passenger" with someone else controlling their career path."It was very clear that one size fits one," he added.Hybrid-work policies are challenging If not properly implemented, with clear boundaries and rules for communicating, hybrid work can lead to a "two-class" system of workers that favors those working in person over those who don't. That could exacerbate existing inequalities in the workplace. Luc Remont, an executive vice president for Schneider Electric Group, told Insider his organization was focusing on the "balance" between home and office work after being more remote for the last two years. "Heart-to-heart, face-to-face, eye-to-eye contact," remains beneficial for "difficult, transformation discussions," he said."It takes a lot more skill for managers to manage a hybrid team — and they're not properly trained and they need to be trained," Christy Hoffman, the general secretary of UNI Workers Union, which represents service workers globally, told Insider. It's easy for managers to say "let's just go back to how it was before, because it's too much trouble to figure this out," she said. "That's not really what anybody wants."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 26th, 2022

10 Things in Tech: Why workers are leaving Amazon

Today we are looking at leaked documents that show Amazon employees are quitting at twice the rate of recent years. Happy Wednesday, folks! Today we are looking at leaked documents that show Amazon employees are quitting at twice the rate of recent years, and revealing why EVs cost less to run than gas cars. Let's dive in. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app – click here for iOS and here for Android.Isaac Brekken/AP1. Leaked documents show Amazon employees are quitting at twice the rate of recent years. Low pay, a stagnant stock price, and a grueling work culture are largely cited as fueling the exodus, but increased competition also makes it easier for the most prized corporate workers to find better opportunities. Amazon's "regretted attrition" — the portion of employees the company doesn't want to leave — has reached an average of 12.1% since June 2021, double the average in recent years. The ecommerce giant is on track to spend a record amount on employee stock grants, in a bid to address pay concerns and retain key staff. According to internal documents, Amazon's Delivery Service Partner team, which manages the company's third-party delivery contractors, saw a 55% total attrition rate last year.Read the full report here.In other news:Taylor Tyson/Insider, source: LaborIQ2. Have you been with your current employer for more than a year? Then you're probably underpaid. The "Great Resignation" has forced many tech companies to dole out huge paychecks to lure new candidates to roles — meaning long-time workers are paying a big price for their loyalty. You can see how much new hires are being paid in different roles here. 3. Leaked Netflix survey reveals how the streamer is thinking about including ads. Netflix has started outlining advertising plans to senior ad industry executives, as part of a push to deliver a less interruptive experience for viewers than rivals.  The leaked survey could shape the future of ads on the platform, here's what's in it. 4. Why electric cars cost less to own than gas cars. The price tag of an EV can certainly scare a lot of people away from going electric. However, new research shows once you factor in just a few benefits  — like fuel costs — EV's are more economical than their gas counterparts. Here's why EVs cost less to own each month than gas cars.5. We've ranked the 16 best-paid executives in adtech. A slew of adtech companies went public last year — rewarding their top executives with stock, performance-based equity awards, and bonuses on the way. If you thought a pay package of $10 million would land you near the top, think again. These are the 16 best-paid executives in adtech. 6. Lyft joins Uber in slowing hiring. As per the Wall Street Journal, Lyft will scale back on hiring and reduce spending budgets, but is stopping short of layoffs. In an internal memo, Lyft's president cited a "slower than expected recovery" and a "need to accelerate leverage in the business." Here's what we know about the slowdown.7. Investors and VCs predict which ultrafast-delivery startups will survive — and which won't. Rapid-delivery startups thrived in the US a year ago, but now just four main players remain. Amid a tumultuous market, here's which ones investors think have what it takes to succeed. 8. Snap's sudden warning shows a major consumer pullback is hitting digital advertising budgets. Just over a month ago, Snap's business was expanding at 30% or more. But yesterday, Snap's CEO wrote a memo to staff saying: "The macro environment has deteriorated further and faster than we anticipated." Here's why growth suddenly collapsed at Snap, and why rivals won't be spared from the carnage.Odds and ends: Amazon9. Best early Memorial day tech device sales. The Holiday offers some of the year's best savings on tech, including TVs, photography equipment, streaming services, tablets and earbuds. Take a look at the best deals on offer this Memorial Day.10. Google Maps' Street View is getting some big upgrades to celebrate its 15th anniversary. One new feature coming to its mobile app is the ability to display historical Street view imagery on your phone. Check out what else is coming. What we're watching today:NVIDIA, Amerco, and others are reporting earnings. Keep up with earnings here.Twitter's annual shareholder meet is set to happen today.SpaceX is targeting this afternoon for a Falcon 9 rocket launch, carrying a Transporter-5 rideshare mission. Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Hallam Bullock in London (Feedback or tips? Email hbullock@insider.com or tweet @hallam_bullock.)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 25th, 2022

10 Things in Tech: Trouble at Google

Today we're looking at employees at Google Cloud saying frustration with senior management is driving VPs to quit. Welcome back. Today we're looking at complaints from Google Cloud employees who say frustration with senior management is driving VPs to quit, and we're exploring why Airbnb is pulling all of its listings from mainland China.Sitting comfortably? Then let's begin.If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app – click here for iOS and here for Android.Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian at Google Cloud Next 2019Google1. Google Cloud employees say frustration with senior management is driving VPs to quit. Google's multibillion-dollar cloud-computing arm has undergone a major overhaul over the last three years, leading to impressive progress and revenue growth. However, this has come at the cost of alienating a number of employees within the division. Almost 30 company VPs have left Google Cloud since CEO Thomas Kurian took the reins in 2018, but this year is set to be the worst yet, with six VPs already handing in their resignations. Workers told Insider they are uncomfortable with Google Cloud's recent moves, which include revamping employees' comp plans and laying off dozens of support staff.The unit's approach of poaching talent from the likes of Oracle, Microsoft, and Salesforce has also created cultural tensions — making it difficult to retain senior leaders.Read everything employees said about Google Cloud's exodus of VPs.In other news:Amazon warehouse growthAnnie Fu/Insider2. Amazon doubled its warehouse footprint during the pandemic, but now it has "too much space." In order to meet soaring demand, Amazon added more than 200 million square feet of warehouse space between 2020 and 2022. But now, the ecommerce giant has a lot of space and nothing to fill it with. Reports say Amazon is even considering subletting the space — here's what we know.3. Robinhood is betting big on crypto, but obstacles stand in the way of success. After laying off roughly 10% of the company's employees, CEO Vlad Tenev believes crypto will help drive growth. But a broader identity crisis, regulatory barriers, and a plummeting crypto market could thwart Tenev's ambitions. Here are some of the things standing in Robinhood's way.4. Fears anti-abortion vigilantes could buy the location data of people seeking abortions. Democrats wrote to the FTC to say they're worried about data brokers selling location data from people who visit abortion clinics if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The letter said: "We are concerned about the privacy of women making decisions that should be between them, their families, and their doctors."5. Snap is slowing the pace of hiring. After bringing on hundreds of employees recently, Snap is the latest tech firm to slow down hiring. Insider has obtained a memo from Snap's CEO that reveals revenue growth has slowed in the wake of a tumultuous year. Here's the latest. 6. Airbnb is pulling all listings in mainland China. As per CNBC, the move comes amid prolonged lockdowns due to the country's harsh Covid-zero policy. Since Airbnb set up in China, nearly 25 million guests have booked stays in the country. Now, all its listings are due to be removed this summer. 7. Uber is freezing most hiring, but no layoffs are planned. CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told senior leaders that he has no plans to lay off employees, despite a sweeping hiring freeze across the company. However, it remains to be seen whether Khosrowshahi can hold himself to the pledge. Here's what's happening at Uber.8. Coinbase is reportedly testing out having employees rate each other in an app. According to The Information, Coinbase staff are being asked to evaluate one another — with a thumbs up, thumbs down, or neutral review — after interactions based on how well they model 10 core values. Here's everything we know about the move.Odds and ends:Wagestream's in office pub, The Waging BullWagestream9. London's fintechs are trying to lure talent back to the office with in-house pubs. Would you be tempted back to the office by a pint at your company's private bar? Or a big budget to travel to other offices around the world? Here's how workplaces are getting creative to encourage employees back to the office. 10. Instagram creates custom fonts called "Instagram Sans" — and some of them are wild. As per The Verge, The fonts are part of a wider brand refresh to be used across the platform. Some are straightforward, others are truly wacky and bizarre. Here is a look at all the weird and wonderful fonts.What we're watching today:Intuit Inc., Best Buy Co., inc., and others are reporting earnings. Keep up with earnings here. World Economic Forum Annual Meeting continues in Davos.The Intelligent Automation Executive Select online event begins today.Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Hallam Bullock in London (Feedback or tips? Email hbullock@insider.com or tweet @hallam_bullock.)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 24th, 2022

NPR Has Corporate-Snitching Platform To Rat Out Anti-Mask Coworkers

NPR Has Corporate-Snitching Platform To Rat Out Anti-Mask Coworkers Taxpayer-funded NPR hasn't dropped a strict mask mandate at its corporate offices - and has been maintaining an anonymous tip-line for employees to snitch on their co-workers who ignore the rules, according to the Washington Free Beacon. "We have asked on-site supervisors to remind staff of the masking requirements when needed," reads the internal memorandum. "Masking is still required, unless recording alone in a studio, working alone in an office with the doors closed, or actively eating or drinking. (And ‘actively' does not mean occasionally drinking from a water bottle)." Employees at NPR's headquarters in Washington, D.C., built in 2013 for a total cost of $200 million, were advised as to how to peacefully confront a delinquent colleague in the workplace. "If you notice someone has forgotten their mask, you might tell them, ‘Hey, you forgot your mask.' It's actually helping the person to be reminded," the memo reads. "Nobody is intentionally trying to evade the rule. And if you are reminded to wear your mask, say, ‘Thank you!'" Other options for ratting out maskless coworkers include telling human resources supervisors who will confront the offender themselves or sharing "an anonymous concern via the EthicsPoint system," a not-at-all-totalitarian-sounding name for a workplace snitching platform. -Free Beacon NPR's corporate 'culture' last made headlines in 2021 when they conducted a reading of the Declaration of Independence which pointed out the "flaws" and racist elements of one of America's most cherished documents. Tyler Durden Sun, 05/22/2022 - 14:15.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytMay 22nd, 2022

Google"s head of diversity opens up about pushing for equity amid violence and racism in America

Google exec Melonie Parker reflected on her mission during a difficult time for the country. "Our wounds are never fully allowed to heal," she said. Samantha Lee/InsiderMelonie Parker, Google's head of diversity, opened up about her personal mission and how she deals with the challenges of her role.Google Three shootings in the past two weeks underscore America's problem with violence and racism. Google's head of diversity shared how recent events affect her personally and professionally.  Melonie Parker talked about Google's progress on diversity and her personal mission. A recent trio of deadly shootings in New York, Texas, and California reveal how violent racial hatred embedded in American culture can make corporate diversity advocates' work feel exhausting but more urgent than ever.Melonie Parker, Google's chief diversity officer, who is Black, feels this acutely."That could have been my mom," Parker said, referring to the people killed in Saturday's mass shooting at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York. "What I find horrifying about it, particularly as a Black person, is our wounds are never fully allowed to heal." The violence can be overwhelming: In Buffalo, 13 people were shot and 10 were killed, all of them Black, in an attack President Biden called "domestic terrorism." The following day, one person was killed and at least five others were wounded when a gunman attacked a lunch banquet at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California. Last week, three people were wounded in a shooting at a Korean-owned hair salon in Dallas that's being investigated as a hate crime. Many Black and Asian Americans in particular are reeling from the attacks and taking to social media to express grief, anger, and feelings of being overwhelmed. Parker knows that many Google employees are hurting, too. In a time when employees want to feel a sense of inclusion at work and CEOs are being called upon to speak on social issues, Parker sees her role as only growing more important.In the latest installment of The Equity Talk, Parker reflected on the state of racist hate in America, her growing role advising Google's other C-suite leaders, and the company's progress over the past year to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. This interview has been edited and condensed.  The events of the past several days are extremely disturbing. What are your thoughts about advancing diversity in a society struggling with ugly extremism? The work of diversity, equity, and inclusion has never been more important. These random, senseless events mean we have to do this work in an even greater way. We talk about it, we hold sessions in solidarity where we partner with an external group, and we bring in counselors and we hold sessions for the impacted community. In this case, it's for the Black community to come together to mourn together. We also recently supported our Asian community because of what happened at the Laguna Woods Church in California. The word I will use here is attunement. We're very attuned to what's impacting our communities externally and internally. I do want to push back on characterizing these shootings as random.  It's a very fair point to push back on that. I think what I meant when I said "random" was that it caught us by surprise. It just came in ways that were unprovoked. That could have been my mother. She's 84 years old, and she goes to the neighborhood grocery store. These just keep taking us by surprise. I go back to the fact that these wounds aren't fully allowed to heal, and then they're reopened. Let's talk about the work you've done over the past year. Google increased the representation of Black employees. But the percentage is still low, at just 5.3% of your workforce. How do you plan to increase this? We're gonna keep doing what we're doing. When we think about the pipeline, we're not only looking at who's coming into Google over the next one to three years, but also who's coming into Google over the next 15 years. We're going to see that payoff. With our racial-equity commitments, we set goals for leadership and then we set goals to more than double the population of Black employees at Google. So we're focused on meeting those commitments and then continuing to increase them from there. How do you respond to people interviewing at Google who might say, "The percentage of Black employees at Google, 5.3%, is lower than I would like to see." We are very focused on representation, which is hiring minus attrition. So we're focused on ensuring that we're bringing people in. At the same time, we're focused on addressing internal culture, internal systems, and internal processes. I use an analogy that we're flying a plane. We're putting people on the plane, we're changing the tires, we're doing several things at the same time to make the progress that we need to make. We can't take our foot off the gas and we're not going to. Google has now reached a point where Black employees are not leaving at higher rates than their white colleagues. What culture shift is happening at Google?  One of the most significant things that we did was we translated the energy of the global racial-justice movement into action. So our goal has been to build sustainable equity for our Black community, both internally and externally. We've actually used our Black employees, particularly our Black executives, as advisors and consultants to the company's leadership. They've advised on what changes we need to make, and how we can address systemic and structural barriers. Some 80% of employees said they feel like Google is a place where everyone can succeed, but that also means that 20% might feel differently. Why do you think that they might feel this way and, and how are you working to reach that 20%? What we're doing with that additional 20% is getting as close as we can to answering: What's not working well? What's contributing to those lived experiences? Then we're intervening in those particular spots. For example, we recently created a six-month onboarding program for new Black Google employees. Our new Black employees were a part of the regular, three-day orientation process. But what we saw when we looked at the data is that new joiners were leaving earlier. So when we went back, we recognized there was something different that we needed to do to increase retention of Black employees. And so as part of this six-month program, we also train managers and we are equipping managers to lead across differences.The tech sector is in the midst of a contraction right now. Meta is pausing hiring, and Amazon's CFO said some warehouses are overstaffed. Is Google struggling with this contraction? And how might it impact diversity, equity, and inclusion, or DEI, goals? So, thankfully we've been buffered from that. We continue to have very strong hiring and have been able to close the gaps with attrition of our underrepresented communities. It's not just how we're responding to the racial-equity movement, but recognizing the need for extending our caregivers' leave or making sure that we have the right benefits in place to provide support to employees. It's about the work we've done across DEI, which includes work to stop Asian hate, working with our women's community, and our parents' community as well. Over the past two or so years, we've all been trauma-bonded collectively. We're using that to propel forward for good in terms of the trainings and products and benefits we design.  Google is no stranger to how difficult and complicated DEI can be. In 2017, James Damore, a white engineer, wrote a 10-page memo that went viral for blasting diversity measures at the company. How are you dealing with that pushback from those who might feel DEI measures are unfair? When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, one of the things that I personally say is, "Hey, no Googler's left out." It's a very polarizing society, but we're focused on how we are creating space that your view can be different from my view. I don't have to convince you. You don't have to convince me, but I can accept that your view is different. But we both have to have respect. And so our company values are grounded in respect. But how do you respect people who really believe companies are lowering the standards to get women or to get people of color in. I mean, is there room for respect on that? I'll tell you how we handle that: We embed racial equity into our flagship manager training. What we're saying is that if you want to be a manager at Google, these are the competencies that it takes. We're holding our employees and our leaders accountable to those standards. We are in a difficult time as a country. How are you feeling about the future of DEI?  I feel a great stewardship responsibility to my role. It is filled with purpose. I have really hard days, but I am called to stand to uplift and to empower to sustain the momentum in the face of every attack. It just fuels me to do more and greater work to make more impact.  Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 20th, 2022

Inside Nike"s high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit, where plaintiffs claim unequal pay and more thanks to a "boys" club" culture

Former female employees sued Nike over alleged gender discrimination in 2018. A judge will soon rule on a motion to make the lawsuit a class action. A "Do the right thing" sign at Nike's headquarters.Natalie Behring/Stringer/Getty Images Former female Nike employees sued the company over alleged gender discrimination in 2018. The case is one of the most high-profile cases filed in the wake of the #MeToo movement.  Here's a guide to Insider's coverage of the lawsuit, which awaits a decision on class certification. In March 2018, the Wall Street Journal first reported on allegations of a "boys' club" culture at Nike. Two former female Nike employees filed a potential class-action lawsuit against the company over alleged gender discrimination and sexual harassment less than six months later. Nike has repeatedly said it has zero tolerance for discrimination. Fast forward to January 2022, plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification, marking a critical stage in the lawsuit, which has become one of the most-watched corporate cases in the wake of the #MeToo movement. If successful, the case would proceed on behalf of roughly 5,000 women who have worked at Nike's headquarters since October 2017, instead of the 14 plaintiffs named currently.The case is proceeding under a protective order, which means numerous documents remain sealed. In April, Insider, the Oregonian, and the Portland Business Journal intervened in the lawsuit in an effort to get more of the case unsealed. Nike has so far unsealed its motion against class certification and some supporting documents. A ruling on the motion for class certification and Insider's motion to unseal the lawsuit could come as early as June.Here's a rundown of the history of Nike's gender discrimination lawsuit:Nike infuriated employees and helped spark a lawsuit with a 'tone-deaf' declaration about pay equity. Here's the leaked memo that drew so much scorn.A catalyst of the lawsuit, Nike's top human resources official proclaimed victory on pay equity in a company-wide email in April 2017, saying women earned 99.6% of what men earned. The self-congratulatory tone of the email spurred an independent survey of pay practices that ultimately landed on the desk of then-CEO Mark Parker. Nike is fighting to keep a massive gender-discrimination case from going forward. 3 lawyers walked us through what's at stake.Motions for class certification are a "central moment" in such cases. Three lawyers explained the process and why companies like Nike fight so hard to defeat them.Nike files motion to keep sensitive records in sweeping gender discrimination lawsuit sealedIn March 2022, Nike said in a legal filing it was willing to make the "overwhelming majority" of the lawsuit public, but it wanted several other records to remain sealed, including a plaintiffs' analysis of aggregate pay shortfalls and documents about three former employees who were the subject of complaints. Nike pay and HR practices coming to light as part of lawsuit alleging gender discriminationNike unsealed more than 700 pages of records at the end of March that showed the company will likely argue in court that individual hiring managers make decisions about pay, therefore any disparities are isolated, not systemic. Nike unseals internal memos and human-resource documents as it gears up to defend itself against allegations of gender discriminationIn late April, Nike also unsealed its motion against class certification. The motion, and supporting documents, give the fullest picture yet of Nike's internal response to the allegations of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Insider among publications working to unseal records in Nike's gender discrimination lawsuitInsider, the Oregonian, and the Portland Business Journal have intervened in the lawsuit in an effort to get more of the case unsealed. Hundreds of court filings, including corporate records and witness testimony, remain off limits to the public. The judge is expected to rule on the motion in June. Do you work at Nike or have insight to share? Contact reporter Matthew Kish via the encrypted messaging app Signal (+1-971-319-3830) or email (mkish@insider.com). Check out Insider's source guide for other tips on sharing information securely.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022

10 Things in Tech: Amazon cuts

Today we're sinking our teeth into a leaked email from Amazon, and revealing the biggest problems with electric-car charging. Good morning, readers! Today we're sinking our teeth into a leaked email from Amazon that tells of hiring cuts, and revealing one of the biggest problems with electric-car charging. Let's jump in. If this was forwarded to you, sign up here. Download Insider's app – click here for iOS and here for Android.Dan DeLong/GeekWire1. Tough choices at Amazon as retail business cuts hiring targets. A leaked email shows Amazon's retail business will hire fewer people in 2022 than it had initially planned. In a year wrought by inflation, volatility, and market meltdowns, Amazon is the latest in a long list of tech companies to slow down hiring plans. The retail giant's VP of finance and CFO for Amazon's North America consumer business said teams would have to "make some tough choices to prioritize within the limited resources." Amazon's Worldwide Consumer team, which manages everything from the retail giant's marketplace and warehouses to delivery and logistics businesses, reduced its hiring target by 1,511 people this year.As previously reported by Insider, Amazon's decision comes in the wake of plans to significantly curb the growth of its third-party delivery partners.Here's everything Insider learned from Amazon's leaked email. In other news:Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks about "News Tab" at the Paley Center, in New York on October 25, 2019.AP Photo/Mark Lennihan2. The teen who tracks Elon Musk's jet says he has discovered Mark Zuckerberg's new aircraft. When it comes to travel and security for Meta's CEO, the company has a record of spending big. After a month of searching, 19-year-old Jack Sweeney shared a picture of Zuckerberg's jet on Twitter. 3. M&A dealmakers are circling troubled tech startups looking for acquisition bargains. In the throes of the "market exodus," bankers and VCs say there is an abundance of overvalued startups low on cash looking for a buyer to save them. According to one Silicon Valley VC, buyers are going on the offensive because "there's blood in the water." 4. Mastercard customers will soon be able to make payments by smiling or waving at checkout. The new biometric payment system is being piloted in Brazil this week and will allow customers to pay via a camera at the till, without the need for a card or phone.5. Founders often overlooked by VCs are now poised for success. As cash-flow tightens in the world of startups, undercapitalized founders from underrepresented backgrounds — who are used to operating on lean budgets — are being sought after by investors. Nine founders and investors revealed how they're preparing for success while others struggle. 6. Google's subsidiary in Russia is set to file for bankruptcy. The subsidiary said it had become impossible for the company to pay employees and suppliers, after Google paused most of its commercial operations in the country. Here's the latest. 7. Inside Amazon's ProServe, an elite group in the company's cloud unit. Members of the group are in a battle with management to end what they say is a long-standing culture of "bullying and bias." Twenty-one current and former AWS staffers spoke with us about the workplace culture.8. Cerebral just replaced CEO Kyle Robertson. Dr. David Mou, the company's chief medical officer, will take the reins effective immediately. It comes after the company faces mounting scrutiny for how it prescribes controlled substances. Here's everything we know about the change.Gmail; Rachel Mendelson/InsiderOdds and ends:9. Gmail has a raft of hidden features every user should know about. Did you know you can schedule emails, control who can forward messages, and even recall emails you didn't mean to send? Here are 11 handy Gmail features.10. Porsche's electric station wagon highlights one of the biggest problems with electric-car charging. One of the Taycan Cross Turismo's greatest selling points is its fast charging time. But charging stations are few and far between, and ones powerful enough to fast-charge are even rarer. Insider has a full review of the Taycan. What we're watching today:Applied Materials, Citrix Systems, and others are reporting earnings. Keep up with earnings here.Mark Zuckerberg is speaking at Meta's Inaugural Conversations Conference.Boeing's Starliner uncrewed astronaut taxi is set to launch on a crucial test flight to the International Space Station.The Hollywood Innovation and Transformation Summit is getting underway in Los Angeles.The Jefferies Metaverse & NFT Summit takes place today.Keep updated with the latest tech news throughout your day by checking out The Refresh from Insider, a dynamic audio news brief from the Insider newsroom. Listen here.Curated by Hallam Bullock in London (Feedback or tips? Email hbullock@insider.com or tweet @hallam_bullock.)Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 19th, 2022

Check out these 45 pitch decks fintechs disrupting trading, investing, and banking used to raise millions in funding

Looking for examples of real fintech pitch decks? Check out pitch decks that Qolo, Lance, and other startups used to raise money from VCs. Check out these pitch decks for examples of fintech founders sold their vision.Yulia Reznikov/Getty Images Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech.  Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders sold their vision. See more stories on Insider's business page. Fintech funding has been on a tear.In 2021, fintech funding hit a record $132 billion globally, according to CB Insights, more than double 2020's mark.Insider has been tracking the next wave of hot new startups that are blending finance and tech. Check out these pitch decks to see how fintech founders are selling their vision and nabbing big bucks in the process. You'll see new financial tech geared at freelancers, fresh twists on digital banking, and innovation aimed at streamlining customer onboarding. Pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startupsNeepa Patel, Themis' founder and CEOThemisWhen Themis founder and CEO Neepa Patel set out to build a new compliance tool for banks, fintech startups, and crypto companies, she tapped into her own experience managing risk at some of the nation's biggest financial firms. Having worked as a bank regulator at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and in compliance at Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank, and the enterprise blockchain company R3, Patel was well-placed to assess the shortcomings in financial compliance software. But Patel, who left the corporate world to begin work on Themis in 2020, drew on more than just her own experience and frustrations to build the startup."It's not just me building a tool based on my personal pain points. I reached out to regulators. I reached out to bank compliance officers and members in the fintech community just to make sure that we're building it exactly how they do their work," Patel told Insider. "That was the biggest problem: No one built a tool that was reflective of how people do their work."Check out the 9-page pitch deck Themis, which offers pay-as-you-go compliance for banks, fintechs, and crypto startups, used to raise $9 million in seed fundingDeploying algorithms and automation to small-business financingJustin Straight and Bernard Worthy, LoanWell co-foundersLoanWellBernard Worthy and Justin Straight, the founders of LoanWell, want to break down barriers to financing for small and medium-size businesses — and they've got algorithms and automation in their tech arsenals that they hope will do it.Worthy, the company's CEO, and Straight, its chief operating and financial officer, are powering community-focused lenders to fill a gap in the SMB financing world by boosting access to loans under $100,000. And the upstart is known for catching the attention, and dollars, of mission-driven investors. LoanWell closed a $3 million seed financing round in December led by Impact America Fund with participation from SoftBank's SB Opportunity Fund and Collab Capital.LoanWell automates the financing process — from underwriting and origination, to money movement and servicing — which shaves down an up-to-90-day process to 30 days or even same-day with some LoanWell lenders, Worthy said. SMBs rely on these loans to process quickly after two years of financial uncertainty. But the pandemic illustrated how time-consuming and expensive SMB financing can be, highlighted by efforts like the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program.Community banks, once the lifeline to capital for many local businesses, continue to shutter. And demands for smaller loan amounts remain largely unmet. More than half of business-loan applicants sought $100,000 or less, according to 2018 data from the Federal Reserve. But the average small-business bank loan was closer to six times that amount, according to the latest data from a now discontinued Federal Reserve survey.Here's the 14-page pitch deck LoanWell used to raise $3 million from investors like SoftBank.Helping small businesses manage their taxesComplYant's founder Shiloh Johnson wants to help people be present in their bookkeeping.ComplYantAfter 14 years in tax accounting, Shiloh Johnson had formed a core philosophy around corporate accounting: everyone deserves to understand their business's money and business owners need to be present in their bookkeeping process.She wanted to help small businesses understand "this is why you need to do what you're doing and why you have to change the way you think about tax and be present in your bookkeeping process," she told Insider. The Los Angeles native wanted small businesses to not only understand business tax no matter their size but also to find the tools they needed to prepare their taxes in one spot. So Johnson developed a software platform that provides just that.The 13-page pitch deck ComplYant used to nab $4 million that details the tax startup's plan to be Turbotax, Quickbooks, and Xero rolled into one for small business ownersHelping LatAm startups get up to speedKamino cofounders Guto Fragoso, Rodrigo Perenha, Benjamin Gleason, and Gonzalo Parejo.KaminoThere's more venture capital flowing into Latin America than ever before, but getting the funds in founders' hands is not exactly a simple process.In 2021, investors funneled $15.3 billion into Latin American companies, more than tripling the previous record of $4.9 billion in 2019. Fintech and e-commerce sectors drove funding, accounting for 39% and 25% of total funding, respectively.  However, for many startup founders in the region who have successfully sold their ideas and gotten investors on board, there's a patchwork of corporate structuring that's needed to access the funds, according to Benjamin Gleason, who was the chief financial officer at Groupon LatAm prior to cofounding Brazil-based fintech Kamino.It's a process Gleason and his three fellow Kamino cofounders have been through before as entrepreneurs and startup execs themselves. Most often, startups have to set up offshore financial accounts outside of Brazil, which "entails creating a Cayman [Islands] holding company, a Delaware LLC, and then connecting it to a local entity here and also opening US bank accounts for the Cayman entity, which is not trivial from a KYC perspective," said Gleason, who founded open-banking fintech Guiabolso in Sao Paulo. His partner, Gonzalo Parejo, experienced the same toils when he founded insurtech Bidu."Pretty much any international investor will usually ask for that," Gleason said, adding that investors typically cite liability issues."It's just a massive amount of bureaucracy, complexity, a lot of time from the founders. All of this just to get the money from the investor that wants to give them the money," he added.Here's the 8-page pitch deck Kamino, a fintech helping LatAm startups with everything from financing to corporate credit cards, used to raise a $6.1M pre-seed round 'A bank for immigrants'Priyank Singh and Rohit Mittal are the cofounders of Stilt.StiltRohit Mittal remembers the difficulties he faced when he first arrived in the United States a decade ago as a master's student at Columbia University.As an immigrant from India, Mittal had no credit score in the US and had difficulty integrating into the financial system. Mittal even struggled to get approved to rent an apartment and couch-surfed until he found a roommate willing to offer him space in his apartment in the New York neighborhood Morningside Heights.That roommate was Priyank Singh, who would go on to become Mittal's cofounder when the two started Stilt, a financial-technology company designed to address the problems Mittal faced when he arrived in the US.Stilt, which calls itself "a bank for immigrants," does not require a social security number or credit history to access its offerings, including unsecured personal loans.Instead of relying on traditional metrics like a credit score, Stilt uses data such as education and employment to predict an individual's future income stability and cash flow before issuing a loan. Stilt has seen its loan volume grow by 500% in the past 12 months, and the startup has loaned to immigrants from 160 countries since its launch. Here are the 15 slides Stilt, which calls itself 'a bank for immigrants,' used to raise a $14 million Series A Saving on vendor invoicesHoward Katzenberg, Glean's CEO and cofounder.GleanWhen it comes to high-flying tech startups, headlines and investors typically tend to focus on industry "disruption" and the total addressable market a company is hoping to reach. Expense cutting as a way to boost growth typically isn't part of the conversation early on, and finance teams are viewed as cost centers relative to sales teams. But one fast-growing area of business payments has turned its focus to managing those costs. Startups like Ramp and established names like Bill.com have made their name offering automated expense-management systems. Now, one new fintech competitor, Glean, is looking to take that further by offering both automated payment services and tailored line-item accounts-payable insights driven by machine-learning models. Glean's CFO and founder, Howard Katzenberg, told Insider that the genesis of Glean was driven by his own personal experience managing the finance teams of startups, including mortgage lender Better.com, which Katzenberg left in 2019, and online small-business lender OnDeck. "As a CFO of high-growth companies, I spent a lot of time focused on revenue and I had amazing dashboards in real time where I could see what is going on top of the funnel, what's going on with conversion rates, what's going on in terms of pricing and attrition," Katzenberg told Insider. See the 15-slide pitch deck Glean, a startup using machine learning to find savings in vendor invoices, used to raise $10.8 million in seed fundingBetter use of payroll dataAtomic's Head of Markets, Lindsay Davis.AtomicEmployees at companies large and small know the importance — and limitations — of how firms manage their payrolls. A new crop of startups are building the API pipes that connect companies and their employees to offer a greater level of visibility and flexibility when it comes to payroll data and employee verification. On Thursday, one of those names, Atomic, announced a $40 million Series B fundraising round co-led by Mercato Partners and Greylock, alongside Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and ATX Capital. The round follows Atomic's Series A round announced in October, when the startup raised a $22 million Series A from investors including Core Innovation Capital, Portage, and Greylock.Payroll startup Atomic just raised a $40 million Series B. Here's an internal deck detailing the fintech's approach to the red-hot payments space.Data science for commercial insuranceTanner Hackett, founder and CEO of Counterpart.CounterpartThere's been no shortage of funds flowing into insurance-technology companies over the past few years. Private-market funding to insurtechs soared to $15.4 billion in 2021, a 90% increase compared to 2020. Some of the most well-known consumer insurtech names — from Oscar (which focuses on health insurance) to Metromile (which focuses on auto) — launched on the public markets last year, only to fall over time or be acquired as investors questioned the sustainability of their business models. In the commercial arena, however, the head of one insurtech company thinks there is still room to grow — especially for those catering to small businesses operating in an entirely new, pandemic-defined environment. "The bigger opportunity is in commercial lines," Tanner Hackett, the CEO of management liability insurer Counterpart, told Insider."Everywhere I poke, I'm like, 'Oh my goodness, we're still in 1.0, and all the other businesses I've built were on version three.' Insurance is still in 1.0, still managing from spreadsheets and PDFs," added Hackett, who also previously co-founded Button, which focuses on mobile marketing. See the 8-page pitch deck Counterpart, a startup disrupting commercial insurance with data science, used to raise a $30 million Series BCrypto staking made easyEthan and Eric Parker, founders of crypto-investing app Giddy.GiddyFrom the outside looking in, cryptocurrency can seem like a world of potential, but also one of complexity. That's because digital currencies, which can be traded, invested in, and moved like traditional currencies, operate on decentralized blockchain networks that can be quite technical in nature. Still, they offer the promise of big gains and have been thrusted into the mainstream over the years, converting Wall Street stalwarts and bankers.But for the everyday investor, a fear of missing out is settling in. That's why brothers Ethan and Eric Parker built Giddy, a mobile app that enables users to invest in crypto, earn passive income on certain crypto holdings via staking, and get into the red-hot space of decentralized finance, or DeFi."What we're focusing on is giving an opportunity for people who otherwise couldn't access DeFi because it's just technically too difficult," Eric Parker, CEO at Giddy, told Insider. Here's the 7-page pitch deck Giddy, an app that lets users invest in DeFi, used to raise an $8 million seed roundAccess to commercial real-estate investing LEX Markets cofounders and co-CEOs Drew Sterrett and Jesse Daugherty.LEX MarketsDrew Sterrett was structuring real-estate deals while working in private equity when he realized the inefficiencies that existed in the market. Only high-net worth individuals or accredited investors could participate in commercial real-estate deals. If they ever wanted to leave a partnership or sell their stake in a property, it was difficult to find another investor to replace them. Owners also struggled to sell minority stakes in their properties and didn't have many good options to recapitalize an asset if necessary.In short, the market had a high barrier to entry despite the fact it didn't always have enough participants to get deals done quickly. "Most investors don't have access to high-quality commercial real-estate investments. How do we have the oldest and largest asset class in the world and one of the largest wealth creators with no public and liquid market?" Sterrett told Insider. "It sort of seems like a no-brainer, and that this should have existed 50 or 60 years ago."This 15-page pitch deck helped LEX Markets, a startup making investing in commercial real estate more accessible, raise $15 millionHelping streamline how debts are repaidMethod Financial cofounders Jose Bethancourt and Marco del Carmen.Method FinancialWhen Jose Bethancourt graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in May 2019, he faced the same question that confronts over 43 million Americans: How would he repay his student loans?The problem led Bethancourt on a nearly two-year journey that culminated in the creation of a startup aimed at making it easier for consumers to more seamlessly pay off all kinds of debt.  Initially, Bethancourt and fellow UT grad Marco del Carmen built GradJoy, an app that helped users better understand how to manage student loan repayment and other financial habits. GradJoy was accepted into Y Combinator in the summer of 2019. But the duo quickly realized the real benefit to users would be helping them move money to make payments instead of simply offering recommendations."When we started GradJoy, we thought, 'Oh, we'll just give advice — we don't think people are comfortable with us touching their student loans,' and then we realized that people were saying, 'Hey, just move the money — if you think I should pay extra, then I'll pay extra.' So that's kind of the movement that we've seen, just, everybody's more comfortable with fintechs doing what's best for them," Bethancourt told Insider. Here is the 11-slide pitch deck Method Financial, a Y Combinator-backed fintech making debt repayment easier, used to raise $2.5 million in pre-seed fundingSmarter insurance for multifamily propertiesItai Ben-Zaken, cofounder and CEO of Honeycomb.HoneycombA veteran of the online-insurance world is looking to revolutionize the way the industry prices risk for commercial properties with the help of artificial intelligence.Insurance companies typically send inspectors to properties before issuing policies to better understand how the building is maintained and identify potential risks or issues with it. It's a process that can be time-consuming, expensive, and inefficient, making it hard to justify for smaller commercial properties, like apartment and condo buildings.Insurtech Honeycomb is looking to fix that by using AI to analyze a combination of third-party data and photos submitted by customers through the startup's app to quickly identify any potential risks at a property and more accurately price policies."That whole physical inspection thing had really good things in it, but it wasn't really something that is scalable and, it's also expensive," Itai Ben-Zaken, Honeycomb's cofounder and CEO, told Insider. "The best way to see a property right now is Google street view. Google street view is usually two years old."Here's the 10-page Series A pitch deck used by Honeycomb, a startup that wants to revolutionize the $26 billion market for multifamily property insuranceRetirement accounts for cryptoTodd Southwick, CEO and co-founder of iTrustCapital.iTrustCapitalTodd Southwick and Blake Skadron stuck to a simple mandate when they were building out iTrustCapital, a $1.3 billion fintech that strives to offer cryptocurrencies to the masses via dedicated individual retirement accounts."We wanted to make a product that we would feel happy recommending for our parents to use," Southwick, the CEO of iTrustCapital, told Insider. That guiding framework resulted in a software system that helped to digitize and automate the traditionally clunky and paper-based process of setting up an IRA for alternative assets, Southwick said. "We saw a real opportunity within the self-directed IRAs because we knew at that point in time, there was a fairly small segment of people that was willing to deal with the inconvenience of having to set up an IRA" for crypto, Southwick said. The process often involved phone calls to sales reps and over-the-counter trading desks, paper and fax machines, and days of wait time.iTrustCapital allows customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies using tax-advantaged IRAs with no monthly account fees. The startup provides access to 25 cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum, and dogecoin — charging a 1% transaction fee on crypto trades — as well as gold and silver.iTrustCapital, a fintech simplifying how to set up a crypto retirement account, used this 8-page pitch deck to raise a $125 million Series AA new way to assess creditworthinessPinwheel founders Curtis Lee, Kurt Lin, and Anish Basu.PinwheelGrowing up, Kurt Lin never saw his father get frustrated. A "traditional, stoic figure," Lin said his father immigrated to the United States in the 1970s. Becoming part of the financial system proved even more difficult than assimilating into a new culture.Lin recalled visiting bank after bank with his father as a child, watching as his father's applications for a mortgage were denied due to his lack of credit history. "That was the first time in my life I really saw him crack," Lin told Insider. "The system doesn't work for a lot of people — including my dad," he added. Lin would find a solution to his father's problem years later while working with Anish Basu, and Curtis Lee on an automated health savings account. The trio realized the payroll data integrations they were working on could be the basis of a product that would help lenders work with consumers without strong credit histories."That's when the lightbulb hit," said Lin, Pinwheel's CEO.In 2018, Lin, Basu, and Lee founded Pinwheel, an application-programming interface that shares payroll data to help both fintechs and traditional lenders serve consumers with limited or poor credit, who have historically struggled to access financial products. Here's the 9-page deck that Pinwheel, a fintech helping lenders tap into payroll data to serve consumers with little to no credit, used to raise a $50 million Series BA new data feed for bond tradingMark Lennihan/APFor years, the only way investors could figure out the going price of a corporate bond was calling up a dealer on the phone. The rise of electronic trading has streamlined that process, but data can still be hard to come by sometimes. A startup founded by a former Goldman Sachs exec has big plans to change that. BondCliQ is a fintech that provides a data feed of pre-trade pricing quotes for the corporate bond market. Founded by Chris White, the creator of Goldman Sachs' defunct corporate-bond-trading system, BondCliQ strives to bring transparency to a market that has traditionally kept such data close to the vest. Banks, which typically serve as the dealers of corporate bonds, have historically kept pre-trade quotes hidden from other dealers to maintain a competitive advantage.But tech advancements and the rise of electronic marketplaces have shifted power dynamics into the hands of buy-side firms, like hedge funds and asset managers. The investors are now able to get a fuller picture of the market by aggregating price quotes directly from dealers or via vendors.Here's the 9-page pitch deck that BondCliQ, a fintech looking to bring more data and transparency to bond trading, used to raise its Series AA trading app for activismAntoine Argouges, CEO and founder of Tulipshare.TulipshareAn up-and-coming fintech is taking aim at some of the world's largest corporations by empowering retail investors to push for social and environmental change by pooling their shareholder rights.London-based Tulipshare lets individuals in the UK invest as little as one pound in publicly-traded company stocks. The upstart combines individuals' shareholder rights with other like-minded investors to advocate for environmental, social, and corporate governance change at firms like JPMorgan, Apple, and Amazon.The goal is to achieve a higher number of shares to maximize the number of votes that can be submitted at shareholder meetings. Already a regulated broker-dealer in the UK, Tulipshare recently applied for registration as a broker-dealer in the US. "If you ask your friends and family if they've ever voted on shareholder resolutions, the answer will probably be close to zero," CEO and founder Antoine Argouges told Insider. "I started Tulipshare to utilize shareholder rights to bring about positive corporate change that has an impact on people's lives and our planet — what's more powerful than money to change the system we live in?"Check out the 14-page pitch deck from Tulipshare, a trading app that lets users pool their shareholder votes for activism campaignsThe back-end tech for beautyDanielle Cohen-Shohet, CEO and founder of GlossGeniusGlossGeniusDanielle Cohen-Shohet might have started as a Goldman Sachs investment analyst, but at her core she was always a coder.After about three years at Goldman Sachs, Cohen-Shohet left the world of traditional finance to code her way into starting her own company in 2016. "There was a period of time where I did nothing, but eat, sleep, and code for a few weeks," Cohen-Shohet told Insider. Her technical edge and knowledge of the point-of-sale payment space led her to launch a software company focused on providing behind-the-scenes tech for beauty and wellness small businesses.Cohen-Shohet launched GlossGenius in 2017 to provide payments tech for hair stylists, nail technicians, blow-out bars, and other small businesses in the space.Here's the 11-page deck GlossGenius, a startup that provides back-end tech for the beauty industry, used to raise $16 millionPrivate market data on the blockchainPat O'Meara, CEO of Inveniam.InveniamFor investors in publicly-traded stocks, there's typically no shortage of company data to guide investment decisions. Company financials are easily accessible and vetted by teams of regulators, lawyers, and accountants.But in the private markets — which encompass assets that range from real estate to private credit and private equity — that isn't always the case. Within real estate, for example, valuations of a specific slice of property are often the product of heavily-worked Excel models and a lot of institutional knowledge, leaving them susceptible to manual error at many points along the way.Inveniam, founded in 2017, is a software company that tokenizes the business data of private companies on the blockchain. Using a distributed ledger allows Inveniam to keep track of who is touching the data and what they are doing to it. Check out the 16-page pitch deck for Inveniam, a blockchain-based startup looking to be the Refinitiv of private-market dataHelping freelancers with their taxesJaideep Singh is the CEO and co-founder of FlyFin, an AI-driven tax preparation software program for freelancers.FlyFinSome people, particularly those with families or freelancing businesses, spend days searching for receipts for tax season, making tax preparation a time consuming and, at times, taxing experience. That's why in 2020 Jaideep Singh founded FlyFin, an artificial-intelligence tax preparation program for freelancers that helps people, as he puts it, "fly through their finances." FlyFin is set up to connect to a person's bank accounts, allowing the AI program to help users monitor for certain expenses that can be claimed on their taxes like business expenditures, the interest on mortgages, property taxes, or whatever else that might apply. "For most individuals, people have expenses distributed over multiple financial institutions. So we built an AI platform that is able to look at expenses, understand the individual, understand your profession, understand the freelance population at large, and start the categorization," Singh told Insider.Check out the 7-page pitch deck a startup helping freelancers manage their taxes used to nab $8 million in funding Shopify for embedded financeProductfy CEO and founder, Duy Vo.ProductfyProductfy is looking to break into embedded finance by becoming the Shopify of back-end banking services.Embedded finance — integrating banking services in non-financial settings — has taken hold in the e-commerce world. But Productfy is going after a different kind of customer in churches, universities, and nonprofits.The San Jose, Calif.-based upstart aims to help non-finance companies offer their own banking products. Productfy can help customers launch finance features in as little as a week and without additional engineering resources or background knowledge of banking compliance or legal requirements, Productfy founder and CEO Duy Vo told Insider. "You don't need an engineer to stand up Shopify, right? You can be someone who's just creating art and you can use Shopify to build your own online store," Vo said, adding that Productfy is looking to take that user experience and replicate it for banking services.Here's the 15-page pitch deck Productfy, a fintech looking to be the Shopify of embedded finance, used to nab a $16 million Series AReal-estate management made easyAgora founders Noam Kahan, CTO, Bar Mor, CEO, and Lior Dolinski, CPO.AgoraFor alternative asset managers of any type, the operations underpinning sales and investor communications are a crucial but often overlooked part of the business. Fund managers love to make bets on markets, not coordinate hundreds of wire transfers to clients each quarter or organize customer-relationship-management databases.Within the $10.6 trillion global market for professionally managed real-estate investing, that's where Tel Aviv and New York-based startup Agora hopes to make its mark.Founded in 2019, Agora offers a set of back-office, investor relations, and sales software tools that real-estate investment managers can plug into their workflows. On Wednesday, Agora announced a $9 million seed round, led by Israel-based venture firm Aleph, with participation from River Park Ventures and Maccabee Ventures. The funding comes on the heels of an October 2020 pre-seed fund raise worth $890,000, in which Maccabee also participated.Here's the 15-slide pitch deck that Agora, a startup helping real-estate investors manage communications and sales with their clients, used to raise a $9 million seed roundCheckout made easyBolt's Ryan Breslow.Ryan BreslowAmazon has long dominated e-commerce with its one-click checkout flows, offering easier ways for consumers to shop online than its small-business competitors.Bolt gives small merchants tools to offer the same easy checkouts so they can compete with the likes of Amazon.The startup raised its $393 million Series D to continue adding its one-click checkout feature to merchants' own websites in October.Bolt markets to merchants themselves. But a big part of Bolt's pitch is its growing network of consumers — currently over 5.6 million — that use its features across multiple Bolt merchant customers. Roughly 5% of Bolt's transactions were network-driven in May, meaning users that signed up for a Bolt account on another retailer's website used it elsewhere. The network effects were even more pronounced in verticals like furniture, where 49% of transactions were driven by the Bolt network."The network effect is now unleashed with Bolt in full fury, and that triggered the raise," Bolt's founder and CEO Ryan Breslow told Insider.Here's the 12-page deck that one-click checkout Bolt used to outline its network of 5.6 million consumers and raise its Series DHelping small banks lendCollateralEdge's Joel Radtke, cofounder, COO, and president, and Joe Beard, cofounder and CEO.CollateralEdgeFor large corporations with a track record of tapping the credit markets, taking out debt is a well-structured and clear process handled by the nation's biggest investment banks and teams of accountants. But smaller, middle-market companies — typically those with annual revenues ranging up to $1 billion — are typically served by regional and community banks that don't always have the capacity to adequately measure the risk of loans or price them competitively. Per the National Center for the Middle Market, 200,000 companies fall into this range, accounting for roughly 33% of US private sector GDP and employment.Dallas-based fintech CollateralEdge works with these banks — typically those with between $1 billion and $50 billion in assets — to help analyze and price slices of commercial and industrial loans that previously might have gone unserved by smaller lenders.On October 20th, CollateralEdge announced a $3.5 million seed round led by Dallas venture fund Perot Jain with participation from Kneeland Youngblood (a founder of the healthcare-focused private-equity firm Pharos Capital) and other individual investors.Here's the 10-page deck CollateralEdge, a fintech streamlining how small banks lend to businesses, used to raise a $3.5 million seed round Quantum computing made easyQC Ware CEO Matt Johnson.QC WareEven though banks and hedge funds are still several years out from adding quantum computing to their tech arsenals, that hasn't stopped Wall Street giants from investing time and money into the emerging technology class. And momentum for QC Ware, a startup looking to cut the time and resources it takes to use quantum computing, is accelerating. The fintech secured a $25 million Series B on September 29 co-led by Koch Disruptive Technologies and Covestro with participation from D.E. Shaw, Citi, and Samsung Ventures.QC Ware, founded in 2014, builds quantum algorithms for the likes of Goldman Sachs (which led the fintech's Series A), Airbus, and BMW Group. The algorithms, which are effectively code bases that include quantum processing elements, can run on any of the four main public-cloud providers.Quantum computing allows companies to do complex calculations faster than traditional computers by using a form of physics that runs on quantum bits as opposed to the traditional 1s and 0s that computers use. This is especially helpful in banking for risk analytics or algorithmic trading, where executing calculations milliseconds faster than the competition can give firms a leg up. Here's the 20-page deck QC Ware, a fintech making quantum computing more accessible, used to raised its $25 million Series BSimplifying quant modelsKirat Singh and Mark Higgins, Beacon's cofounders.BeaconA fintech that helps financial institutions use quantitative models to streamline their businesses and improve risk management is catching the attention, and capital, of some of the country's biggest investment managers.Beacon Platform, founded in 2014, is a fintech that builds applications and tools to help banks, asset managers, and trading firms quickly integrate quantitative models that can help with analyzing risk, ensuring compliance, and improving operational efficiency. The company raised its Series C on Wednesday, scoring a $56 million investment led by Warburg Pincus with support from Blackstone Innovations Investments, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic. Blackstone, PIMCO, and Global Atlantic are also users of Beacon's tech, as are the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Shell New Energies, a division of Royal Dutch Shell, among others.The fintech provides a shortcut for firms looking to use quantitative modelling and data science across various aspects of their businesses, a process that can often take considerable resources if done solo.Here's the 20-page pitch deck Beacon, a fintech helping Wall Street better analyze risk and data, used to raise $56 million from Warburg Pincus, Blackstone, and PIMCOInvoice financing for SMBsStacey Abrams and Lara Hodgson, Now cofounders.NowAbout a decade ago, politician Stacey Abrams and entrepreneur Lara Hodgson were forced to fold their startup because of a kink in the supply chain — but not in the traditional sense.Nourish, which made spill-proof bottled water for children, had grown quickly from selling to small retailers to national ones. And while that may sound like a feather in the small business' cap, there was a hang-up."It was taking longer and longer to get paid, and as you can imagine, you deliver the product and then you wait and you wait, but meanwhile you have to pay your employees and you have to pay your vendors," Hodgson told Insider. "Waiting to get paid was constraining our ability to grow."While it's not unusual for small businesses to grapple with working capital issues, the dust was still settling from the Great Recession. Abrams and Hodgson couldn't secure a line of credit or use financing tools like factoring to solve their problem. The two entrepreneurs were forced to close Nourish in 2012, but along the way they recognized a disconnect in the system.  "Why are we the ones borrowing money, when in fact we're the lender here because every time you send an invoice to a customer, you've essentially extended a free loan to that customer by letting them pay later," Hodgson said. "And the only reason why we were going to need to possibly borrow money was because we had just given ours away for free to Whole Foods," she added.Check out the 7-page deck that Now, Stacey Abrams' fintech that wants to help small businesses 'grow fearlessly', used to raise $29 millionInsurance goes digitalJamie Hale, CEO and cofounder of Ladder.LadderFintechs looking to transform how insurance policies are underwritten, issued, and experienced by customers have grown as new technology driven by digital trends and artificial intelligence shape the market. And while verticals like auto, homeowner's, and renter's insurance have seen their fair share of innovation from forward-thinking fintechs, one company has taken on the massive life-insurance market. Founded in 2017, Ladder uses a tech-driven approach to offer life insurance with a digital, end-to-end service that it says is more flexible, faster, and cost-effective than incumbent players.Life, annuity, and accident and health insurance within the US comprise a big chunk of the broader market. In 2020, premiums written on those policies totaled some $767 billion, compared to $144 billion for auto policies and $97 billion for homeowner's insurance.Here's the 12-page deck that Ladder, a startup disrupting the 'crown jewel' of the insurance market, used to nab $100 millionEmbedded payments for SMBsThe Highnote team.HighnoteBranded cards have long been a way for merchants with the appropriate bank relationships to create additional revenue and build customer loyalty. The rise of embedded payments, or the ability to shop and pay in a seamless experience within a single app, has broadened the number of companies looking to launch branded cards.Highnote is a startup that helps small to mid-sized merchants roll out their own debit and pre-paid digital cards. The fintech emerged from stealth on Tuesday to announce it raised $54 million in seed and Series A funding.Here's the 12-page deck Highnote, a startup helping SMBs embed payments, used to raise $54 million in seed and Series A fundingAn alternative auto lenderDaniel Chu, CEO and founder of Tricolor.TricolorAn alternative auto lender that caters to thin- and no-credit Hispanic borrowers is planning a national expansion after scoring a $90 million investment from BlackRock-managed funds. Tricolor is a Dallas-based auto lender that is a community development financial institution. It uses a proprietary artificial-intelligence engine that decisions each customer based on more than 100 data points, such as proof of income. Half of Tricolor's customers have a FICO score, and less than 12% have scores above 650, yet the average customer has lived in the US for 15 years, according to the deck.A 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation found 31.5% of Hispanic households had no mainstream credit compared to 14.4% of white households. "For decades, the deck has been stacked against low income or credit invisible Hispanics in the United States when it comes to the purchase and financing of a used vehicle," Daniel Chu, founder and CEO of Tricolor, said in a statement announcing the raise.An auto lender that caters to underbanked Hispanics used this 25-page deck to raise $90 million from BlackRock investorsA new way to access credit The TomoCredit team.TomoCreditKristy Kim knows first-hand the challenge of obtaining credit in the US without an established credit history. Kim, who came to the US from South Korea, couldn't initially get access to credit despite having a job in investment banking after graduating college. "I was in my early twenties, I had a good income, my job was in investment banking but I could not get approved for anything," Kim told Insider. "Many young professionals like me, we deserve an opportunity to be considered but just because we didn't have a Fico, we weren't given a chance to even apply," she added.Kim started TomoCredit in 2018 to help others like herself gain access to consumer credit. TomoCredit spent three years building an internal algorithm to underwrite customers based on cash flow, rather than a credit score.TomoCredit, a fintech that lends to thin- and no-credit borrowers, used this 17-page pitch deck to raise its $10 million Series AAn IRA for alternativesHenry Yoshida is the co-founder and CEO of retirement fintech startup Rocket Dollar.Rocket DollarFintech startup Rocket Dollar, which helps users invest their individual retirement account (IRA) dollars into alternative assets, just raised $8 million for its Series A round, the company announced on Thursday.Park West Asset Management led the round, with participation from investors including Hyphen Capital, which focuses on backing Asian American entrepreneurs, and crypto exchange Kraken's venture arm. Co-founded in 2018 by CEO Henry Yoshida, CTO Rick Dude, and VP of marketing Thomas Young, Rocket Dollar now has over $350 million in assets under management on its platform. Yoshida sold his first startup, a roboadvisor called Honest Dollar, to Goldman Sachs' investment management division for an estimated $20 million.Yoshida told Insider that while ultra-high net worth investors have been investing self-directed retirement account dollars into alternative assets like real estate, private equity, and cryptocurrency, average investors have not historically been able to access the same opportunities to invest IRA dollars in alternative assets through traditional platforms.Here's the 34-page pitch deck a fintech that helps users invest their retirement savings in crypto and real estate assets used to nab $8 millionConnecting startups and investorsHum Capital cofounder and CEO Blair Silverberg.Hum CapitalBlair Silverberg is no stranger to fundraising.For six years, Silverberg was a venture capitalist at Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Private Credit Investments making bets on startups."I was meeting with thousands of founders in person each year, watching them one at a time go through this friction where they're meeting a ton of investors, and the investors are all asking the same questions," Silverberg told Insider. He switched gears about three years ago, moving to the opposite side of the metaphorical table, to start Hum Capital, which uses artificial intelligence to match investors with startups looking to fundraise.On August 31, the New York-based fintech announced its $9 million Series A. The round was led by Future Ventures with participation from Webb Investment Network, Wavemaker Partners, and Partech. This 11-page pitch deck helped Hum Capital, a fintech using AI to match investors with startups, raise a $9 million Series A.Payments infrastructure for fintechsQolo CEO and co-founder Patricia Montesi.QoloThree years ago, Patricia Montesi realized there was a disconnect in the payments world. "A lot of new economy companies or fintech companies were looking to mesh up a lot of payment modalities that they weren't able to," Montesi, CEO and co-founder of Qolo, told Insider.Integrating various payment capabilities often meant tapping several different providers that had specializations in one product or service, she added, like debit card issuance or cross-border payments. "The way people were getting around that was that they were creating this spider web of fintech," she said, adding that "at the end of it all, they had this mess of suppliers and integrations and bank accounts."The 20-year payments veteran rounded up a group of three other co-founders — who together had more than a century of combined industry experience — to start Qolo, a business-to-business fintech that sought out to bundle back-end payment rails for other fintechs.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that provides payments infrastructure for other fintechs used to raise a $15 million Series ASoftware for managing freelancersWorksome cofounder and CEO Morten Petersen.WorksomeThe way people work has fundamentally changed over the past year, with more flexibility and many workers opting to freelance to maintain their work-from-home lifestyles.But managing a freelance or contractor workforce is often an administrative headache for employers. Worksome is a startup looking to eliminate all the extra work required for employers to adapt to more flexible working norms.Worksome started as a freelancer marketplace automating the process of matching qualified workers with the right jobs. But the team ultimately pivoted to a full suite of workforce management software, automating administrative burdens required to hire, pay, and account for contract workers.In May, Worksome closed a $13 million Series A backed by European angel investor Tommy Ahlers and Danish firm Lind & Risør.Here's the 21-slide pitch deck used by a startup that helps firms like Carlsberg and Deloitte manage freelancersPersonal finance is only a text awayYinon Ravid, the chief executive and cofounder of Albert.AlbertThe COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the growing preference of mobile banking as customers get comfortable managing their finances online.The financial app Albert has seen a similar jump in activity. Currently counting more than six million members, deposits in Albert's savings offering doubled from the start of the pandemic in March 2020 to May of this year, from $350 million to $700 million, according to new numbers released by the company. Founded in 2015, Albert offers automated budgeting and savings tools alongside guided investment portfolios. It's looked to differentiate itself through personalized features, like the ability for customers to text human financial experts.Budgeting and saving features are free on Albert. But for more tailored financial advice, customers pay a subscription fee that's a pay-what-you-can model, between $4 and $14 a month. And Albert's now banking on a new tool to bring together its investing, savings, and budgeting tools.Fintech Albert used this 10-page pitch deck to raise a $100 million Series C from General Atlantic and CapitalGRethinking debt collection Jason Saltzman, founder and CEO of ReliefReliefFor lenders, debt collection is largely automated. But for people who owe money on their credit cards, it can be a confusing and stressful process.  Relief is looking to change that. Its app automates the credit-card debt collection process for users, negotiating with lenders and collectors to settle outstanding balances on their behalf. The fintech just launched and closed a $2 million seed round led by Collaborative Ventures. Relief's fundraising experience was a bit different to most. Its pitch deck, which it shared with one investor via Google Slides, went viral. It set out to raise a $1 million seed round, but ended up doubling that and giving some investors money back to make room for others.Check out a 15-page pitch deck that went viral and helped a credit-card debt collection startup land a $2 million seed roundBlockchain for private-markets investing Carlos Domingo is cofounder and CEO of Securitize.SecuritizeSecuritize, founded in 2017 by the tech industry veterans Carlos Domingo and Jamie Finn, is bringing blockchain technology to private-markets investing. The company raised $48 million in Series B funding on June 21 from investors including Morgan Stanley and Blockchain Capital.Securitize helps companies crowdfund capital from individual and institutional investors by issuing their shares in the form of blockchain tokens that allow for more efficient settlement, record keeping, and compliance processes. Morgan Stanley's Tactical Value fund, which invests in private companies, made its first blockchain-technology investment when it coled the Series B, Securitize CEO Carlos Domingo told Insider.Here's the 11-page pitch deck a blockchain startup looking to revolutionize private-markets investing used to nab $48 million from investors like Morgan StanleyE-commerce focused business bankingMichael Rangel, cofounder and CEO, and Tyler McIntyre, cofounder and CTO of Novo.Kristelle Boulos PhotographyBusiness banking is a hot market in fintech. And it seems investors can't get enough.Novo, the digital banking fintech aimed at small e-commerce businesses, raised a $40.7 million Series A led by Valar Ventures in June. Since its launch in 2018, Novo has signed up 100,000 small businesses. Beyond bank accounts, it offers expense management, a corporate card, and integrates with e-commerce infrastructure players like Shopify, Stripe, and Wise.Founded in 2018, Novo was based in New York City, but has since moved its headquarters to Miami. Here's the 12-page pitch deck e-commerce banking startup Novo used to raise its $40 million Series ABlockchain-based credit score tech John Sun, Anna Fridman, and Adam Jiwan are the cofounders of fintech startup Spring Labs.Spring LabsA blockchain-based fintech startup that is aiming to disrupt the traditional model of evaluating peoples' creditworthiness recently raised $30 million in a Series B funding led by credit reporting giant TransUnion.Four-year-old Spring Labs aims to create a private, secure data-sharing model to help credit agencies better predict the creditworthiness of people who are not in the traditional credit bureau system. The founding team of three fintech veterans met as early employees of lending startup Avant.Existing investors GreatPoint Ventures and August Capital also joined in on the most recent round.  So far Spring Labs has raised $53 million from institutional rounds.TransUnion, a publicly-traded company with a $20 billion-plus market cap, is one of the three largest consumer credit agencies in the US. After 18 months of dialogue and six months of due diligence, TransAmerica and Spring Labs inked a deal, Spring Labs CEO and cofounder Adam Jiwan told Insider.Here's the 10-page pitch deck blockchain-based fintech Spring Labs used to snag $30 million from investors including credit reporting giant TransUnionDigital banking for freelancersJGalione/Getty ImagesLance is a new digital bank hoping to simplify the life of those workers by offering what it calls an "active" approach to business banking. "We found that every time we sat down with the existing tools and resources of our accountants and QuickBooks and spreadsheets, we just ended up getting tangled up in the whole experience of it," Lance cofounder and CEO Oona Rokyta told Insider. Lance offers subaccounts for personal salaries, withholdings, and savings to which freelancers can automatically allocate funds according to custom preset levels. It also offers an expense balance that's connected to automated tax withholdings.In May, Lance announced the closing of a $2.8 million seed round that saw participation from Barclays, BDMI, Great Oaks Capital, Imagination Capital, Techstars, DFJ Frontier, and others.Here's the 21-page pitch deck Lance, a digital bank for freelancers, used to raise a $2.8 million seed round from investors including BarclaysDigital tools for independent financial advisorsJason Wenk, founder and CEO of AltruistAltruistJason Wenk started his career at Morgan Stanley in investment research over 20 years ago. Now, he's running a company that is hoping to broaden access to financial advice for less-wealthy individuals. The startup raised $50 million in Series B funding led by Insight Partners with participation from investors Vanguard and Venrock. The round brings the Los Angeles-based startup's total funding to just under $67 million.Founded in 2018, Altruist is a digital brokerage built for independent financial advisors, intended to be an "all-in-one" platform that unites custodial functions, portfolio accounting, and a client-facing portal. It allows advisors to open accounts, invest, build models, report, trade (including fractional shares), and bill clients through an interface that can advisors time by eliminating mundane operational tasks.Altruist aims to make personalized financial advice less expensive, more efficient, and more inclusive through the platform, which is designed for registered investment advisors (RIAs), a growing segment of the wealth management industry. Here's the pitch deck for Altruist, a wealth tech challenging custodians Fidelity and Charles Schwab, that raised $50 million from Vanguard and InsightPayments and operations support HoneyBook cofounders Dror Shimoni, Oz Alon, and Naama Alon.HoneyBookWhile countless small businesses have been harmed by the pandemic, self-employment and entrepreneurship have found ways to blossom as Americans started new ventures.Half of the US population may be freelance by 2027, according to a study commissioned by remote-work hiring platform Upwork. HoneyBook, a fintech startup that provides payment and operations support for freelancers, in May raised $155 million in funding and achieved unicorn status with its $1 billion-plus valuation.Durable Capital Partners led the Series D funding with other new investors including renowned hedge fund Tiger Global, Battery Ventures, Zeev Ventures, and 01 Advisors. Citi Ventures, Citigroup's startup investment arm that also backs fintech robo-advisor Betterment, participated as an existing investor in the round alongside Norwest Venture partners. The latest round brings the company's fundraising total to $227 million to date.Here's the 21-page pitch deck a Citi-backed fintech for freelancers used to raise $155 million from investors like hedge fund Tiger GlobalFraud prevention for lenders and insurersFiordaliso/Getty ImagesOnboarding new customers with ease is key for any financial institution or retailer. The more friction you add, the more likely consumers are to abandon the entire process.But preventing fraud is also a priority, and that's where Neuro-ID comes in. The startup analyzes what it calls "digital body language," or, the way users scroll, type, and tap. Using that data, Neuro-ID can identify fraudulent users before they create an account. It's built for banks, lenders, insurers, and e-commerce players."The train has left the station for digital transformation, but there's a massive opportunity to try to replicate all those communications that we used to have when we did business in-person, all those tells that we would get verbally and non-verbally on whether or not someone was trustworthy," Neuro-ID CEO Jack Alton told Insider.Founded in 2014, the startup's pitch is twofold: Neuro-ID can save companies money by identifying fraud early, and help increase user conversion by making the onboarding process more seamless. In December Neuro-ID closed a $7 million Series A, co-led by Fin VC and TTV Capital, with participation from Canapi Ventures. With 30 employees, Neuro-ID is using the fresh funding to grow its team and create additional tools to be more self-serving for customers.Here's the 11-slide pitch deck a startup that analyzes consumers' digital behavior to fight fraud used to raise a $7 million Series AAI-powered tools to spot phony online reviews Saoud Khalifah, founder and CEO of Fakespot.FakespotMarketplaces like Amazon and eBay host millions of third-party sellers, and their algorithms will often boost items in search based on consumer sentiment, which is largely based on reviews. But many third-party sellers use fake reviews often bought from click farms to boost their items, some of which are counterfeit or misrepresented to consumers.That's where Fakespot comes in. With its Chrome extension, it warns users of sellers using potentially fake reviews to boost sales and can identify fraudulent sellers. Fakespot is currently compatible with Amazon, BestBuy, eBay, Sephora, Steam, and Walmart."There are promotional reviews written by humans and bot-generated reviews written by robots or review farms," Fakespot founder and CEO Saoud Khalifah told Insider. "Our AI system has been built to detect both categories with very high accuracy."Fakespot's AI learns via reviews data available on marketplace websites, and uses natural-language processing to identify if reviews are genuine. Fakespot also looks at things like whether the number of positive reviews are plausible given how long a seller has been active.Fakespot, a startup that helps shoppers detect robot-generated reviews and phony sellers on Amazon and Shopify, used this pitch deck to nab a $4 million Series ANew twists on digital bankingZach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradleyHMBradleyConsumers are getting used to the idea of branch-less banking, a trend that startup digital-only banks like Chime, N26, and Varo have benefited from. The majority of these fintechs target those who are underbanked, and rely on usage of their debit cards to make money off interchange. But fellow startup HMBradley has a different business model. "Our thesis going in was that we don't swipe our debit cards all that often, and we don't think the customer base that we're focusing on does either," Zach Bruhnke, cofounder and CEO of HMBradley, told Insider. "A lot of our customer base uses credit cards on a daily basis."Instead, the startup is aiming to build clientele with stable deposits. As a result, the bank is offering interest-rate tiers depending on how much a customer saves of their direct deposit.Notably, the rate tiers are dependent on the percentage of savings, not the net amount. "We'll pay you more when you save more of what comes in," Bruhnke said. "We didn't want to segment customers by how much money they had. So it was always going to be about a percentage of income. That was really important to us."Check out the 14-page pitch deck fintech HMBradley, a neobank offering interest rates as high as 3%, used to raise an $18.25 million Series ARead the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderMay 17th, 2022

Woman-Led $4 Billion Firm Has A New Vision For Global Workforce Management

Workforce management companies have become more commonplace as the uptick of remote and work-from-home models has seen companies taking a new direction in business strategies. New Workforce Management Concepts The growth and distribution of remote teams have led to the development of new workforce management concepts that help teams effectively communicate, and automate most of […] Workforce management companies have become more commonplace as the uptick of remote and work-from-home models has seen companies taking a new direction in business strategies. New Workforce Management Concepts The growth and distribution of remote teams have led to the development of new workforce management concepts that help teams effectively communicate, and automate most of their production procedures. if (typeof jQuery == 'undefined') { document.write(''); } .first{clear:both;margin-left:0}.one-third{width:31.034482758621%;float:left;margin-left:3.448275862069%}.two-thirds{width:65.51724137931%;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element input{border:0;border-radius:0;padding:8px}form.ebook-styles .af-element{width:220px;float:left}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer{width:115px;float:left;margin-left: 6px;}form.ebook-styles .af-element.buttonContainer input.submit{width:115px;padding:10px 6px 8px;text-transform:uppercase;border-radius:0;border:0;font-size:15px}form.ebook-styles .af-body.af-standards input.submit{width:115px}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy{width:100%;font-size:12px;margin:10px auto 0}form.ebook-styles .af-element.privacyPolicy p{font-size:11px;margin-bottom:0}form.ebook-styles .af-body input.text{height:40px;padding:2px 10px !important} form.ebook-styles .error, form.ebook-styles #error { color:#d00; } form.ebook-styles .formfields h1, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-logo, form.ebook-styles .formfields #mg-footer { display: none; } form.ebook-styles .formfields { font-size: 12px; } form.ebook-styles .formfields p { margin: 4px 0; } Get The Full Walter Schloss Series in PDF Get the entire 10-part series on Walter Schloss in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues. (function($) {window.fnames = new Array(); window.ftypes = new Array();fnames[0]='EMAIL';ftypes[0]='email';}(jQuery));var $mcj = jQuery.noConflict(true); Q1 2022 hedge fund letters, conferences and more The pandemic-infused digital economy has enabled exponential growth of workforce management tools and platforms, with an industry fueled by major-league players such as Verint Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:VRNT) and the recent $1 billion unicorn valuation of HR management startup Oyster. Although SaaS innovation, machine learning, and big data are now helping the industry push forward, a different direction by Papaya Global, a woman-led startup with more than $444.5 million in Series D funding raised at a $3.7 billion valuation, is taking global payroll automation to a whole new scale. Founder, Eynat Guez, has built a digital empire on the premise of remote teams and companies. Papaya Global, which now operates across several countries, helps companies better manage challenges they encountered throughout the pandemic. In 2021, Eynat managed to become the first woman to lead a unicorn in Israel – one of the biggest ecosystems for hi-tech innovation in the world. Now, Eynat and her company are helping companies break through the glass ceiling of traditional working norms and challenges with the use of workforce management software. “The trend towards remote work and distributed workplaces was already gaining momentum before the pandemic arrived. We started Papaya Global in 2016 to help companies hire and pay people in different countries in full compliance. Companies with different degrees of remote work were among our first clients,” tells Guez. While the pandemic managed to disrupt business operations bringing economies to a complete standstill, rapid growth and adoption of distributed workforce management tools soon started to take shape. By February 2020, around 164.6 million Americans were working remotely, now globally, around 16% of companies have transitioned to fully remote operations. Businesses from various industries, and of all sizes are now willing to adopt more technological innovation in an ongoing effort to help cope with changing working habits and an even more challenging labor market. Automating processes through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning helped to mitigate mundane tasks, some of which still required human intervention before the pandemic took hold. “For me, the lesson is clear: there are lots of good things about remote work, but the magic happens face-to-face.” Working with employees from all landscapes can pose a new challenge for employers, especially when it comes to domestic tax codes and regulations. “There are companies that have done it and have been very successful, but they put a great deal of thought into how to make it work and planned tremendously. They have hundreds of employees across the world, and each one is paid in compliance with all tax codes and labor laws. I think it’s possible to do it well, but it takes a lot of work.” With the use of management tools such as Papaya, employers and financial departments are now able to connect global workforce payroll into a single platform of verified network vendors. But beyond payroll management, what’s been more meaningful for some businesses is how they can do more with a single platform such as Papaya. “As a workforce management platform, we place tremendous importance on the employee experience. It can be as simple as making a global org chart accessible to people to build a sense of unity. A lot of it comes from the benefits package a company offers. We advocate a set of global benefits – benefits packages that are the same for people no matter where they work. It gives a sense of fairness and equality.” Remote Work Trends A Gartner, Inc report for 2021 found that remote workers represent around 32% of the global workforce, with roughly 51% of knowledge workers finding remote positions, a strong jump from the 27% represented in 2019. Even remote work allows for better control over employee schedules, giving them more freedom, and leniency when it comes to their work and personal life. There have been some notable challenges regarding the physical and mental wellness of employees that some companies are blindly ignoring, leading to increased amounts of burnout and higher levels of stress and anxiety. Recent studies by Flexjobs found that roughly 75% of remote workers experience stress and burnout, with 37% stating they’re working longer hours than what they did previously. Between managing their job and personal life, while trying to remain productive as possible, remote employees are finding it difficult to cope with the various aspects that come with a more lenient job schedule. “What’s hard is building a company culture when people have virtually no interaction with most of their new colleagues,” says Guez. When it came to her own company, which experienced massive growth at the start of the pandemic, Guez shares how her company handled the onboarding of remote employees. “What made it possible to bring people together was the fact that we had put a set of values into practice at an early stage. People knew what we stood for when they joined, and we were adamant about applying our values equally to everyone, regardless of location, seniority, or gender. That transparency gave people something to grasp onto as a link to the company and the rest of the workforce.” Flexibility has been one of the key selling points of remote jobs. But through the aid of technology and SaaS capabilities, remote teams have better access to the tools they require to improve their productivity without feeling burned out. Yet, even as the digital economy brings new technological innovation to our doorstep, and becomes a household concept that both employers and employees can benefit from, how are companies pushing forward without making processes too complex? “The more of a sense of partnership that can be built between the company and employees, the more both sides have to gain from it.” Fostering new relationships with employees, while balancing both professional and personal experiences is not a challenge many companies have come across. Yet, it’s perhaps possible that workforce management tools have enabled them to be more hands-on in their approach. There are a lot of integrating concepts that help to mitigate the labor required to ensure remote working can be successful. These ideas, which have now transpired into reality, give way to startups to establish innovative features to keep partners and collaborators engaged. But as the pandemic starts to subside, and some companies are requesting their employees to return to the office, the future of these platforms is nothing but short-lived. “The combination of having an office for part of the week and working remotely for part of the week – the hybrid model – seems to be the best of all worlds. People get both flexibility and structure. And they spend some time together.” Cohesive structures, both human and technological, have fast established the transparent relationship companies can have with software and digital concepts. Looking forward, there’s perhaps more we can learn from working and living with the pandemic, but more so, technology can aid in our ever-growing reliance on digital connection. Updated on May 17, 2022, 12:10 pm (function() { var sc = document.createElement("script"); sc.type = "text/javascript"; sc.async = true;sc.src = "//mixi.media/data/js/95481.js"; sc.charset = "utf-8";var s = document.getElementsByTagName("script")[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(sc, s); }()); window._F20 = window._F20 || []; _F20.push({container: 'F20WidgetContainer', placement: '', count: 3}); _F20.push({finish: true});.....»»

Category: blogSource: valuewalkMay 17th, 2022

Netflix publishes new culture guidelines that sends blunt message to employees

After being hit with employee protests over some of its programming decisions, Netflix Inc. is telling its workforce that they are welcome to quit if they don't agree with the company's approach. That's the message the Los Gatos-based streaming giant is sending with its first update to its employee culture guidelines in five years. And it comes about six months after Netflix employees protested the company's decision to air a Dave Chappelle comedy special that included transphobic comments. "As….....»»

Category: topSource: bizjournalsMay 16th, 2022

Key Words: Netflix tells employees, ‘You may need to work on titles you perceive to be harmful’

'If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth, Netflix may not be the best place for you,' the company culture section ended......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchMay 13th, 2022