New York Times announces new gender editor

The New York Times has created a "gender editor" position, naming former Newsweek editor Jessica Bennett to the new role. "Jessica is the author of Feminist Fight Club, an illustrated battle manual for fighting sexism at work, and a coveted campus and corporate speaker on gender, identity and digital culture," reads a press release from The Times. "At Newsweek, she coauthored a cover story about the women who had sued the magazine for discrimination in 1970, and as executive editor of Tumblr, she helped oversee the first live-GIFed presidential debate. She also once interned for the late Trump biographer Wayne Barrett," the announcement continues. The paper adds that Bennett will lead "a multi-pronged initiative to deepen the engagement of female readers around the world."

Black and Latino representation in Silicon Valley has declined, study shows

Black and Latino representation has declined in Silicon Valley, and although Asians are the most likely to be hired, they are the least likely to be promoted, according to a new study exposing persistent racial prejudice in the tech industry.

The research from not-for-profit organization Ascend Foundation, which examined official employment data from 2007 to 2015, suggests that people of color are widely marginalized and denied career opportunities in tech – and that the millennial generation is unlikely to crack the glass ceiling for minorities. “There have been no changes for Asians or any other minority over time – men or women,” said Buck Gee, the study’s co-author and an executive adviser to Ascend, a US-based research group that advocates for Asian representation in businesses. For some groups, he added, “It’s actually worse.”

While women and people of color are employed at tech companies in larger numbers than they used to be, their upward mobility at those companies has stagnated. From 2007 to 2015, white men consistently composed a higher share of executive roles than professional roles at tech companies, the study found. It’s the reverse for Asians, Hispanics and blacks, especially if they’re women.

Leading the Legal War Against Fox

So far in 2017, the lawyer Douglas Wigdor, a conservative Republican, has filed 11 suits against Fox News for defamation, sexual harassment and racial discrimination.

Television viewers have long been familiar with Fox’s public product, but for more than a decade, there have also been persistent glimpses of its private culture as numerous women have come forward accusing men like Roger Ailes — or the host Eric Bolling, who was ousted this month after sending lewd text messages to female colleagues — of predatory sexual misconduct. As Ailes did before he died in May, Bolling has denied the allegations. The accusations by Wigdor’s clients — former news anchors, former news analysts, former accounting department employees — have only deepened the portrait of a toxic culture. One of the people he represents, a regular guest political commentator, says the network retaliated against her after she lodged a rape claim against a Fox Business host. Another, a Bangladeshi payroll worker, says a colleague once referred to him as a “terrorist.” In lawsuits that run to nearly 300 pages, there are charges that the network fired a freelance reporter at Fox 5 News, its New York affiliate, after she became pregnant; that Fox’s former comptroller repeatedly ridiculed black and Hispanic colleagues; and that some Fox journalists conspired with the White House to produce fake news.

Ellen Pao says it's time to 'shake out' people in tech who don't believe in inclusion

Ellen Pao has a message for Silicon Valley: It's time for the white male-dominated tech industry to "reset" itself.

"When I use the term reset, it's really that we need to shake out the people who don't believe in inclusion and bring in the people who have been excluded," she said. Pao says she figured hard work and her "super power" (sleeping remarkably few hours a night) could overcome the inequities thrown in her path. "It's not something you want to believe. It takes a lot to shake that belief out of you," Pao said. But, when she had trouble getting investments approved and to holding onto companies that were doing well, she noticed she wasn't the only one being denied opportunities that came easily to men. "There's a point where I realized that other women were doing much better work and had much more successful investments than the men," she said. "It made me realize the system really wasn't fair and it really wasn't based on merit."

Boxed In 2016-17: Women On Screen and Behind the Scenes in Television

For the last 20 years, Boxed In has tracked women’s representation in prime-time television. The project provides the most comprehensive historical record of women’s onscreen portrayals and behind-the-scenes employment available. The study examines dramas, comedies, and reality programs appearing on the broadcast networks, basic and premium cable channels, and streaming services.
Overall, 68% of the programs considered featured casts with more male than female characters.
Across platforms, females comprised 42% of all speaking characters.
Females accounted for 42% of major characters on broadcast network, cable and streaming programs.
The percentage of female characters featured on broadcast network programs was the same in 2016-17 as it was nearly a decade earlier in 2007-08.
Across platforms, programs are becoming more racially and ethnically diverse.
Regardless of platform, gender stereotypes on television programs abound.

Why I Was Fired by Google

[Commentary] I was fired by Google Aug 7 for a document that I wrote and circulated internally raising questions about cultural taboos and how they cloud our thinking about gender diversity at the company and in the wider tech sector. I suggested that at least some of the male-female disparity in tech could be attributed to biological differences (and, yes, I said that bias against women was a factor too). Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai declared that portions of my statement violated the company’s code of conduct and “cross the line by advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”

My 10-page document set out what I considered a reasoned, well-researched, good-faith argument, but as I wrote, the viewpoint I was putting forward is generally suppressed at Google because of the company’s “ideological echo chamber.” My firing neatly confirms that point. How did Google, the company that hires the smartest people in the world, become so ideologically driven and intolerant of scientific debate and reasoned argument? If Google continues to ignore the very real issues raised by its diversity policies and corporate culture, it will be walking blind into the future—unable to meet the needs of its remarkable employees and sure to disappoint its billions of users.

[Damore worked as a software engineer at Google’s Mountain View campus from 2013 until this past week.]

Tech’s sexism doesn’t stay in Silicon Valley. It’s in the products you use.

We’ve heard lots about Silicon Valley’s toxic culture this summer — its harassing venture capitalists, its man-child CEOs, its abusive nondisparagement agreements. Those stories have focused on how that culture harms those in the industry — the women and people of color who’ve been patronized, passed over, pushed out and, in this latest case, told they’re biologically less capable of doing the work in the first place. But what happens in Silicon Valley doesn’t stay in Silicon Valley. It comes into our homes and onto our screens, affecting all of us who use technology, not just those who make it. It’s bad enough for apps to showcase sexist or racially tone-deaf jokes or biases. But in many cases, those same biases are also embedded somewhere much more sinister — in the powerful (yet invisible) algorithms behind much of today’s software.

Democrats more likely than Republicans to say online harassment is a major problem

Some 14% of US adults say they have been targeted for online harassment or abuse because of their political views, according to a new report from Pew Research Center. And while Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to have been harassed online because of their political views (15% vs. 13%), there are some notable partisan differences in their views of the issue. Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they have heard a great deal about the topic of online harassment (38% vs. 25%). In addition, a larger share of Democrats than Republicans (69% vs. 54%) consider online harassment to be a major problem.

Regardless of political affiliation, women in both parties are more likely than their male counterparts to view online harassment as a major problem, to think offensive content online isn’t taken seriously enough and to prioritize safe spaces over people being able to express themselves freely online.

Since Trump’s Election, Increased Attention to Politics – Especially Among Women

Following the 2016 election, which had one of the largest gender gaps in history, women are more likely than men to say they are paying increased attention to politics. And while far more Democrats than Republicans say they have attended a political event, rally or protest since the election, Democratic women – especially younger women and those with postgraduate degrees – are among the most likely to have participated in such a political gathering.

The latest national survey by Pew Research Center, conducted June 27 to July 9 among 2,505 adults, finds that 52% of Americans say they are paying more attention to politics since Donald Trump’s election; 33% say they are paying about the same amount of attention, while 13% say they are paying less attention to politics. The new survey also finds that, nearly nine months after the election, most people (59%) say it is “stressful and frustrating” to talk about politics with people who have a different opinion of Trump than they do; just 35% find such conversations “interesting and informative."

RTDNA Research: Women and minorities in newsrooms

The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds the minority workforce in TV news rose to 24.4%. That’s up more than a full point from a year ago… and is the second highest level ever in TV news.

The minority workforce at non-Hispanic TV stations rose to the highest level ever. The minority workforce in radio is up 2.3… but still well below the level in 2014. Women numbers were mixed in both TV and in radio. Still, as far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 27 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 12.1 points; but the minority workforce in TV news is up just over half that at 6.6. And the minority workforce in radio is less than 1 point higher.