September 8, 2022
Photo: Mimi Thian/Unsplash
Welcome back to our Workplace newsletter. This excellent piece by Delia Cai is making the rounds, and it’s a must-read for anyone following the way we work (or don’t work) right now. In other news, if you’re on the West Coast, please do your best to stay hydrated.
Today, it’s time to stop lumping every worker from the most populous continent on the planet into one single diversity bucket. Plus, how one professor stood up to the toxic culture at computer science conferences, and new research shows that hiring freezes and layoffs are still increasing.
— Meg Morrone, senior editor (email | twitter)
McKinsey’s team of workplace experts is doing the research and writing the reports and getting the receipts on all the meaty complex cultural stuff we cover in this newsletter. I’ve written about the company’s annual women in the workplace analysis and about how diversity initiatives aren’t advancing blue-collar workers. Now, out today, we’ve got a new set of takeaways on Asian Americans in the corporate world.
If you remember anything from today’s newsletter, I hope it’s that lumping “Asian Americans” together in a bucket just does not work for research or for improving outcomes. It’s a grouping we’ve invented that mushes together the experiences of people tied to countless cultures and countries on the most populous continent on the planet.
The report found that depending on ethnicity, education and immigration status, Asian American workers have very different outcomes. But no matter how they identify, most surveyed for this report have the same problems we see for women of color and minority groups in general in the workplace — lower levels of pay and promotion, and a lesser sense of meritocracy, fairness and inclusion than white and male counterparts.
I sat down with one of the report’s authors, Kweilin Ellingrud, a senior partner and director of McKinsey’s Global Institute, and asked her to give me the most important takeaways for employers.
In addition to better and more specific data collection, Ellingrud emphasized the importance of sponsorship. Most women and minority groups report receiving plenty of mentorship, but sponsorship is in fact very different — and far more important.
Requiring sponsorship and tracking it closely helps to address the fact that without rules in place, people are often more inclined to sponsor those who look and act like them. “And when we see others who are quite different, it’s hard for us to interpret skill and capability accurately. We don’t recognize it because it’s not in our frame of reference,” Ellingrud said.
Last month, the University of California, Berkeley’s much-respected Edward Lee — a professor emeritus of electrical engineering and computer sciences, who for several decades has served on program committees that judge research papers — caused an uproar in the CS community after he shared a scathing review of the system. Ever since conferences adopted a new review process that shields the names of judges, as well as papers’ authors — many made the change in the early 2000s — critics say a new problem has arisen: Rejection notes are often so random, or just factually incorrect, that applicants suspect nobody actually read their paper. Reporter Anna Kramer spoke to Lee about why he’s chastising the community he’s been a loyal member of for so long, and what he thinks can be done to address the problem.
Software is changing payments and banks should care: At Modern Treasury, we built a platform to complement banks’ existing products to help them prepare for a future led by software. We’re here to help them future-proof their business so that they can participate in and lead in the next phase of financial services.
HR budgets are shrinking and hiring is still slowing down in many organizations, according to a new report from Gartner. The consultancy surveyed more than 160 HR leaders last week to find that hiring freezes and slowdowns, HR budget cuts and layoffs are all more widespread than they were earlier in the summer.
Anyone else having a bad case of Great Resignation whiplash? It’s hard to keep up with which tech companies are growing, shrinking, floating or sinking. We’re here to help.
⬆️ Need a job? Head to Minnesota.
⬇️ Sources: VMware is bleeding talent ahead of the Broadcom acquisition (partly because Broadcom’s CEO might end remote work).
⬇️ Fintech company Revolut is allegedly revoking job offers to new grads.
⬇️ Recent hires, millennials, high earners and other workers who should watch their backs when it comes to layoffs.
For more news on hiring, firing and rewiring, see our tech company tracker.
A roundup of workplace news from the farthest corners of the internet.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but don’t start rumors about your co-workers (even if they get the promotion that should have gone to you). (Ask a Manager)
Would you hire someone anonymously? (Twitter)
Amazon CEO Andy Jassy won’t force workers back to the office. (CNBC)Very bad bosses. (WorkLife)
Software is changing payments and banks should care: Activities that once took place in person or over the phone—getting a loan, making a payment, investing in a security—now occur entirely within software. Covid has only accelerated this trend. To remain a part of clients' financial lives, banks need to play well with software.
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