As California policymakers speed up the state’s switch to renewable energy, a key question is this: Do the much-touted new green jobs actually go to a diverse cross-section of the state’s workforce, or are disadvantaged communities left out?
According to data obtained and analyzed by researchers at University of California Berkeley’s Labor Center, the answer is that in recent years, a significant share of strong, career-track jobs in the construction of renewable energy power plants statewide have, in fact, gone to low-income residents and people of color.
Our recently issued report shows that the joint union-employer apprenticeship programs used in these projects have played an important role in diversifying California’s clean energy workforce.
In Kern County, local data shows that 43 percent of entry-level electrical workers on solar power plant construction lived in communities designated as disadvantaged by the California Environmental Protection Agency, while 47 percent lived in communities with unemployment rates of at least 13 percent.
Kern County electrical apprentice pay schedules show a clear progression toward the middle class. Current first-year apprentices start at $16.49 per hour plus full benefits and receive wage increases as they move through their five-year training program. Graduates become journey electricians earning more than $40 per hour.
Statewide, the picture is similar. Among the 16 union locals of electricians, ironworkers, and operating engineers that have built most of California’s renewable energy power plants, about 60 percent of new apprentices were people of color.
Diversity varied by trade. Latinos, who make up one-third of the state’s labor force, represented 53 percent of new apprentice ironworkers, 34 percent of electrical workers, and 23 percent of operating engineers. While African-Americans are 6 percent of the statewide labor force, they made up 4 percent of new apprentice electricians, 6 percent of ironworkers, and 9 percent of operating engineers.
The presence of military veterans in these programs also was higher than in California’s workforce as a whole. While veterans are only 4 percent of statewide workers, they comprised 9 percent of new electrical apprentices, 6 percent of ironworkers, and 12 percent of operating engineers.
The weak point in these apprenticeship programs, as with the rest of California’s construction industry, was the participation of women, ranging from only 2 percent to 6 percent among the three trades.
All told, the track record shows that California has made progress toward broadening access for disadvantaged workers to good jobs in the clean energy economy. But this diversity has not been automatic. A key driver of progress is the fact that most renewable energy plants were built under project labor agreements, which ensure union wage and benefit standards and free training for low-skilled workers through state-certified apprenticeships. Recruitment efforts by unions and the projects’ locations were also important since many renewable power plants are in counties such as Kern that have high unemployment and concentrations of low-income communities.
Looking forward, job access in the clean energy industry can be advanced by adopting specific programs such as publicly funded pre-apprenticeship training and local-hire provisions, in combination with project labor agreements.
Additional progress is likely if state lawmakers approve SB 100, which would commit California electricity providers to obtain 100 percent of their power from clean energy sources by 2045. This would drive further growth of renewable energy construction, which in turn would create more jobs and more openings in state-certified apprenticeship programs. The net result would be an important step forward along California’s path to meeting its climate challenge while simultaneously broadening access to middle-class jobs.
About the Authors
Carol Zabin and Robert Collier are director and policy specialist, respectively, of the Green Economy Program at the Center for Labor Research and Education at UC Berkeley.
Did you know that Hispanics contribute $1 trillion to the economy every year?
Two years into his second career as a business executive and baseball analyst, Alex Rodriguez—always a student, always a numbers cruncher—knows all too well.
And he’s looking ahead.
“I think… we should be having really smart conversations on how to double that number,” he said.
Rodriguez was one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history, finishing his career with 696 dingers and winning a World Series with the fabled New York Yankees, but this is A-Rod 2.0.
Owner and CEO of A-Rod Corp. Investor. The first Hispanic to swim with the big fish on Shark Tank.
Rodriguez has gone from baseball star to business supernova.
“When people think about my career, they think about the championships, the RBIs, the home runs, but what they don’t realize is that I’m fifth all-time in striking out, so that means I have a PhD in failing,” Rodriguez, 43, said. “But I also have a master’s in getting back up and that’s what America is all about: getting back up, not getting defined by your mistakes. That’s what I try to push and encourage.”
Rodriguez, the father of two daughters, started A-Rod Corp, a private holding company with multiple businesses in the United States and Latin America, when he was 26. His motivation? “Fear.” He’d already seen too many players go broke.
His first investment was in a type of infrastructure he knew all about from his modest childhood: rental properties.
“We find ’em, we vet ’em, we underwrite ’em, we close ’em, we manage ’em, and then we rehab ’em,” he said. “We buy in secondary markets where job growth is growing. Millennials don’t want to own a house. They want to own an app. The last five or six years have been very healthy in the multifamily apartment sector.”
Today, A-Rod Corp owns or manages about 20,000 properties in 12 states and has branched out to fitness centers and automotive dealerships. The man who made hundreds of millions in his playing days also invests in Google, Amazon, Facebook, Berkshire Hathaway, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, among others.
He espoused his investing strategy on his first appearance as a guest judge on Shark Tank.
“I always invest in jockeys, not horses, because business—like sports—is just about people and I always tell people that I want entrepreneurs and partners with a PhD, not from Harvard or Yale, which is nice, too, but I mean poor, hungry and driven. I want entrepreneurs that are scrappy, that are gritty, and that can think outside the box, and that are winning players.”
Rodriguez retired from Major League Baseball after the 2016 season, and after Sports Illustrated named him one of the 30 most influential Hispanics in sports. The shortstop/third baseman won three MVP awards, was named to 14 all-star teams, and knocked out 3,115 hits in a 22-year career.
He was known for putting up staggering numbers; he was also revered as a student of the game.
He had been in business for years while he played for Seattle, Texas, and New York. He even took marketing classes at the University of Miami and value investing at Columbia University.
Now, it was time to do a deep dive into business. Rodriguez did what he’d done in sports: stepped into circles of greatness.
He asked questions. He listened.
His mentors include Lennar CEO Stuart Miller, JPMorgan Asset Management CEO Mary Erdoes, billionaire Warren Buffett, and Chicago White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who once said Rodriguez’ most impressive quality was “incessant curiosity.”
Rodriguez has never forgotten—and always applied—a simple lesson about business he received from Buffett: Never personally guarantee any debt and never hold too much cash, but rather put your money in great businesses.
Buffett also taught him that you can be a great businessman and a great guy.
“Always be a gentleman,” Buffett told him.
“That was simple, but it was genius,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez first appeared on Shark Tank in 2017 and is returning as a guest judge for its tenth season.
As usual, he looked like a natural, as if he’d been swimming in those waters all his life. Truth be told, his success is a result of hard work and preparation.
He says starring on the show with the likes of Mark Cuban, Daymond John, and Lori Greiner is a thrill.
“Of course, being the first Hispanic on Shark Tank is something to be really proud of,” he said.
In one of his investment victories, Rodriguez teamed up with Cuban to invest $150,000—for a 15 percent stake—in an Ice Shaker business, which sells insulated bottles that are an upscale version of plastic cups used to mix up protein shakes.
Chris Gronkowski—brother of famous New England Patriot Rob—said Ice Shaker sold about $80,000 worth of shakers in the first few months after he, Rob, and his three other brothers appeared on Shark Tank.
Rodriguez has stayed involved in baseball, honing his skills as a broadcaster for FOX before ESPN named him their lead analyst in early 2018. During his playing days, Rodriguez was versatile enough to switch from shortstop to third base when he joined the Yankees. As a broadcaster, he seamlessly goes from color commentator during games to studio analyst.
“It’s an exciting time in baseball and now I get that front row seat to tell that the story,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez has proved to be studied, insightful, and articulate in his off-the-field role. Listen to him for ten minutes and you’re bound to learn something about the national pastime. Recently, in a studio appearance on the morning sports show Get Up!, Rodriguez named the five greatest hitters he’d ever seen.
His take went viral. Many agreed. Many disagreed. Nobody questioned his baseball acumen, or his reasoned arguments, however.
For Rodriguez, life is never business as usual. There’s parenting, and there’s giving back to the community.
Rodriguez has spearheaded the Alex Rodriguez All-Stars in Education Scholars, offering hundreds
of thousands in scholarship money to those determined to be the first in their families to earn a college degree.
He also premiered a TV show called Back in the Game earlier this year, designed to help athletes who are down on their luck, financially speaking. His co-star? Former NFL great and current TV superstar Michael Strahan.
“Michael and I, something we’re really passionate about is taking athletes who have run into some bad luck … [and] lend a helping hand and hopefully they can get back on their feet,” Rodriguez said. “If you look at the data, they suggest that a lot of our players are going bankrupt way too soon. You make 90 percent of your money between age 20 to 30. Less than 5 percent of our guys in the major leagues have a college degree. What happens from age 30 to 80?”
Alex Rodriguez seems to have packed several lifetimes into his 43 years. And he’s come a long way from his early life as a child of Dominican immigrants who was raised by a single mother and had to move every 18 months “because the landlord would raise the rent.”
He was born in New York City and spent time in the Dominican Republic and Miami, Florida. He has never forgotten his Hispanic roots.
In 2005, amid confusion about his ethnicity, Rodriguez stated: “I want to say it out loud. I am Dominican.”
He has gone the extra mile to help Dominican baseball players thrive in “The Show.”
When Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria in 2017, he and Jennifer Lopez visited the country and raised more than $30 million to help victims and rebuild infrastructure.
His mission is to improve financial literacy among Hispanics and athletes in general.
What comes next for A-Rod?
If past is prologue, as Shakespeare said, he’ll surprise us with yet more accomplishments.
If humility is wisdom, as Proverbs says, he’ll continue to grow wiser, because he’s got two secret weapons named Ella and Natasha.
“My girls are great at making fun of dad,” he laughed. “They’re never impressed with anything I do. I love that.”
Not that long ago, Diversity & Inclusion was viewed as a sort of “icing on the cake” issue – companies knew that having a team dedicated to these issues was a good thing to have, but not totally necessary to the bottom line.
Thankfully, that viewpoint has shifted over the past few years, as more and more data is showing that diversity and inclusion is actually correlated to value creation and a company’s profitability.
Therefore, companies are realizing (some more quickly than others) that focusing on total societal impact is fundamental to driving long-term financial success. But how do we measure total societal impact? What factors do we take into account, and how do we quantify and measure that data? One approach to tackling this problem has come from Thomson Reuters, who recently released its 2018 list of the Top 100 Most Diverse and Inclusive Organizations Globally.
The team behind the annual D&I list looks at more than 7,000 companies across the globe and ranks them according to how they’re doing based on environmental, social and governance data spread across four key pillars: Diversity, Inclusion, People Development and News Controversy. Companies that score the highest across all measures are awarded a spot on the list.
It’s not easy to become a leader in Diversity & Inclusion, but it’s well-worth trying. Many companies who have invested in D&I practices over the years have seen significant growth and financial gains as a result. Here are four of the top leaders in D&I, as well as an overview of what they’ve been doing right over the past few years to help them gain this ranking.
Accenture PLC: In 2017 alone, Accenture added 1,800 employees of diverse backgrounds, up from approximately 1,000 in 2016, and increased the number of women in their workforce from 36 to 37%, with a goal of hitting 40% by 2020. The company also hired 750 veterans and military spouses, bringing them halfway to their goal of hiring 5,000 by 2020.
Medtronic PLC: Medtronic has made an effort to develop a series of robust diversity networks and employee resource groups for their employees across the globe. Their networks include the African Descent Network, Asian Descent Network Hispanic Descent Network and the Medtronic Women’s Network. They also have 12 Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are built to engage employees around shared interests and affinities.
Diageo PLC: In addition to boasting 50% female representation on their board and 40% on their executive committee, Diageo has also set goals of hitting 35% female representation on their senior leadership team by 2020, with a goal of 40% by 2025. They’ve also launched Plan W, a program that’s part of Diageo’s 2020 sustainability and responsibility targets which aims to build thriving communities by empowering women. As of 2017, Plan W has empowered over 315,000 women through learning, and indirectly impacted more than 1,700,000 people and is building thriving communities across 17 countries.
Gap Inc: In addition to business resource groups and advisory boards designed to provide opportunities for cross-cultural learning, mentoring and relationship building among employees, they’ve also launched ASCEND, a program devoted to developing an inclusive, diverse workforce and a pipeline of future leaders. ASCEND is designed to help minority leaders realize their potential and achieve their career aspirations through mentorship, building opportunity and individual capability building.
Continue on to Forbes.com to read the complete article.
As an executive, you might find it difficult to stay calm during stressful times. “One of the toughest things a CEO or executive can do today is stay focused and steady when the business is under stress,” says Stephen Miles of TMG, which advises Fortune 500 C-suites on leadership. “Something like a stock price dip can send the company into overreaction mode—trying to fix things that aren’t even broken.”
Uncertainty can cause even the strongest executives to react in negative ways. “2018 has brought enormous uncertainty around everything from trade policy to interest rates to energy prices,” says TMG’s Courtney Hamilton. “This causes wild fluctuations not only in markets, but in companies themselves, as they try to jump ahead of changes and second-guess strategy, usually with bad results.” Leading in a “wartime” full of uncertainty is very different from leading during a time of growth, says Hamilton. “As one CEO that we worked with said, ‘My very best peace-time advisor was my worst team member in a crisis.'”
During these times of stress and uncertainty, three common toxic behaviors among executives can derail a company. These emotional impulses not only are ineffective but also magnify problems and affect all members of the management team.
1 Focusing on “process” vs. opportunism. One of the most common stress responses is to get bogged down in the small details, slowing things down so that they move at a bureaucratic pace. “Getting bogged down in these less mission-critical process items just deflates the team and misses the opportunity to think creatively about solutions,” says TMG’s Matt Bedwell. “The executive may think that stomping on or calling out someone on, say, breaking the travel policy is being helpful and additive to the quest for a good outcome—when it’s just demoralizing to everyone.” 2 Being egocentric and deflecting blame. Executives displaying this behavior during stressful times maneuver to ensure that one of their peers gets all of the scrutiny—effectively taking the heat off from themselves. They can become highly emotional and personalize every discussion, making the team totally ineffective in its pursuit of developing plans that will lead it out of the mess. “For CEOs, you must re-assess all members of your team to understand their capabilities in this new reality,” says Bedwell. “Unfortunately, you need to be ready for some of your highest performers to disappoint you.” 3 Going into panic mode and wanting to change everything. When a high-performing business starts to underperform, the natural reaction is to panic and begin to examine and change everything. “People generally have good intent and want to be part of the solution, but in their quest to solve problems, they often start to change things that are perfectly good and do not need to be changed,” says Bedwell. “You cannot panic or get caught up in the flurry to ‘activate’ and start doing something.”
To combat these derailers, CEOs need to take on these leadership behaviors.
“Go slow to go fast.” The “go slow” component means to step back and diagnose before activating on those things that require intervention – and not everything requires intervention. Ruthless focus and prioritization is equally important in a stress event; you cannot be overcome by your organization’s quest to “do things.”
Be the absorber. Underperformance requires the CEO as a leader to be calm, cool, and collected, and “absorb” the stress and panic on the team. The CEO must then be the focuser, redirecting the energy to help everyone focus on the problem, the facts, the supporting data, and the proposed solutions. The moment a CEO panics, there is a 100X amplification into the company, and then people start to worry about the implications for them and are not focused on leading through the issues.
Remain fact-based and data-driven. CEOs must ensure that someone is collecting the data and validating or refuting “gut instinct” and anecdotal information. CEOs should be careful not to be overly influenced by the best communicator or presenter on the team – or by the person he or she last spoke with. Being fact-based and data-driven will require CEOs to be consistently Socratic and seeking to understand with context.
“Moving from good times into much more difficult times challenges every executive, making it critically important for CEOs to adopt a different leadership style,” says Miles. “And as difficult becomes the norm, there will be greater need to adjust to how your talent is behaving in real time, and prioritize what’s needed to dig in rather than overreact.”
Most people don’t get a chance to play professional sports for a living, but many truths we see on the field apply to the average workplace.
Just because you’re not working in front of sold-out World Series crowds does not mean that some of the things athletes have to deal with aren’t similar to situations you may find yourself in.
The 2018 Boston Red Sox offer a number of lessons that someone working a more traditional job can learn from. You may not be competing for (and winning) a world championship, but you can act like a champion and propel your own career forward.
1. Make the most of your opportunities
Steve Pearce has been what’s politely called a “journeyman.” That means he has bounced around the league, playing for multiple teams and never making much of a mark. He was good enough to stay in the Major Leagues, but for reasons that are hard to pinpoint, he never became an essential member of any of the organizations he played for.
That changed with this World Series. Pearce, who was traded from Toronto to Boston in June, changed the course of his career and baseball history with one home run and a bases-clearing double in game four of the series and two home runs in the series clincher.
Those hits earned Pearce the World Series Most Valuable Player Award and forever cemented his place in Red Sox lore. His actions showed that just because success and recognition do not come easily does not mean they won’t come. Pearce kept at it — long after many players might have called it a career — and when the opportunity came, he seized it.
2. Keep at it
Entering the 2018 playoffs, David Price had lost the first 10 postseason starts of his career. That put a cloud over the pitcher who had been a regular-season force, and it’s the kind of demon that sometimes becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Price did not allow his past failures to define his future. He pitched well in the early rounds but struggled to earn a win. He got his first postseason victory in the American League Championship Series and earned two wins in the World Series, including the series-clinching victory.
This changes how people will perceive Price going forward. He changed his narrative, and that’s something you can do as well if you keep getting up after being knocked down.
3. Do whatever is asked
Baseball generally has well-defined roles for its players. Starting pitchers start games and relievers finish them. In the playoffs, however, that’s not always the case. With so much on the line, Red Sox manager Alex Cora asked members of his team to operate outside their comfort zones.
Position players played in unfamiliar spots due to the rule that pitchers have to bat in National League ballparks. Others who’d earned the right to start sat on the bench, ready for the moment they were needed. And, most notably, starting pitchers came on in relief, shoring up a weak bullpen, perhaps the team’s only weakness.
It’s about attitude
Cora kept the Red Sox on an even keel throughout the season by having a relentlessly positive attitude. He created a supportive culture in which players were defined by their actions, not their pasts. That allowed Price to find playoff success and created the environment where Pearce could be a hero. You can accomplish the same things if you remain positive and keep working toward your goals even when dealt a setback.
Though the job market is pretty healthy these days, there’s a lot of competition out there. One way to get a leg up, is to present an outstanding resume, and knowing what mistakes to avoid will help in this regard.
Below are four things that are almost guaranteed to turn hiring managers off, so keep them in mind when crafting your resume.
1. A boring personal summary
The first thing hiring managers will see on your resume is your opening summary, and getting that snippet wrong could cause that document to get rejected in the blink of an eye. When composing your personal summary, be sure to steer clear of boring clichés and buzzwords like “go-getter” and “team player.” Instead, get creative. While calling yourself a “copywriting ninja” is a bit bold, it’ll also grab hiring managers’ attention more than “detail-oriented copywriter who strives for results.”
2. Grammatical errors
When hiring managers get a ton of qualified candidates for a given role, they often have no choice but to look for reasons to weed out applicants. And if your resume contains even one or two grammatical errors, there’s a good chance it’ll wind up in one rejection pile or another. That’s why you must make sure to present a grammatically clean document, even if you’re applying for a role that in no way hinges on your linguistic prowess or lack thereof.
Unfortunately, computerized spell- and grammar-check programs don’t always do the trick in spotting errors, so your best bet might be to enlist the help of a friend or associate who’s better at grammar than you are. Even if you don’t know a so-called grammar wiz, remember that an outsider is far more likely to pick up on mistakes than you are as the author.
3. Hard-to-read fonts
Most hiring managers scan resumes rather than read them. Therefore, using a tiny font to cram as much information onto a single page as possible isn’t going to serve you well. You’re better off making sure your resume is easy on the eyes, and that means choosing a more readable font, even if it causes your content to spill over to a second page.
4. A rundown of every responsibility you’ve ever been tasked with
The purpose of a resume is to help you prove that you’re qualified for whatever role you’re applying to. As such, it’s natural to want to include as much experience as possible. But there is such a thing as going overboard in this regard, especially if that document winds up rehashing every single task you’ve accomplished in your career. So rather than focus on quantity of responsibilities, focus on quality and relevance. Maybe you did field customer service calls in your early days as an account manager, but if you spent the past two years onboarding major clients and implementing a training program that increased sales, it pays to focus on those items instead.
A solid resume is your ticket to a job interview and eventual offer. Avoid these mistakes, and there’s a better chance your application won’t wind up in the trash.
NCCER and its Build Your Future (BYF) initiative have recently partnered with the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) to create a unique scholarship opportunity for individuals pursuing a career in construction through craft and technical programs.
This new scholarship program will annually award five scholarships in the amount of $2,000 each. These funds are available exclusively for NTHS student members who are currently studying a construction-related discipline. Scholarship winners will be chosen based on their academic merit, and students will have the chance to apply for this financial assistance beginning October 1st. Students can submit their scholarship application at nths.org/scholarships.
Recognizing their shared interest in supporting students who have chosen a career and technical education pathway, NCCER and BYF are proud to partner with NTHS. The NCCER & BYF/NTHS Scholarship can help bridge the skills gap in the construction industry by providing financial help to those seeking craft training. For more information, please visit byf.org/scholarships.
About NCCER — NCCER is a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) education foundation created by the construction industry to develop standardized curriculum with portable credentials and to help address the skilled construction workforce shortage. NCCER is recognized by the industry as the training, assessment, certification and career development standard for the construction and maintenance craft professional. For more information, visit nccer.org or contact NCCER customer service at 888.622.3720.
About Build Your Future – Build Your Future (BYF) is NCCER’s national image enhancement and recruitment initiative for the construction industry. Its mission is to recruit the next generation of craft professionals by making career and technical education a priority in secondary schools, shifting negative public perception about careers in the construction industry and providing a path from ambition, to training, to job placement as a craft professional. BYF provides a number of resources to assist industry, education and military organizations in achieving these goals. For more information, visit byf.org.
About the National Technical Honor Society — NTHS was established in 1984 with the purpose of honoring student achievement and leadership in Career and Technical Education. They have awarded over $2 million in scholarships, and endeavor to enhance and enrich the career opportunities of their members. With chapters in both secondary and post-secondary schools across the country, the National Technical Honor Society is the national leader in providing recognition for excellence in Career and Technical Education. NTHS serves over 80,000 student members throughout the U.S. and U.S. territories, and is based in Flat Rock, NC. For more information, visit nths.org.
New Nationwide survey reveals more than 80 percent of both African-American and Hispanic business owners of companies under 500 employees indicate they offer some form of employee benefits.
As unemployment rates remain low across the country, strong employee benefits packages are a key driver of both recruitment and retention. Diverse business owners — specifically those owned by Hispanics and African Americans — appear to be leading the way, as they are the most likely to offer benefits that can increase employee satisfaction.
“We treat our employees like family,” said Natasha Pongonis, a native Argentinean who is co-owner of Nativa, a Nationwide-insured independent multicultural marketing communications agency based in Columbus. “That’s why these survey results weren’t that surprising to me. They reinforce the fact that diverse business owners are diligent not only in job creation, but also in job security.”
Across every benefit category included in Nationwide’s survey, more African-American and Hispanic business owners indicate they provide more benefits to their employees than the general population of business owners:
Medical insurance: Offered by 62 percent of African-American business owners, 52 percent of Hispanic business owners and 41 percent of total business owners
Dental insurance: Offered by 48 percent of African-American business owners, 43 percent of Hispanic business owners and 25 percent of total business owners
Paid time off: Offered by 45 percent of African-American business owners, 40 percent of Hispanic business owners and 33 percent of total business owners
Workers’ compensation: Offered by 40 percent of African-American business owners, 43 percent of Hispanic business owners and 33 percent of total business owners
Life insurance: Offered by 38 percent of African-American business owners, 38 percent of Hispanic business owners and 22 percent of total business owners
Retirement benefits: Offered by 37 percent of African-American business owners, 37 percent of Hispanic business owners and 27 percent of total business owners
Vision insurance: Offered by 34 percent of African-American business owners, 34 percent of Hispanic business owners and 20 percent of total business owners
Short-term disability: Offered by 23 percent of African-American business owners, 24 percent of Hispanic business owners and 17 percent of total business owners
Long-term disability: Offered by 20 percent of African-American business owners, 19 percent of Hispanic business owners and 14 percent of total business owners
Domestic partner benefits: Offered by 13 percent of African-American business owners, 17 percent of Hispanic business owners and 8 percent of total business owners
Pet insurance: Offered by 4 percent of African-American owners, 7 percent of Hispanic business owners and 2 percent of total business owners
“Employee benefits help business owners take care of their most important asset: their employees,” said Syed Rizvi, Nationwide’s chief specialty insurance officer. “And when it comes to caring for their employees, diverse business owners appear to be among the most generous. From retirement plans to workers’ compensation and even pet insurance, they are more likely to invest in their employees’ futures and personal well-being.”
Continue onto PR Newswire to read the complete article.
It’s a great time to learn how to code. Whether you’re looking to reinvent your career and become a developer, leverage a new skill in your current job, or just better understand what the developers on your team are up to, there has never been a better time to get into programming.
There’s been an explosion of coding boot camps and online resources to help you get started. But it’s a double-edged sword: with near-unlimited resources, countless different languages—and a rabbit hole of passionate voices debating which are the easiest to learn, best to help you get a job, and so on—where do you start?
The best way to learn to code is to stop endlessly analyzing what to learn and just start. So, with a giant disclaimer that these aren’t all of the languages you could consider learning to start your coding journey, here are a few languages you can learn.
Great for: beginners, aspiring software engineers
Great for: beginners, aspiring software engineers
Ruby was specifically designed by its inventor Yukihiro Matsumoto to make programmers happy, and it’s delivered upon that objective: Ruby is accessible and reads like English, allowing new programmers to focus right away on the fundamental concepts and logic, rather than basic syntax. Even beginners can start building right away. The teachers at the Flatiron School find Ruby to be extremely effective at helping students learn how to think like programmers, break problems down, express themselves technically, abstract ideas, and work together with other programmers. (The Flatiron Co-founder Avi is a little obsessed with it, too.)
Great for: budding data scientists
There’s a massive amount of data out there. Companies that harness it can create better products and understand their businesses better; companies that don’t lose their competitive edge and get left behind. But while at its core, data science may be similar to your high school stats class, with so much data (hundreds of millions of records), your old spreadsheet is the wrong tool for the job. That’s where code comes in. The R language is super specific to statistics, whereas Python is a general-purpose language that happens to have great tooling available to make it a perfect language for data science. It’s actually similar to Ruby in a lot of ways: easy to read, forgiving for beginners, and there’s a passionate community around it, devoted to creating and improving the tooling to make Python even more powerful.
Great for: mobile developers, developers breaking out of their comfortzone
For beginners hoping to get into mobile app development, now is the perfect time to dive into Swift. It’s new enough that there is a lot of energy and excitement around it. Each year, Apple holds their Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) where Apple engineers discuss the intricacies of Swift along with all the new and exciting features (don’t be surprised if it inspires you to try implementing all the new concepts into your own apps). But it’s also been around long enough that the early kinks have been worked out, and the open source community has grown significantly. If you’re already a programmer, learning Swift is a way to get out of your comfort zone—the constraints iOS puts on your code forces you to, as Apple would say, “think different.”
Still not sure where to start? That’s OK! There’s really no correct first language to learn. The important thing is to consider what you’re excited to build, what language will help you do that, and then to just start learning!
Source: This piece was originally published by WeWork, which provides companies with the space, technology, and services they need to success.
Marlene Arroyo may have started her career in finance, but it was the human aspect of any job that always drew her in. From Dell to her current role as Vice President of People Operations at Liftoff Mobile Inc., a high growth tech company in Silicon Valley, she has made it her career mission to champion employees and embrace how their humanity impacts their jobs. It was knowing what her career mission was at its core that made it possible for her to transition from one career path to the next.
“Philosophically, it became apparent to me that human resources was my calling when, as a finance professional, I’d enjoy spending most of my time dissecting costs associated to SG&A, training, hiring and coaching,” shares Arroyo. “Mechanically, the way I was able to make this transition was by having informational meetings with HR executives, taking evening courses, asking for help and being open about my aspirations to my sponsors. While the art of Human Resources came naturally to me, to differentiate myself, I needed to supercharge the impact I delivered by drawing from my finance experience and ensuring that my strategic recommendation were backed by data.”
Now, she uses her skill-set to help others achieve the kind of growth that she’s constantly challenged herself to work towards.
“My biggest motivation [through this journey] has been my family,” says Arroyo. “I feel incredibly blessed to be the daughter of immigrant parents who instilled in me work ethic and resilience. While my parents still do not completely understand what I do, they know I work hard and they are my biggest fans. Each education milestone and career progression has been theirs as well. Their American Dream lives in me and owning that, keeps me motivated .”
Growing up in the Latinx culture and within her own family unit can explain in part why Arroyo has felt the desire to pay it forward to other generations by way of her career.
Below she shares advice for Latinxs who are searching for advice on how to land their dream job, how to self-care if you’re in the position of constantly pouring into others, and how to make sure you’re learning the most from your current job.
Vivian Nunez: How has your Latinidad influenced your career?
Latinx leaders are still relatively scarce, but those we spoke to are blazing a trail for others to follow.
As we round out National Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs from September 15 to October 15), celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America, Fast Company spoke to Latinx leaders to acknowledge their contributions and recognize their opportunities and challenges.
The challenges are not insignificant with under-representation across the board. Although the Latinx workforce is one of the fastest growing–increasing from 10.7 million in 1990 to 26.8 million in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 11 CEOs lead companies in the Fortune 500 and only 3.5% of Fortune 500 board seats were held by Latinx executives in 2016. The Alliance for Board Diversity says that represents just a .5% increase between 2010 and 2016. Hispanics have the highest rate of new entrepreneurs, but at 12% they have the lowest rate of business loans from financial institutions among all other firms. Hispanic women-owned businesses represent nearly half of all Hispanic firms. However, access to capital, a major facilitator of business growth, isn’t available to them as readily, according to a report from Stanford. And Hispanic women’s equal pay day–the additional number of days in the year they have to work to equal a white man’s pay–isn’t until November 2.
Despite these significant challenges, Latinx leaders continue to blaze a trail for others to follow. Here’s what they told us about the opportunities they’re leveraging to make a difference.
“MY CULTURE RELEASED ME FROM THE FALSE PRESUMPTION THAT THERE WAS ONE RIGHT PATH.”
The biggest challenge is the invisibility of our community in all of the narratives of leadership. We are rarely present. The Latinx folks who have traveled the path are so few, far, in between, and hidden. You rarely get the benefit of learning from the pathbreakers.
For chunks of my upbringing, I resented having one foot in the world of my cultural heritage and one foot in the American experiment but my career helped me deeply appreciate it. Straddling both worlds gave me such a unique lens on what it means to carry different perspectives as a result of different life experiences. It helped me see and grow people for what they could be instead of molding them into a bootleg version of myself. My culture released me from the false presumption that there was one right path.
–Karla Monterroso, CEO, Code2040
“I HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE A NATIONAL CONVERSATION.”
As a Latina business executive at a high-growth tech company with a strong consumer brand, I have the opportunity to influence a national conversation. Our country is grappling with so many issues that affect the Latino community: immigration reform, refugee rights, political representation, and voting engagement, and the reality is that those making, executing, and influencing policy are likely to listen to strong members of the business community. Every time I have an opportunity to speak or write something that will be publicly shared, I ensure I am speaking to these issues in some capacity.
It’s no surprise that there is not equal representation of Latinx leaders in the tech industry. This means we are working extra hard to show up everywhere our community needs us. I wear a lot of hats at Lyft–from a VP on the Lyft Business team, to the executive sponsor of our Latinx ERG group, to the company’s representative at events or meetings where the insights from a Latinx executive might be helpful. I also advise a VC fund that is focused on supporting Latinx entrepreneurs–it’s the only VC fund I know of that is focused specifically on this–and while my participation is extremely rewarding, it requires a lot of time and dedication. I feel responsibility for this work, because every voice matters.
–Veronica Juarez, Area VP of Social Enterprise at Lyft