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Women at Work

The Gag Tactic Wall Street Taught Silicon Valley

Legal barriers for women in tech have grown, thanks to some bi-coastal knowledge sharing

New Yorker on Why Tech Has a Gender Discrimination Problem

Yesterday, Sheelah Kolhatkar, released her piece for this week's New Yorker that digs into why gender disparity is so prevalent in tech. It's a juicy read, and I'm a big Sheelah fan. I ate up her book Black Edge last winter that looked into how hedge funds ultimately get away with insider trading. I urge you to read Sheelah's entire story - it's long but worth it. In the meantime, I'm highlighting one of the more revelatory parts that details why it's so hard for women in tech to speak up about the discriminatory practices they witness.

"...in recent years in Silicon Valley there has been an enormous increase in the use of arbitration clauses in employee contracts—a legal strategy pioneered by Wall Street firms..."

The paragraph I lifted the above quote from follows and you can read Sheelah Kolhatkar's entire piece here.


"Meanwhile, the tech industry continues to erect barriers to legal action. A recent study by the law firm Carlton Fields Jorden Burt found that in recent years in Silicon Valley there has been an enormous increase in the use of arbitration clauses in employee contracts—a legal strategy pioneered by Wall Street firms, whereby disputes such as harassment must be settled through arbitration rather than litigated in federal court. The arbitration process is both shielded from public scrutiny and generally considered more favorable to employers. Tech companies have also embraced the use of employee confidentiality and nondisclosure agreements. Ostensibly, such agreements exist to protect company secrets, but when they are too broad they prevent employees from comparing salaries or talking publicly about their experiences at work. One former Google employee told me, "I wish we could have a twenty-four-hour moratorium on N.D.A.s, because that day would rock the tech industry."


From IC to VP in Four Years: Reflections on Growth & Problem Solving from Peloton's Betina Evancha

Betina Evancha loves putting together IKEA furniture. If you have some languishing in a box in a closet, waiting for you to muster up the patience to sort through a hundred tiny screws, she'd be happy to help.
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popular

12 Ways to Seem Smart in a Zoom Meeting

It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?

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For Employers

How Leaders Can Support Their Black Employees

A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work

The world has changed in the past few weeks.

We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.

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Diversity & Inclusion

How To Handle Conversations on Race with Your Non-Black Coworkers

I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."

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Work From Home

Four Ways to Nail Your Next Virtual Interview: Recruiters at Relativity Share Their Tips

Living in the midst of a pandemic has brought about a whole host of changes and challenges for workplaces and employees. One of the most notable? Virtual interviewing. With most on-site interviews on hold for the foreseeable future, it's important that you be prepared to make a great first impression—virtually.

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