All Articles Tagged "Google"
Google is showing that it is trying to work on its diversity problem. Google is giving its employees 20 percent free time to come up with ways to increase the diversity of its workforce. The free time concept isn’t anything new at the company. The company has given 20 percent free time to workers to allow them to work on innovative side projects. But the new version of this perk is a little different as Google has come up with a problem to solve–how to get more minority workers at Google.
“Diversity Core is a formal program in which Google employees contribute one-fifth of their time to initiatives aimed at attracting more women and minorities and creating a more welcoming culture for them — both at Google and in the tech industry,” reports USA Today.
Diversity Core seems to be in full swing as about 500 employees in 53 offices have participating. In all, Google plans on spending $150 million this year alone to make its workforce and the tech industry more diverse.
“We want all Googlers to care about diversity, not just the leadership or the diverse population,” Nancy Lee, Google’s vice president of people operations, says. “You have to figure out: Where’s the tipping point to changing the culture?”
“It institutionalizes this conversation about diversity so that it’s not just seen as an extra or as an after thought but something that is built into the company itself with senior leadership buy-in,” Brack says. “Google is not only leveraging the innovative thinking and brain power that it is known for, it’s allowing people to work on something they care about without having to stack it on top of everything else they do.”
The Wall Street Journal reports today that Google is considering embedding a “Buy” button in its search results for consumers. With high levels of consumer activity on mobile devices, the ability to shop via Google has retailers worried it will further erode their marketplace traffic.
Noting the concern, Google will allow consumers to opt in to marketing programs as though they made their purchase on the retailers’ own websites. Google also reports, it will brand product pages where consumers will make their purchases, only making further recommendation from that retailer.
Despite Google’s diplomatic assurance that retailers will get a slice of the marketing pie, financial analyst Erika Morphy of Forbes Business believes it will only separate consumers from retailers by making Google the “middle man.”
Google’s competition, Amazon, has become the thriving “it” marketplace with more than two million merchants who sell products on its site and give a cut of sales to Amazon. However, larger retailers do not work with Amazon because they fear price competition.
And eBay worked with retailers to sell items but the end results were lukewarm.
Whole Foods and InstaCart (a shop and delivery service for groceries) have also collaborated for Valentine’s Day weekend. It was a major success, but Whole Food shoppers now lean towards InstaCart for their produce needs for better or worse.
As for Google’s strategy, retailers will still pay the search engine corporation for its advertisements and Google’s “Buy” button will only be available on mobile devices. Since last year Google has been in talks about launching their “Buy” button but there is no word when the new development will release.
Google has taken action to help promote diversity in Silicon Valley. The online giant has started embedding engineers at select Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) so they can teach, mentor, and advise on curriculum.
Last year, Google revealed, as did other tech companies, their diversity numbers after the Rev. Jesse Jackson called for a movement to open up Silicon Valley. Like the others, Google’s diversity numbers were sorely lacking.
“Today 35 percent of African Americans receiving computer science degrees come from those schools, but they don’t make their way to Silicon Valley’s top tech firms. Google is typical — about 1 percent of its technical staffers are Black,” reports The Huffington Post.
Google is sending software engineers to teach at Howard, Virginia’s Hampton University, Fisk University in Nashville, and Spelman and Morehouse colleges in Atlanta to not only teach introductory courses but to train students on such things as how to compose a professional email and how to handle a software engineering job interview.
Thirty HBCU students intern at Google interns. One graduating Howard student has already landed a position at Google.
Legrand Burge, who chairs Howard University’s computer science department, says Google’s involvement is a plus.
“They’re not academics but they have domain expertise that students could definitely learn a lot from,” he said. “The word got out and it actually got a lot of students interested in computer science who didn’t initially plan to study it.”
Google isn’t alone in taking action. The Anita Borg Institute and the National Center for Women and Information Technology have teamed up with various companies to support female engineers. And Facebook now has “Facebook University,” an internship targeting low-income minority college freshmen wanting to enter computer science.
Meanwhile, Intel has committed $300 million over the next five years to go towards diversifying its own workforce. And Apple has a $50 million partnership with nonprofits to offer support to women and minority computer science majors.
Here’s how it works: You are charged $20 a month for unlimited calls, texting, mobile hotspot usage, and international coverage. Additionally, you pay $10 for every gigabyte of data you want to use in a month. But if you don’t use all the data you have purchased, Google refunds you the difference. Yes, refunds it. Currently, Google is the only wireless carrier to offer such a deal.
Although T-Mobile and AT&T permit users to roll over unused data to the next month, they still must pay the full price for that data even if they use it or not. And if you go over you data plan with AT&T and Verizon you will be charged extra.
Project Fi seems like a great deal all around, but it does have its limits. Right now it’s not available nationwide and it works only on the Nexus 6 phone from Motorola. (This is now more or less a testing phase.) Ultimately, it will come to Android phones, but that leaves out all of the iPhone users. Though Yahoo Finance editor Andy Swerver thinks, if it takes off and even prompts users to move from iOS to Android, Apple may put pressure on AT&T and Verizon to provide a comparable plan.
And the coverage isn’t great either. “Google is also using Sprint and T-Mobile’s networks to host the data, but Sprint and T-Mobile generally have poorer coverage compared with AT&T and Verizon,” reports Business Insider.
But it will be interesting to see if other carriers follow Google’s cash back move.
If it does so, the service will be competing with the Uber, which too may be planning an autonomous taxi service. The company has been plagued with reports about drivers attacking passengers.
According to Bloomberg, Uber executives have gotten a peak at screenshots of what may be Google’s ride-hailing app, and are “deeply concerned” about Google possibly using its self-driving cars as a taxi service.
Things are even more intriguing when considering the fact that Google Ventures recently invested $258 million in Uber. And Google’s chief legal officer, David Drummond, has been a member of Uber’s board of directors since 2013.
Drummond reportedly told Uber’s board that Google may soon be a competitor and apparently the board is deciding whether Drummond will be asked to resign.
Google is looking to put its driverless-car technology to use in two to five years, reports Business Insider. Uber’s probably won’t be ready for a while.
But Uber’s not taking Google’s news standing still. The ride-sharing startup’s gearing up for its own version of autonomous cars–among other things.
“Aside from its private car service, Uber has experimented with food delivery, cargo transportation and courier services, among other offerings,” reports The New York Times.
And a fleet of autonomous cars could really push the company forward. They even have a new institute called the Uber Advanced Technologies Center which will have a joint initiative with Carnegie Mellon University. The initiative will pair Uber with researchers from the National Robotics Engineering Center and Uber will fund robotics fellowships and professorships for the university. All in the hopes of offering autonomous vehicles.
Super-fast home Internet connection courtesy of Google, which is expected to be coming soon to the city of Atlanta. If this happens, some metro Atlantans will have more choices for Internet and TV connections.
“Three months ago AT&T announced a similar effort, saying it would add fiber residential Internet connections within the cities of Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur and Newnan,” reports The Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Google is expected to make an announcement next week that it will bring the service to Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, and Raleigh-Durham.
The connections are expected to be 100 times faster than the average for U.S. homes. Google is already offering the service in Austin, Kansas City, and Provo, Utah.
Back in February, Google announced it was thinking about laying fiber to provide the service in nine more metro areas, including metro Atlanta.
“Rival AT&T announced in October that it will deploy its own gigabit-per-second speeds to homes inside the city limits of Atlanta, Sandy Springs, Decatur and Newnan,” reports AJC. But AT&T hasn’t revealed when it will debut the service or how much it will cost.
Welcome back to “Behind the Click,” the column in which we profile Black women in STEM professions. Want to pitch this section? Email email@example.com.
Name: Jewel Burks
Favorite read: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. A short book, but has been incredibly impactful to my life.
Favorite apps: Google Maps (because I’d be lost without it!), Venmo, Slack, Shazam, Twitter and Instagram.
Ultimate goal for 2015: My ultimate goal is for Partpic to reach $2 million in revenue.
Most inspired by: My family.
One quote that inspires you: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” – Prov. 3:5-6
Well-known technology website TechCrunch hosted its annual Disrupt competition last September. Among the 26 startups selected to participate in its San Francisco Battlefield was Partpic, an Atlanta-based visual recognition startup helps enterprise clients save time and money to find replacement parts. The co-founder and CEO Jewel Burks blazed the stage, garnering widespread support as the only African-American-led company pitching the panel of judges.
“The judges were giving us great feedback and it went really well, so we had a good feeling about making it to the finals,” says Burks. “We didn’t win the Disrupt cup, but we did win an award [Best Enterprise Disrupter] from Accenture, which turned out to be another amazing thing for us because now we’re actually partnering with Accenture to work with some of their large clients, so that’s awesome.”
Here, we caught up with the Howard University grad to discuss tech entrepreneurship and diversity in tech.
MadameNoire: How did you get your start in the technology space?
Jewel Burks: I interned at Google in 2009 and fell in love with the tech industry.
MN: As a startup founder and CEO, what’s a day in the life for you?
JB: I wake up, I pray, check email and write a to-do list for the day. Then I get dressed, go to the office, eat breakfast, and usually alternate between meetings with potential investors/customers/team members and working through the items on my list. Typically in the evenings if I’m in Atlanta I’ll cook dinner, talk to family on the phone and continue to work. When I’m traveling, I’ll usually have events or dinners in the evenings, then I go to sleep. For some reason I can sleep much better when I’m on the road. When I’m at home, I usually stay up and work and have a hard time sleeping.
MN: There’s been a lot of conversation around diversity in technology throughout the year given big name tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter releasing their diversity data. As an African-American woman in tech, how has your experience been in maneuvering through the space?
JB: It wasn’t easy when I first started my career, because I had a hard time adjusting to living in Silicon Valley and honestly wasn’t mature enough (I was 21, 22 at the time) to battle through it. I ended up leaving and moving to Atlanta to be closer to family and friends.
Now I have grown up and have much tougher skin. It is still frustrating knowing that Partpic has defensible technology, huge market potential, a qualified team and we have had such a hard time with fundraising, but I don’t get discouraged because I have faith we will make it. I’m also fortunate because I’m in a unique position to participate in and change the narrative about diversity in tech so that it won’t be as hard for the people of color coming up next.
MN: What will it take to bridge the current tech-talent pipeline issue?
JB: There are a lot of things that have to be done but here are my top three:
1) Early exposure to tech — I love the work Kimberly Bryant and others are doing to expose kids to coding at a young age and I have no doubt there will be more talented innovators and creators in the next generation.
2) Culture shift in the industry — Google has done some great work to bring ideas around unconscious bias to the forefront and this has to continue and expand. It’s great that more innovators will be prepared for roles in tech in the next generation but if they are subject to the biases that do exist and play a role in the lack of people of color in management then we’ll never see a real shift in the numbers.
3) More investment in people of color/women led startups — I’m seeing a lot of innovative startups (including my own) be denied investment while stupid copycat startups founded by people with no industry experience but the right “pedigree” get funded. More wealthy Black and Hispanic people need to become tech investors and actively write checks, and more White investors need to invest in women and people of color.
MN: Your startup is based in Atlanta, which has a burgeoning tech scene. What does the Atlanta tech scene offer tech entrepreneurs that San Francisco or New York City may not offer?
JB: Atlanta is a more supportive community. Since its still a relatively small scene, you can get to know the players and root for each other. For example, Mayor Kasim Reed sent out a tweet to cheer us on when we competed at TechCrunch Disrupt. I thought that was amazing and I doubt we’d get that type of love if we were in SF or NYC.
MN: What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received or given?
JB: The most important part of your company will forever be the people. Your ability to execute will be tied to your ability to build a great team. Choose wisely, and don’t be afraid to fire when you’ve made selection mistake.
Based in New York City, Janel Martinez is a multimedia journalist who covers technology and entrepreneurship. She is the founder of “Ain’t I Latina?” an online destination geared toward Afro-Latinas. You can follow her up-to-the-minute musings on Twitter @janelmwrites.
Google it is! According to Glassdoor’s 50 Best Places To Work: Work-Life Balance the tech giant is No. 1.
Google is also the only 1 of 5 companies to win an Employees’ Choice Award all seven years the Glassdoor awards have been issued.
Annually, Glassdoor looks at a number of factor in compiling the list. Among them: company reviews provided by employees between November 13, 2013 and November 2, 2014, in which individuals are asked to rate such things as overall satisfaction, EO leadership, career opportunities, compensation, and work-life balance.
Companies on the list have 1,000 or more employees.
Google got bumped to the top for paying extra attention to providing family support, Scott Dobroski, Glassdoor career trends analyst, tells Forbes. “There’s a very noticeable theme, that Google employees in particular are talking about the company really stepping up in the past 12 months and making their lives easier in and out of work when it comes to how they work and function with their families.” Employees cited increased paternity and adoptive parent leave to match that of mothers who give birth.
Even though tech companies have notoriously long hours, some do give their employees time to take care of things outside of work. Over at LinkedIn, for example, workers can “leave at 3 or 4 p.m. if they need to make a child’s soccer game, for instance,” says Dobroski.
Bain & Company came in No. 2. The company was in first place last year.
No. 3 was St. Louis-based Nestle Purina Pet Care, where they not only support families but also let you bring your pets to work.
While Google jumped up, Facebook fell from No. 5 all the way down to No. 13 and LinkedIn dropped from No. 3 to No. 23, and Twitter, No. 2 on last year’s list, didn’t even make the top 50 this year.
Meanwhile, MINDBODY was selected for the second time as one of the top 50 Best Places to Work in the U.S. as part of Glassdoor’s 2015 Employees’ Choice Awards. The company ranked 34 out of 50 among companies. “On behalf of the MINDBODY Leadership Team, we are thrilled that our people have given us a Best Places to Work ranking on Glassdoor,” said Rick Stollmeyer, MINDBODY’s co-founder and CEO, in a press statement.
It seems almost everyone wants to work at Google. The tech giant, whose diversity numbers weren’t too impressive when they were revealed earlier this year, topped the latest list of the World’s 100 Most In-Demand Employers.
According to a new ranking of the 100 most in-demand employers by LinkedIn, the third installment, people want the attractive perks, great pay, and excellent workplace cultures that Google as well as Apple and Facebook have come to be known for.
In fact, the three tech companies are all among the world’s most sought-after places to work.
LinkedIn’s list is based on an analysis of more than 35 billion interactions between companies and members on the professional networking site, reports Business Insider.
LinkedIn examined member awareness of every company (how many people have viewed their employees’ profiles within the past year), and engagement on LinkedIn (how many members have followed the company’s Company or Career Page within the past year). And the company that came out on top: Google. This marked the third consecutive year Google did so.
After Google came Apple, Unilever, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, Procter & Gamble, GE, Nestle, and Pepsico (in that order). The five largest companies on the list were: IBM, Accenture, Deloitte, Oracle,and Microsoft. The five smallest companies are: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Airbnb, Netflix, Spotify, and Uber.
The cities with the most in-demand employers included not surprisingly Silicon Valley’s home San Francisco/Bay Area, New York City, London, and Paris.
Are your emails out of hand? Mine are. There may be help at hand. Google has created a new email service called “Inbox” that promises to be a better way to organize emails and display important information such as appointments, flight bookings, and package deliveries in a more user-friendly way.
But the service will not be available to just anyone. “Google said it was sending out invitations to selected Gmail users to try out the new service. Users can also email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an invitation,” reports The Chicago Tribune.
Currently the new service is being offered with Gmail, which was launched in 2004. But Inbox will also be available on the Web as well as on Android smartphones and iPhones.
“Inbox is by the same people who brought you Gmail, but it’s not Gmail: it’s a completely different type of inbox, designed to focus on what really matters,” the company said in a blog post.
Here’s one plus: Inbox displays real-time updates to emails. It shows the delivery status of items bought online, for example. And it displays reminders in a more accessible way that lets users better keep track of chores and appointments.
Sound like something you can use?