All Articles Tagged "Google"
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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?
Following Settlement Rejection, Apple & Google Return To Talks With Disgruntled Tech Workers In Hiring Class Action
Apple’s already getting enough bad press over the celebrity nude photo hack. Maybe by settling a mega class action lawsuit, they can help redeem themselves.
Tech companies have finally returned to the table to resume talks with suing workers over a hiring lawsuit. The companies — Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe — have returned to mediation talks with tech workers in a high-profile lawsuit over Silicon Valley hiring practices, according to a court filing.
The companies were accused of conspiring with each other to avoid hiring each other’s employees. The talks are continuing following a rejection by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California, of a proposed $324.5 million settlement in the class action case. Koh said it was too low, and that due to the strength of the case the plaintiffs deserve more.
“Tech employees alleged that the conspiracy limited their job mobility and, as a result, kept a lid on salaries,” reports The Chicago Tribune. The case has been going on since 2011 and it has been followed closely because it could open the gate for other lawsuits. A class-action lawsuit over the lack of diversity in hiring the tech sector should probably have been expected given the industry’s acknowledged issues with hiring women and minorities.
The current case is based mainly on emails in which Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, former Google Chief Executive Officer Eric Schmidt, and some of their rivals came up with a scheme to avoid poaching each other’s prized employees, especially the engineers.
According to Koh, Jobs was probably the mastermind of the plan. She said when she rejected the settlement, that there was “substantial and compelling evidence” that Jobs “was a, if not the, central figure in the alleged conspiracy.”
A hearing is set for Sept. 10.
It is hard to keep Jesse Jackson quiet, especially when he is pushing a cause. And while a majority of Americans wishes he would just shut up, for the better part of this year Jackson has been talking nonstop about the lack of diversity in the tech sector. He has taken up an issue that many of the major tech companies — most notably Google, Yahoo, and Facebook — are now focused on as well, with Google and FB revealing their depressing diversity numbers. These revelations only blatantly illustrate the need for more people of color in Silicon Valley.
Earlier in the year, Jackson visited shareholder and executive meetings for Facebook, Google, and other firms during which he urged the companies to publicly release their EEO-1 documents. “The federally mandated forms require firms to disclose the breakdown of their workforce by race, ethnicity and gender. Intel and H-P had been in the practice of sharing their data,” reports Target Market News.
Recently, Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition wrapped up its 43rd annual conference in Chicago by announcing it plans to continue its current drive to increase diversity among technology firms.
David C. Drummond, Google Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and Chief Legal Officer, attended the PUSH conference, and he introduced Google’s initiatives to address the company’s commitment diversity.
Rainbow Push and Google disclosed they will use the new Rainbow PUSH video as part of an upcoming joint PUSH-Google Community Empowerment and Education event in Atlanta in mid-August. The focus of the event will be to gather community and educational leaders, and create a pipeline to the technology industry.
“We have a lot of work to do when it comes to diversity in our workforce,” said Google’s Drummond, who is African American. “We’re committed to working with civic, community and education groups and leaders like Rev. Jackson to turn these gaps into new bridges of opportunity.”
“Google prides themselves on moonshot thinking,” said Rev. Jackson. “And the technology industry writ large prides themselves on innovation. It’s time to harness that moonshot thinking and innovation towards closing the gap when it comes to minorities and technology. We look forward to working together with Google and other tech companies across America to raise the employment of African Americans in technology to achieve parity with their consumer market and population.”
Google really wants to pull users away from Apple and Amazon and it’s beefed up its effort to do so by buying Songza, an online radio service that predicts the kinds of songs users may want to hear next.
“Today, Songza is the latest example of the escalation of the race among the world’s largest tech companies to dominate the streaming space: Google purchased the company for an undisclosed sum. The total is said to be significantly more than the $15 million number reported last month before the deal was finalized,” reports Forbes.
Google wanted Songza mainly for its focus on context service.
“We’re moving to a time when context is king, when people don’t have to find things,” Songza Chief Executive Elias Roman said in an interview with CNET News. Google’s takeover comes at an important time in that shift, he said. “Technology is about to work a lot harder for us. It’s a cool thing to be a small part of that.”
Based in New York, Songza is a free service with a focus on delivering music appropriate for the particular listener at the time of listening. Other music-on demand services from Beats and Spotify only offer already curated playlists but they promise paying subscribers large, on-demand catalogs of songs without ads.
Here’s how Songza works differently: While it focuses on curated playlists, these playlists are crafted for specific activities or occasions, “which Songza then suggests to specific listeners based on seven points of context: day of week, time of day, the device used being used, weather, location, what the particular listener has done before considering those previous five points, and then what all other Songza listeners have done before given those five points,” reports CNet. So Songza collects data about future habits and then anticipate what songs listeners want.
“There are very few services that people want to tell exactly what they’re doing at any given moment,” Roman said. “The thing that’s really important is the ability to use data in a way that makes people’s lives better.”
Google isn’t the only company revving up its streaming-music offerings. Apple bought Beats Electronics, including the subscription streaming service Beats Music, then Amazon launched a streaming-music service called Prime Music as part of its $99-a-year Prime membership program.
There are moves even within the Google organization–YouTube is expected to launch its own streaming service this summer.
The latest diversity numbers out of Silicon Valley prove just the opposite — a lack of diversity. There is a lack of people of color and a lack of women. But according to U.S. Department of Labor projects by 2020, there will be 1.4 million computer specialist job openings. And in order to achieve gender parity by 2020, the tech sector must fill half of these positions, or 700,000 computing jobs, with women.
To do this, young women must be trained. And Google, whose ranks sorely need women and techies of color, has launched Made with Code, an initiative to help boost the numbers of women in tech.
And Google posted the announcement on its official blog. On which YouTube Chief Executive Susan Wojcicki shared a common concern of many women in tech: that there are “far too few young girls” pursuing such careers. And in fact, less than one percent of high school girls, she said, are interested in majoring in computer science. (YouTube is a division of Google.)
“This is an issue that hits home for me,” Wojcicki said. “My school-age daughter instinctively knows how to play games, watch videos and chat with friends online. She understands technology. And she likes using technology. But she never expressed any interest in creating it herself.”
Made with Code aims to inspire girls to code and offers introductory coding projects. The company has committed $50 million over three years to support programs push to get more women into computer science.
Made with Code was launched with partners Chelsea Clinton, Mindy Kaling, MIT Media Lab and the National Center for Women & Information Technology, among others, reports The Los Angeles Times. The program will also collaborate with organizations such as the Girl Scouts of the USA and Girls Inc.
Update: Google has released its diversity numbers and… well… they’re not so diverse. Only two percent of the company’s staff are black, three percent are Hispanic and 30 percent are women. A third of the workforce is Asian. The gender data is based on the 44,000 global Google staffers, not including the Motorola Mobility staff in China. The racial information is based on the 26,600 workers here in the US.
The numbers are part of a report that Google files with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, however the numbers don’t have to be made public. Google is doing so in an effort to be more transparent about diversity at the company and, ultimately, change. Not only does the company say that it wants to become more diverse internally, but it has donated $40 million to bring computer science to women and girls more broadly since 2010. They’re also taking their efforts to HBCUs to raise the level of computer science education on campus. And they’re partnering with the Kapor Center for Social Impact, a group dedicated to gender and ethnic diversity in Silicon Valley, for a conference focused on the topic.
“But we’re the first to admit that Google is miles from where we want to be, and that being totally clear about the extent of the problem is a really important part of the solution,” said SVP Lazlo Block in a blog entry.
“Silicon Valley and the tech industry have demonstrated an ability to solve the most challenging and complex problems in the world. Inclusion is a complex problem — if we put our collective minds together, we can solve that too,” said Rev. Jesse Jackson, who has made diversity in Silicon Valley a touch point in his activism of late.
Apple, Twitter and Microsoft did not respond with a comment to the AP when asked whether they would also disclose this information. HP has made this info public since 2001, with its most recent Global Citizenship Report saying that seven percent of its US workforce is black. (The company has 331,800 staffers globally.) About the same percentage of tech workers nationally are black or Hispanic.
Update by Tonya Garcia
Original story posted May 18, 2014
Google wants you to know just how diverse its workforce is. It is set to release statistics proving the diversity of its workforce for the first time. This comes during an increased pressure on the technology sector to be more inclusive.
It’s not that Google is doing anything different. The documentation is all part of a report that major U.S. employers are required to file with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They aren’t required, however, to make the info publicly available, which Google plans on doing.
In the past the company has failed to share the diversity data, but it has had a change of heart. The news of the data release came from David Drummond, an African-American executive who oversees Google’s public policies, during the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting at its headquarters in Mountain View.
“Many companies in [Silicon Valley] have been reluctant to divulge that data, including Google, and, quite frankly, we are wrong about that,” Drummond said. The information will be made public next month.
As we reported, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has been targeting tech firms to increase diversity in their ranks. And at Google’s annual meeting he urged Google to spearhead the effort to employ more African-Americans, Latinos and women in technology. Jackson is praising Google, which employs nearly 50,000 people, for its transparency.
Much still needs to be done to increase diversity in tech. Only about seven percent of tech workers are black or Latino, both in Silicon Valley and nationally even though blacks and Hispanics make up 13.1 and 16.9 percent of the U.S. population, respectively, according to the most recent Census data.
Drummond assured Jackson that Google will do its part. “We are not doing enough and we can do a lot better,” he said.
Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt also announced they will look for women and minority candidates when there is another opening on its board of directors, reports The Huffington Post. Currently there are three women and a native of India on Google’s 10-member board.