Tuesday, April 14, 2015

If Adults Were More Like Children. . .

. . .the world would be a much better place!
If we could manage to hold on to our childlike wonder and curiosity along with the knowledge that we obtained over years of living (without being scorned), we would be better at everything! Just think of it. Children are so carefee, honest, and genuinely curious...and FUNNY! Isn't it refreshing? I understand that life happens, and at some point in life we are forced to "grow up" or be "real"/"realistic". Of course I don't mean to sound cliche or as if I am trying to pawn some idealistic "Peter Pan" philosophy on anyone, but. . .

What if we DIDN'T grow up?

And what if we WEREN'T realistic but instead continued to think BIG?

What if we didn't limit ourselves or conform to what the average adult refers to as "living in the real world"?

What if we continued to exercise our right brain more and took more creative approaches to thinking and problem solving?

What if we assumed NOTHING at all but asked about EVERYTHING?

What if our "jobs"/"careers" steered us in a direction of creativity and free-thinking rather than a world of endless processes and redtape?

What if we were truly EMPOWERED and instead of looking for reasons things won't work we looked for ways to make things happen?

Well. . .
I will agree that I feel that the corporate world has stifled my creativity a bit, but the opportunity to work with different businesses in such different industries has allowed me to stretch my thinking a little more, and I am working to keep exercising that right side of my brain.

Take this journey with me. Let's grow down together! (As long as we're growing right?)
 
Here is a cool article with interesting ways to boost your creativity in the short- and long-term: 36 Surprising Ways to Boost Creativity.

I truly think that the world would be that much better if we maintained our childhood curiosity and creativity through adulthood. For those of us who ARE still children, let's cherish and nurture that side of us as often as we can! For those of us who HAVE children, we have a great opportunity to learn from and absorb some of the creative energy from our children. And let's also remember to encourage them to always think outside of the box, and to pursue careers that allow them the space to be creative!

Here are a few great videos on Creativity from TED: TED Talk Playlist "The Creative Spark".

Thanks for reading,
Mo



Monday, March 2, 2015

Interview Prep

Masterminds, LLC. can review your resume and ensure that you look good on paper, but what about the interview? We offer interview prep as well, but here a few easy tips and tricks you'll want remember in preparation for your next career opportunity.



Here are seven "obvious" and not-so-obvious suggestions for those who get nervous before interviews, those who haven't had the opportunity to interview as much as they would like, or those who are preparing for the biggest opportunity of their professional career. Some of these tips may even surprise the "seasoned interviewee":

Practice in the mirror - Practicing in the mirror will make you more aware of how you look when you speak and will help you to be more conscious of your facial expressions. You want to make just enough eye contact to be engaging, but not so much that it is awkward or creepy!

Record yourself - This is EVEN better than practicing in the mirror. If you can record a short video and then play it back it will make you aware of inflections in your voice, along with posture and facial expression. I know it's difficult to watch yourself and critique yourself, but well worth it. If you look uncomfortable or nervous in your video, just imagine how this will come off to a potential employer! Count the amount of times you say "um". (The goal number is ZERO.) Saying "um" portrays uncertainty, and an employer is typically looking for someone who can be confident in what they are doing.

Research - Research earnings calls, quarterly reports, and any other company information that you can get your hands on. If you can speak to a major issue, success, or general development in the company and how you can be of value, this sets you apart from the great bulk of applicants who are still practicing answers to the old cliche questions like "What are your top strengths?" Speaking specifically to company earnings let's a potential employer know that you are focused on what they are focused on, which is the bottom line!

Example: “Call me geeky, but I was listening to Google’s quarterly earnings call and was blown away by the fact that display advertising hit over $5 billion in the past few years. Therefore, I think that…”

Using Google Alerts is a GREAT way to keep up with a company that you would like to work for, or even better, invest in!


Social Media Clean Up - Use Social Sweepster to clean up your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Yes, employers look at these! Watch what you post! 91% of employers are looking to social media to screen potential employees.

Timing Matters - Glassdoor says that the most opportune time to interview is at 10:30AM on Tuesday. Go figure! So try to book this time, if not just try to avoid lunchtime as the interviewer (as well as you) may be too hungry or too full to focus.

Also avoid bookend days (Monday and Friday) because these are times when everyone is either gearing up or winding down for the week. The same rule applies to first or last interview slots.

However! If you know the company is looking to make an immediate decision, you definitely want to try and get that first available interview slot. Clear as mud? ... Okay, good.

Tell Your Story - Most interviews start with something like "So tell me a little bit about yourself" and many of us pass up this awesome opportunity to be great by saying something boring like "I studied Business because I really wanted to make an impact on the business world, and as you can see by my work experience...blah...blah...blah"

Crafting a thoughful story statement will let your employer know that you are not just a professional, but you are a person as well. Something like this: "I grew up in Miami after immigrating to the United States. Since neither of my parents were able to attend college, I was really inspired to attend and, with some help from my high school teachers I was able to apply to some of the top schools. I've always had a passion for business because..."

Dress the Part - This includes more than throwing on a blue or black suit. You generally want to stay away from bright colors or a lot of large/noisy jewelry. HOWEVER, picking out ONE statement piece such as something that represents your heritage or a particular interest can be a GREAT conversation starter that will leave an impression with your interviewer.

More to come later! Keep reading!

Contact mastermindsmemphis@gmail.com for help with your resume or to prepare for your next big interview.

Are you an employer? Let us help you find the most knowledgeable and eager employees you have ever had on your team!

Thanks for reading,
Mo
[www.moniquemcclain.com]

Friday, February 13, 2015

Leading in Ambiguous Times

Corporate Connection


The following article is one that centers around leadership in times of uncertainty. With volatility and ambiguity constantly defining (and redefining) the geopolitical landscape of our world, how do we deal?


Bremmer touches on three very different approaches that are succinctly listed here:

1. Strength through stability: Undisciplined growth in a time of uncertainty results in unintended consequences that will limit your company’s success and potentially curtail its survival. Leaders must become much more purposeful about the type of growth they pursue and the reasons for such pursuits.

2. Decentralized resilience: Resilience is the ability to absorb shock: to evade the worst effects, to reduce the overall impact, and to manage the negative consequences. For companies, this means not being too vulnerable to any one sector or any one relationship. Different parts of the organization also need to have different governance models.

3. Broad and deep relationships: Breadth reflects the number of connections a company has. As a company leader, is your relationship with another company limited to connections with its leaders? Or are people throughout both enterprises working closely together? Networks are much more resilient than individual touch points.

Thanks for reading,
Mo
[www.moniquemcclain.com]

I am warning you that this is a LONG article, but a GOOD one, so bookmark it and read it later on.

Here it is in its entirety. . .


Stability, resilience, and relationships are the keys to thriving amid geopolitical crises.

by Ian Bremmer


A glance at today’s headlines leaves little doubt that we have entered a new era of geopolitical turbulence. Acts of terror and violence, humanitarian crises, and public health emergencies are rarely localized events. Instead, these shocks transcend borders, presenting global challenges. Just as one crisis fades, another rises to take its place. Adding further complexity, today’s enemy (unlike in that previous period of great geopolitical uncertainty, the Cold War) is often unseen or unknown.
Of course, it’s not just our problems that have become global. Most mainstream businesses have operations and business units spread far and wide, and an eye perpetually turned toward expansion. For company leaders, then, geopolitical uncertainty raises critical questions: How can you make decisions, particularly long-range investment decisions in far-flung parts of the world, when so much is in flux? How do you lead your organization through ambiguity to success?

Economists tend to focus on growth in determining the attractiveness of an investment. That makes sense when the international backdrop is reasonably stable. For instance, in the pre–financial crisis environment, you could successfully choose an emerging market to invest in by throwing a dart at a map. But in a more turbulent world, these countries are becoming increasingly differentiated—in their economic health and potential, as well as in their particular rules of the road and political threats to investments and foreign business activity. On top of this, many emerging market growth rates are only on par with those of developed states, and many developed states face political uncertainty more characteristic of emerging markets. The categorization is breaking down, making it much more difficult to engage in universal strategies.

Moreover, the very definition of success changes amid uncertainty. The more volatile and hostile the environment becomes, the more we see success and survival begin to converge: In a cataclysmic environment, the two would be one and the same. We aren’t facing threats of that extremity, and corporate leaders cannot give up the need to grow. But they have to take ambiguity into account. In essence, the right approach is focused on sustainability. When we hear talk of sustainability, it is typically of the need for corporations to reassess a go-go growth model—one aimed at maximizing profitability—that is viewed as insufficiently inclusive. Company leaders are asked, by their employees, customers, or society at large, to “give back” by supporting charitable causes and the environment. But the same companies do not pay enough attention to becoming more sustainable themselves.

The kind of decision making that works when you know what’s likely to happen won’t suffice. Sustaining a business in uncertain times requires executives to prioritize stability, resilience, and relationship management. Underpinning all three is a shift in strategic direction—from a focus on growth above all else to a focus on having enough. You make your company prosper enough by maintaining and improving the quality and caliber of what you do. You decentralize your business enough so that the parts can be strong if the whole faces risk. And you maintain and improve the relationships that your business depends on enough by integrating them with your whole company. Developing these executive practices won’t shield you from crisis, but it will help ensure that when the dust settles, your company is not just standing, but moving forward.

The Power Vacuum

To understand the shift in focus that companies need to make today, executives need to first understand how we all got here. The old geopolitical model is breaking down, but the only thing emerging in its place is sustained crisis. U.S. president Barack Obama said as much in a speech in Seattle in July 2014 that addressed the crises in Ukraine, Gaza, Syria, and Iraq: “Part of people’s concern is just the sense that around the world the old order isn’t holding and we’re not quite yet to where we need to be in terms of a new order.” The most alarming long-term global challenges, such as climate change, cyber-conflict, and the threat of terrorism, will loom much larger before they elicit a coordinated government response—and by then they will be that much more difficult to address.

In the aftermath of two long wars, and with dwindling public support for international engagement, the United States is no longer willing or able to play a robust global leadership role. The Obama administration has exacerbated the issue with a scattershot, reactive foreign policy that adapts to short-term crises at the expense of consistent longer-term approaches. And U.S. allies such as European nations and Japan will not step in to fill the leadership vacuum. They are frustrated with Washington’s foreign policy disengagement and face distracting domestic challenges of their own. At the same time, a growing number of emerging markets have become strong enough to scuttle global initiatives, but are not yet sufficiently interested in or capable of presenting alternatives. So many countries with conflicting values, priorities, and political systems have led to divergence among the major powers that get a seat at the table.

The leadership vacuum also presents an opportunity for China, the world’s most populous and complex emerging power, to wield more influence. China is expected to overtake the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy sometime before 2020. It has grown an average of roughly 10 percent per year for the past three decades, and it has the advanced infrastructure to show for it—including state-financed roads, schools, hospitals, ports, and railroads. But can China make the transition to an advanced industrial state, attuned to the needs of an enormous, evolving consumer population, with less dependence on state investment, a more open banking system, a cleaner environment, higher standards of living, and greater overall transparency and fairness? That is unclear. And even if these changes occur, it doesn’t mean that China will adopt Western values of democracy, free speech, free market principles, or the rule of law.

If the majority of Chinese people enter the middle class, it would be an enormous spur to global prosperity. However, that possibility is far too uncertain to plan for, and in the meantime, decision makers must prepare for a wide range of possible futures in China, from boom to bust, any of which would have a huge impact on the world economy.

Preparing for the Worst

For the foreseeable future, volatility and ambiguity will continue to define the geopolitical landscape. Fortunately, companies can survive, and even thrive, in this environment, by focusing on the following three approaches.

1. Strength through stability. It isn’t easy for many business leaders to recognize that the pursuit of rapid growth for growth’s sake, a business preoccupation since the Industrial Revolution, is counterproductive today. U.S. corporations in particular are badly prepared for stability—given the average CEO tenure at Fortune 500 companies of roughly five years and shareholders pushing for quick returns. Rapid, lower-quality growth makes a few people rich in the short term, but it does not consistently lead to profitability; in fact, it often leads to business failure.

Undisciplined growth in a time of uncertainty results in unintended consequences that will limit your company’s success and potentially curtail its survival. Leaders must become much more purposeful about the type of growth they pursue and the reasons for such pursuits. After all, you still need to take risks—that is unavoidable, whether you grow or not. But you can approach risk in a more measured, deliberate way.

A prime example of leaders’ lack of discipline is their decision making about China. It’s stunning how many companies are going all in on China because that is where the growth is. But they fail to develop contingency plans or give proper thought to what conditions would make doing business in China untenable. Meanwhile, this growth comes with significant costs: Their competitors supported by the Chinese government continue to grow, while non-Chinese companies surrender more and more of their intellectual property and technology—either through legal co-venture agreements or through the lax environment for intellectual property protection and the rule of law. Western companies become expendable in such a market in the longer term. Beyond these existing threats is the possibility that the massive Chinese economic transformations will begin to collapse; in a bleaker environment, the growth that global companies are chasing, and their warm welcome in the country itself, could evaporate.

This growth dilemma is not limited to China. Other geographies, such as India and the Middle East, will pose similar challenges in a world of more important emerging markets and greater geopolitical turmoil. But organizations that build an operating model around enduring stability will have an edge. An organization’s strength is based on what its people have habitually learned to do together. If this is genuine strength, grounded in competent management of highly skilled people, then the institution becomes an attractor for people who are looking for havens for their money, their business, and their talent. Many presume the United States’s more favorable growth trajectory compared with those of other developed countries makes it a more attractive destination for investment. But increasingly, stability is one of the reasons the U.S. has remained relatively strong in the current environment.

2. Decentralized resilience. Resilience is the ability to absorb shock: to evade the worst effects, to reduce the overall impact, and to manage the negative consequences. For companies, this means not being too vulnerable to any one sector or any one relationship. Different parts of the organization also need to have different governance models. That frees people who are truly excellent in what they do to respond more rapidly and adroitly to threats when they surface, so they can reach a profitable, relatively secure outcome. Decentralized enterprises tend to be resilient, because if they get hurt in one place—in China, for example—the business as a whole is still viable.

Think about the energy sector, which is becoming more decentralized. Historically, it has been highly consolidated. But the introduction of smaller producers and alternative energies is leading to decentralized systems of distribution for both petroleum and electricity. The shift to a smart grid is another decentralizing force, allowing more localized and tailored approaches to managing energy distribution. This enhances the sector’s capacity to stay in business without price shocks, no matter what happens with any single source of supply or geopolitical threat. (Of course, smart grids also introduce a new risk: Taking anything online can make it more vulnerable to cyber-attack). At a business level, a high degree of autonomy can allow companies to bounce back more quickly when their supply lines, customer base, or regional ability to operate is threatened.

But decentralization does not mean lack of a central focus. A company composed of multiple business units that have little to do with one another is not truly resilient. It is merely a collection of vulnerabilities, each on a different time line. Coordinated decentralization—within a company, and among companies—is going to be very important in the future. The most successful leaders will clearly articulate what they stand for and make it easy for others to make the right decisions.

The Japanese response to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster is a good example of this type of resilience. By many measures, this was as serious a threat as one can imagine: a 9.0 earthquake, a tsunami of equal force, a nuclear plant disaster, the death of more than 13,000 people, the displacement of many communities, the destruction of a major power source for the country, and the severing of critical supply chains on which major companies depended—all in a country that had suffered two decades of economic stagnation and had a debt-to-GDP ratio of more than 200 percent. The World Bank estimated the cost of this natural disaster at US$235 billion, which made it the most expensive in history.

And yet Japan did not collapse; indeed, it rebounded economically much more quickly than people expected. The Japanese government, its major businesses, and its people understood their common challenges as well as their common interests, and responded with resiliency. Each group acted independently but in full awareness of the needs of the whole. That type of response, whether it occurs in a company or a country, can overcome just about any external threat.

3. Broad and deep relationships. The success of an enterprise doesn’t depend solely on how much value it provides for its clients annually. It can also be measured by the breadth and depth of its associations over time.

Breadth reflects the number of connections a company has. As a company leader, is your relationship with another company limited to connections with its leaders? Or are people throughout both enterprises working closely together? Networks are much more resilient than individual touch points. Particularly when a company is doing business internationally, it doesn’t want one person in the firm to have relationships with 10 clients. If that person walks out the door, he or she takes those 10 clients too. Companies need to strive for more networked relationships, so even if somebody leaves, its customers are still engaged with other people and multiple parts of the firm. Such networks also become crucial in times of crisis: If your business loses access to critical resources, you can tap this network to maintain the status quo until you are able to get operations back up and running.

Depth represents the way your company engages with others: the intensity, creativity, and outcome of your work together. The quality of relationships is increasingly crucial for staying in business. For example, in a country like China, the quality of your firm’s relationships with local government and business leaders can make it possible to navigate the country’s shifting priorities. If you’re an energy or industrial company investing in a capital-intensive facility or a consumer products company building up distribution relationships, many of your costs occur up front, but you’re likely to stay in that country for a while. What do you bring to the table that the next generation of people in power might find valuable? Providing value for them leads to sustainability for your long-term endeavors in that country.

As Pankaj Ghemawat and Steven Altman have shown, breadth and depth are particularly relevant to businesses trying to build relationships with governments in emerging economies—relationships that they will need to cultivate as the economies mature. (See “Making Sense of Globalization,” by Ghemawat and Altman.) Many leaders presume that the primacy of relationships is a transitional phase. They think that as governments move toward the rule of law and transparency, they will no longer rely on access to key people; all law-abiding enterprises will be treated more equally. These leaders think they’ll be able to operate with the same kind of control and assurance that has worked for them in many other countries.

But experience in countries such as Japan and South Korea tells us that the rule of law doesn’t always bring equality of access to resources and customers. Some countries—for example, Brazil and Mexico—will probably come to resemble the United States in their universality of access. Others, such as Russia and South Africa, are moving in the opposite direction. Relationships with people in key positions will always be important for doing business in those countries—and can be a lifeline in a time of crisis.

Choosing Stewardship

When asked what her primary accomplishment as secretary of state was, Hillary Clinton did not point to a specific achievement. She highlighted her stewardship of American diplomacy from her predecessor to her successor. Clinton endured many legitimate criticisms of her tenure, perhaps chief among them the failed “reset” with Russia. But this stewardship approach carries a lot of merit, particularly for business leaders. It’s precisely because we want metrics for growth and progress that we underestimate and diminish the importance of stewardship in a rocky environment.

To be sure, the need for stability, resilience, and relationships may not apply if your business has no interest in long-term results. If you’re a hedge fund, or you make your money through trading, and you can shift in and out of a country almost immediately, then who cares? Maintain a brief attention span, get your returns as quickly as possible, and don’t worry about managing uncertainty.

But that applies to only a small number of enterprises. The success of rapidly shifting investors, and of some companies, has led many managers to fetishize agility: the ability to turn on a dime, to move abruptly to a new sector, region, or business model when circumstances change. They are kidding themselves. Most companies can’t change that easily. They’ve invested a great deal of time and money in their existing businesses—even in basic things like getting licenses to operate and vetting the right partners. And their patterns of behavior are much more deeply rooted than they think. Employees resist change, in part, because they see the value of what they already have, and don’t want to see it thrown away. In business, as in nature, you can’t grow too big and remain agile.
Because you can’t be fully agile in ambiguous times, be a steward of your organization. Be stable, resilient, and networked enough to succeed. And remember that if the environment is particularly dire, sometimes simply not ceding ground as you recalibrate for the future is a victory in and of itself.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

PAID Summer Internships

There is a myth that assumes that internship opportunities are unpaid.
Please find some examples below of available internship opportunities for current students.
I advise ALL students to look into all and opportunities they have to gain experience whether it be through a job, internship position, or volunteering.

Do not come out of school with a degree and no experience and then complain about not being able to find a career.

And, if you saying to yourself, "I'm not looking for a temporary internship I need a job" then you may want to consider an internship as a way to get your foot into the door of a great company!
I was a summer intern before I was hired permanently at the company for which I now work.

Also, many of the companies listed below are not only hiring for internships but for full-time positions as well. So check the sites out...

FedEx is hiring NOW for summer interns. These positions are very competitive (with very competitive salaries), so it is advised that you review your resume very closely and use keywords from the job descriptions to get employer's attention. Contact mastermindsmemphis@gmail.com if you need your resume created, reviewed, or modified.

Lender Processing Services (LPS) is hiring a student intern that will support the total sales functions for a large organization (group level) including the roll-ups from Sales Support Specialists.

ATT is hiring for their Emerging Technologies Internship.

Ajilion is hiring for a number of internship positions (including Payroll Clerk, Administrative Assistant, and Business Analyst. Email careers@ajilonincorp.com with your resume or to inquire about more open positions.

St. Jude is hiring for several Communications interns.

Cummins is looking for an Engineering intern. ($15/hr)

TruGreen is hiring for a Process Engineering intern.

AroundCampus is hiring for sales, marketing, and production interns. I have interned with University Directories before doing business sales for the University of Memphis directory. It got me a free trip to the North Carolina headquarters for a week long training. I met some AMAZING people who are still friends to this day, and I got some great sales experience, although it was during that summer I found that sales was NOT for me. :-)

Barnhart Crane and Rigging is hiring for an engineering internship that is full time and comes with full benefits such as 401K with employer match. Pretty sweet!


Check out GoAbroad.com for paid business professional internships overseas!

Check out StartupHoyas.com for paid internships with startup companies!

Also consider visiting Idealist.org for unpaid positions related to non-profit work, volunteering, and even some cool gigs in advancing technology such as solar power!

Look to Glassdoor.com for more career opportunities as well as average salary amounts for positions (so you are empowered to negotiate)!

Also look into InternshipRatings.com to find reviews on popular internship opportunities (so you know what you are getting yourself into).

Other sites to consider:
[U of M Academic Internships] ...  [PaidInternships]
[Opportunities with the City of Memphis] ... [Internmatch

Thanks,
Mo
[www.moniquemcclain.com]

Friday, January 9, 2015

Free Community College

Obama has presented a proposal to Congress of granting citizens two free years of community college. IF all 50 states participate, the plan is expected to benefit an estimated 9 million students every year and save them an average of $3,800 a year.

The president’s proposal would make two years of community college free for students of any age with a C+ average who attend school at least half-time and who are making “steady progress” toward their degree.

To be eligible, community colleges would have to offer academic programs that fully transfer credits to local public four-year colleges and universities or training programs with high graduation rates that lead to in-demand degrees and certificates. Community colleges must also adopt “promising and evidence-based institutional reforms” to improve student outcomes.
Federal funding would cover three-quarters of the average cost of community college, and Obama is asking states to pick up the rest of the tab — assuming Congress agrees to the plan in the first place.

Here's the KICKER! (For my fellow "Tennesseeans") This proposal was heavily inspired by Governor Bill Haslam's Tennessee Promise, which, as of THIS year, allows any high school graduate in Tennessee access to two years of free community college tuition.

S/O to Governor Haslam! Great idea! My only question is when do they plan on extending this plan beyond community college? What about trade schools and universities? I am a FIRM believer that education should be free (or at least affordable) to those who take it seriously and are willing to put in the effort that it takes to be successful!

Just wanted to make you guys aware of the good things going on...
Continue to seek knowledge. Continue to MASTERMIND.

(Read the full article at on Politico.com)

Thanks for reading,
Mo
[www.moniquemcclain.com]

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Intel on Intel

So I am looking at headlines today, like I do every morning for PRWeek and The Financial Times, and I wanted to share this article with you.

I am sharing this particular article, because I do believe that we DESPERATELY need more diversity in the tech industry.

Not only will technology ALWAYS be an advancing field, but it is one that so many depend on that it's almost a guaranteed field to flourish in, IF you do your due diligence. If you are looking at school, I implore you to consider a field in technology as an option. There are so many related internships and job opportunities, and we need all you wiz kids who love to stare at the PC all day doing social media and blog posts to hone your talents and interests into something that you can not only really benefit from but can use to make a difference as well!

Here's the article:

Intel Allocates $300 Million for Workplace Diversity

SAN FRANCISCO — Over the last year, Apple, Google and other big technology companies have faced mounting criticism by civil rights leaders about the lack of diversity in their work forces, which are populated mostly by white and Asian men.
 
Now Intel, the giant chip maker, is taking more concrete steps to do something about it.
 
On Tuesday, Intel said the company’s work force would better reflect the available talent pool of women and underrepresented minority groups in the United States within five years. If successful, the plan would increase the population of women, blacks, Hispanics and other groups at Intel by at least 14 percent during that period, the company said.
 
In addition, Intel said it has established a $300 million fund to be used in the next three years to improve the diversity of the company’s work force, attract more women and minorities to the technology field and make the industry more hospitable to them once they get there. The money will be used to fund engineering scholarships and to support historically black colleges and universities.
 
The company also said it would invest in efforts to bring more women into the games business, partly as an antidote to the harassment feminist critics and game developers have faced in recent months. Intel became part of the furor last year when, under pressure, it withdrew an advertising campaign from a game website that had run an essay by a feminist game critic, a move it later said it regretted.
 
“This is the right time to make a bold statement,” Brian M. Krzanich, Intel’s chief executive, said in a phone interview. Mr. Krzanich announced the plans on Tuesday in a speech at the International CES, a huge trade show in Las Vegas. “It’s kind of Intel’s culture. We march by Moore’s Law. We say we’re going to reinvent Silicon every two years even though we don’t really know how we’re going to pull that off.”
 
Many of the largest technology companies have released reports showing that roughly 70 percent of their employees are men and 30 percent are women. Depending on the company, blacks account for anywhere from 2 to 7 percent of workers at big tech companies.
 
The Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., who has led a campaign to pressure technology companies on diversity, said Intel was going beyond what others have done to remedy the imbalance in their work forces by setting more specific goals for hiring.
 
“There is no comparison,” said Mr. Jackson, the founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, who has spoken to Intel about its plans. “It is far beyond at this point. I think others are going to follow their lead.”
 
 Intel’s goals, though, face the harsh reality described by many technology leaders: The supply of skilled workers from underrepresented groups, especially in technical fields like engineering, is limited.
 
Rosalind L. Hudnell, Intel’s chief diversity officer, cited statistics showing that just 18 percent of undergraduate engineering degrees go to women. That makes it especially difficult to improve diversity at Intel, which leans more heavily on technical employees than other tech companies.
“We hire more engineers; we just do, and that pipeline is less,” said Ms. Hudnell.
 
And yet, even with fewer qualified female and minority candidates for jobs at the company, Intel says it can do more to recruit employees from those groups. For instance, the company estimates that if the black population with the appropriate technical skills was fully represented at Intel today, the company’s current population of black workers would grow by about 48 percent.
 
Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford University and author of a recent book on women in the technology industry, commended Intel for announcing its diversity goals. “That’s a big deal,” he said. “That will put pressure on other companies to do the same.”
 
Intel’s employment statistics are fairly similar to those of its peers. It has published company gender and race statistics for over a decade. Its latest figures show that 76 percent of its American employees are male, 4 percent are black and 8 percent are Hispanic.
 
In October, though, Intel unwittingly became a villain in a controversy over the treatment of women in gaming, which has come to be known as GamerGate. A loose-knit brigade of Internet users lobbied the company to pull an advertising campaign on the game website Gamasutra because it had run an essay attacking the male dominance of games culture.
 
Intel, which was caught off guard by the ensuing controversy over its actions, eventually resumed advertising on the site. Mr. Krzanich said he used the incident as an opportunity to think more deeply about the broader issue of diversity in the tech industry. The issue resonated with him personally.
 
“I have two daughters of my own coming up on college age,” he said. “I want them to have a world that’s got equal opportunity for them.”
 
As part of its new investment fund, Intel plans to establish and support a professional women’s gaming team. It has partnered with the International Game Developers Association, a nonprofit that will send 20 female college students to a game developer conference with Intel’s support. The association wants to double the number of women working in the games industry over the next decade, according to Kate Edwards, its executive director.
 
“I’m hoping Intel’s leadership on this issue will encourage other companies to follow suit and make them realize this is the moment,” Ms. Edwards said.
 
[this article originally appeared on the NY Times website]
 
Great move Intel...
 
Thanks for reading,
Mo
[www.moniquemcclain.com]
 
 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Listen and Learn...

Podcast suggestion for the week:

Pat Flynn from [The Smart Passive Income Blog] reveals all of his online business and blogging strategies, income sources and killer marketing tips and tricks so you can be ahead of the curve with your online business or blog.

Although Pat confesses he is not a millionaire, he's been supporting his family 100% with passive income generated online, easily earning a six-figure salary while working only a few hours a week.

Automation, outsourcing, crowdsourcing, search engine optimization, building authority and trust, niche sites, social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Podcasting, eBooks, online courses, affiliate marketing, getting things done and everything that works (and doesn't work) to help you better understand how to crush it with your online business.

I have only just begun listening to these podcasts, but so far, the first couple have been promising.
I am sharing the wealth with my friends. Carry your headphones to work or to the gym and listen.

I've been listening to podcasts (and audio books) at work instead of music and have learned so much in such a short amount of time in this way. Try it!

Thanks for reading,
MO
[www.moniquemcclain.com]