In 2017, Twitter was just 3.4% Black and in August 2020, Twitter was 6.3% Black.
Image Credits: Twitter
By 2025, Twitter aims for at least 25% of its workforce to be underrepresented minorities, and at least 10% of that overall 25% to be Black. Overall, Twitter is 41.4% white, 28.4% Asian, 5.2% Latinx, 3.7% multi-racial and less than 1% Indigenous.
Twitter’s technical team is also mostly white (41.4%)so perhaps it’s no wonder why Twitter has had some algorithmic bias issues.
DiscoTech highlights diversity issues in tech
A new site popped up that details the discrimination people experience in tech.
Coinbase CEO’s stance on societal issues stirs up controversy
Over the weekend,Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong saidthe company does not engage on border societal issues when they are not related to its core mission. On political causes, Armstrong said Coinbase also does not advocate for any causes or candidates that are not related to its mission “because it is a distraction from our mission.” In that Medium post, Armstrong recognized that some employees may disagree and even resign.
A couple of days later, Armstrong began offering employees who don’t feel comfortable with the direction of the company a severance package,The Block Crypto reported.
“It’s always sad when we see teammates go, but it can also be what is best for them and the company,” Armstrong wrote in an internal memo.
Armstrong suggested that those employees who publicly criticize company policies or leak information would be better suited to find work elsewhere.
It is not the first time that Armstrong has encouraged employees to find an exit. In 2020, amid protests related to the killing of George Floyd by police officers, Armstrong detailed his policies against social activism for Coinbase and tried to avoid having politics discussed in the workplace, and asked workers not on board with the policy to quit. Coinbase recently instituted a hiring freeze that included rescinding offers that had already been accepted.
The company had 4,948 employees as of March 31, more than triple the number it had a year ago.
A spokesman for Coinbase didn’t say anything.
Armstrong said Friday on Twitter that Coinbase had tested a number of different HR tools vendors over the years and that two teams used Dot Collector for perhaps a quarter.
The company found that people didn’t use it much, and most of the feedback was positive.
As I said in my blog post, life is too short to work a company that you aren’t excited about.”
It’s quite a statement to make just weeks away from a very important presidential election. But Armstrong’s justification seems to be that he doesn’t want the internal strife that has happened at companies like Google and Facebook to happen at Coinbase.
Obviously, people have feelings and thoughts about Armstrong’s stance. One on side, there’sY Combinator Founder Paul Graham sayingCoinbase will push away the “aggressively conventional-minded” people but that those types of people “tend not to be good at building things anyway.”
And on another side, there’s Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey pointing out how Armstrong’s stance leaves people behind.
Brian Armstrong is an American businessman, CEO and co-founder of the digital currency exchangeCoinBase. Armstrong grew up in San Jose,Californiaand was born on January 25, 1983.
In June 2012, Brian Armstrong founded Coinbase.com, an onlinecryptocurrency exchange, withFred Ehrsam. The company brokers cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency, fiat currency to cryptocurrency, and cryptocurrency to fiat currency exchanges.
In August 2003, Brian Armstrong founded UniversityTutor.com, an online directory of tutors.
Armstrong ran the company until May 2012, and the company was acquired in 2014 by Johnson Educational Technologies, LLC.
Brian Armstrong attended Rice University from 2001 to 2006.
The company has had a rough stretch recently as plunging prices for cryptocurrencies have dreaked havoc on trading interest and caused the company to curtail rapid hiring plans.
A petition posted to mirror.xyz said the company was suffering from internal tensions and called for the removal of several Coinbase COIN executives. The petition appears to have been pulled down after Coinbase Chief Executive Brian Armstrong cited an archived version of it, while criticizing the initiative Friday in posts on Twitter Inc. TWTR,
The anonymous petition was said to have been from employees and asked for a vote of no confidence that would remove Chief Operating Officer Emilie Choi, Chief Product Officer Surojit Chatterjee and Chief People Officer LJ Brock.
The folks behindDiscoTechdescribe themselves as “a diverse group of cross-tech organizers who are committed to ending discrimination in the workplace.”
The posted experiences — all anonymous — describe sexism, racism, ageism, sexual harassment and assault, weight discrimination, suicide and mental illness. Here are a few stories that jumped out:
On being a woman in tech:
After introducing myself to a peer at a social gathering, I was asked if I had ‘come to Microsoft to find a husband?’ The blatant question left me speechless, and I was shocked by his total disregard for my professional aspirations.
Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on Bitcoin
In this long-awaited audio-only interview, Bitcoin podcaster Peter McCormack speaks with the CEO and Co-Founder of Coinbase, Brian Armstrong.
During this nearly two-hour conversation, they discuss the difficulties of running a large startup, cryptocurrency regulations, Coinbase’s controversial Neutrino acquisition, providing analytics to government agencies with Coinbase Analytics, as Bryan Armstrong addresses some of the recent points of contention surrounding Coinbase and its services.
Coinbase is one of the largest and most established Bitcoin exchanges in the world, known for its ease of use, security, and global operations. Founded in 2012, it has become one of the most impactful crypto companies, and there are rumors that it is planning to be listed on a U.S.
I guess you could say my discomfort began at the beginning of my professional career. I accepted a position at my company in a 6 month training program for recent college graduates. Upon arrival at orientation I realized I was the only Black woman out of 70 participants.
70 other co-workers and I was the only one. I felt completely alone and as if I had no one who could relate to my unique experience. From there, it was small incident after small incident that caused my discomfort to grow. From my technical trainer referring to me as Sheba, as in the Queen of Sheba, in the middle of a training session to my colleagues constantly questioning my intelligence, work became a stressful environment.
Then, there’s also confusion around how Armstrong couldsay that Black lives matter in Juneand then go on to say that workers essentially need to leave their politics and beliefs that don’t relate to work at home. Well, GitHub Director of Engineering Erica Baker tweeted that someone probably forced Armstrong’s hand into speaking out about Black lives.
coinbase engineers walked off because brian wouldn’t say “Black Lives Matter,” he posted it so they’d get back to work, now he’s having an executive “YOU AREN’T THE BOSS OF ME!” meltdown* about it. 🙄
*executive meltdowns come in many flavors pic.twitter.com/tSYNmeOVTf
— EricaJoy (@EricaJoy) September 29, 2020
The latest Clubhouse drama
The invitation-only audio social app was home to a discussion titled, “Anti-Semitism and Black Culture” this week.
“A lot of how we’re talking about Somewhere Good with investors is this idea of a new online world where our identities are centered,” Austin told me. “The vision for Somewhere Good is you take your phone out of your pocket and, as a Black person or person of color, all of your needs are met there in that one place.”
Greylock teams up with Management Leadership for Tomorrow to diversify tech’s wealth cycle
Greylock is one of a number of VC firms that have kicked into action following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other unarmed Black people and people of color.The multi-pronged partnershipwill enable Greylock to tap into MLT’s network of around 8,000 Black, Latinx and Indigenous professionals and connect them with potential roles at the firm’s portfolio companies.