Apr 22, 2019

Microsoft employee questions its diversity efforts

Microsoft made headlines last week after Quartz reported that some inside the company have been questioning the value of diversity efforts.

What's happening: In posts to an internal discussion forum, according to Quartz, a female program manager at Microsoft knocked the company for a policy she says "financially incentivizes discriminatory hiring practices," adding that she's referring to incentives given to senior management for hiring those who aren't Asian or white men.

  • "I have an ever-increasing file of white male Microsoft employees who have faced outright and overt discrimination because they had the misfortune of being born both white and male," she wrote in another post, per Quartz, which elected not to name the employee.

Why it matters: While most large tech companies work to boost the presence of female, black or Latinx employees, there are some who say this amounts to a different kind of discrimination.

  • This viewpoint was most notably voiced by Google's James Damore, who was fired after writing a memo in which he said women were less biologically suited to tech work. He has since filed suit against Google.

Go deeper: Google sets new boundaries for internal debate

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House passes bill to make lynching a federal hate crime

Photo: Aaron P. Bauer-Griffin/GC Images via Getty Images

The House voted 410-4 on Wednesday to pass legislation to designate lynching as a federal hate crime.

Why it matters: Congress has tried and failed for over 100 years to pass measures to make lynching a federal crime.

This year's census may be the toughest count yet

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Community leaders are concerned that historically hard-to-count residents will be even harder to count in this year's census, thanks to technological hurdles and increased distrust in government.

Why it matters: The census — which will count more than 330 million people this year — determines how $1.5 trillion in federal funding gets allocated across state and local governments. Inaccurate counts mean that communities don't get their fair share of those dollars.

Live updates: Coronavirus spreads to Latin America

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Brazil confirmed the first novel coronavirus case in Latin America Wednesday — a 61-year-old that tested positive after returning from a visit to northern Italy, the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,700 people and infected over 81,000 others. By Wednesday morning, South Korea had the most cases outside China, with 1,261 infections. Europe's biggest outbreak is in Italy, where 374 cases have been confirmed.

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