The week@work – “our culture is changing”, internship access, sexual harassment@Fox & the June jobs report

For the 67th time in his term, President Obama ordered the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff; this time in memory of the police officers in Dallas. Sixty-seven times, a record for a presidential administration.

This week@work we look at two responses to the violence, consider an opinion on internship access, examine a high profile workplace harassment lawsuit, and the implications of the June jobs report.

“As a mark of respect for the victims of the attack on police officers perpetrated on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 12, 2016. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.”

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On Friday morning, veteran CBS newsman, Bob Schieffer, was asked to provide context to the events of the past week, drawing on his 50 years as a journalist.

“One thing we overlook: our culture is changing…We are becoming a less patient society, we are becoming a more demanding society, for want of a better word, we are becoming a ruder society, and we see this playing out in road rage, in the way we treat one another…Nobody is satisfied with anything now…People are dissatisfied, frustrated and they act out…”

Libby Hill of the Los Angeles times reported on host of the Daily Show Trevor Noah‘s, seven-minute monologue “in the wake of the police-involved killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.”

“It always feels like, in America, if you take a stand for something, you are automatically against something else…It’s either one or the other…But with police shootings it shouldn’t have to work that way.

 You can be to be pro-cop and pro-black. Which is what we should all be. It is what we should all be aiming for…The point is you shouldn’t have to choose between the police and the citizens they are sworn to protect.”

If the world is changing outside our workplace, what’s the impact on our daily work lives? Does frustration on the 405 translate into contention in the conference room? Our lives don’t fit neatly into the ‘work’ and ‘life’ box. We will need to draw on every ounce of empathy to listen, reflect, respect and respond.

Sometimes we just don’t think about how the system is ‘rigged’ and why people are angry. Skeptical? Let’s talk internships.

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On Tuesday, Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation penned an opinion for the New York Times, ‘Internships Are Not A Privilege’.

“Talent is equally distributed, but opportunity is not. And while many Americans believe fervently and faithfully in expanding opportunity, America’s internship-industrial complex does just the opposite.

And whether it’s an internship, college admission or any of the many other factors that determine a successful life, leaders who say they want to address inequality actually — and often unconsciously — reinforce the dynamics that create inequality in their own lives.

The broader implication is privilege multiplied by privilege, a compounding effect prejudiced against students who come from working-class or lower-income circumstances. By shutting out these students from entry-level experiences in certain fields, entire sectors engineer long-term deficits of much-needed talent and perspective. In other words, we’re all paying the price for unpaid internships.

For countless Americans, me among them, internships have provided a foothold on the path to the American dream. Simply by making them more accessible to all, we can narrow the inequality gap while widening the circle of opportunity, long after the summer ends.”

Another major workplace story broke on Wednesday with news that Gretchen Carlson had filed a lawsuit against Fox News chairman, Roger Ailes, exposing a culture of sexism and workplace sexual harassment.

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Gabriel Sherman covered the story for New York Magazine, reporting:

“Fox News host Gretchen Carlson may be the highest-profile woman to accuse Roger Ailes of sexual harassment, but she is not the first. In my 2014 biography of the Fox News chief, I included interviews with four women who told me Ailes had used his position of power to make either unwanted sexual advances or inappropriate sexual comments in the office.

And it appears she won’t be the last, either. In recent days, more than a dozen women have contacted Carlson’s New Jersey-based attorney, Nancy Erika Smith, and made detailed allegations of sexual harassment by Ailes over a 25-year period dating back to the 1960s when he was a producer on The Mike Douglas Show. “These are women who have never told these stories until now,” Smith told me. “Some are in lot of pain.” Taken together, these stories portray Ailes as a boss who spoke openly of expecting women to perform sexual favors in exchange for job opportunities. “He said that’s how all these men in media and politics work — everyone’s got their friend,” recalled Kellie Boyle, who says Ailes propositioned her in 1989, shortly after he helped George H.W. Bush become president, serving as his chief media strategist.”

And while we are on the topic of women@work, Andrew Das reported on the ongoing story, ‘U.S. Women’s Soccer Players Renew Their Fight for Equal Pay’.

screenshot-11.png“Beaten in federal court and rebuffed at the negotiating table, the United States women’s national soccer team is taking its fight for equal pay back to friendlier turf: the court of public opinion.

Beginning with an exhibition match this weekend in Chicago and continuing through the Olympics next month in Brazil, members of the team said on Thursday that they would embark on a campaign that they hope will increase the pressure on the United States soccer federation to pay the women compensation equal to their counterparts on the men’s national team in their next collective bargaining agreement.”

On Friday, Adam Shell of USA TODAY, analyzed the June jobs report from the U.S. Labor Department.

“After stalling briefly, the U.S. job-creation engine is again revving into high gear, rejuvenating Wall Street and sending stocks close to record highs.

The U.S. economy created 287,000 new jobs in June, which was 100,000 more than economists had forecast and the best monthly gain since October 2015.

And that is about as good a news headline as Wall Street could ask for after May’s gloomy jobs report (the initial 38,000 May jobs count was revised down to a paltry 11,000 in Friday’s report) and all the Brexit-related doom-and-gloom the past few weeks that put a scare into investors.”

cm-p12vwiaeczwd-jpg-large.jpegOn Saturday evening, for ‘one last time‘ –  “Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator and star of the Broadway smash “Hamilton,” made a subdued final bow Saturday alongside two other departing stars — Leslie Odom Jr. and Phillipa Soo — in the show that has become a cultural phenomenon.”

Miranda’s final performance Saturday at the Richard Rodgers Theatre was also the last for Odom Jr., who won a Tony Award as Aaron Burr, and Soo, a Tony nominee who portrayed Eliza Schuyler. The three — plus an ensemble member — took their bows together but none said anything.”

Hoping for a better week@work to come.

 

 

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