- For Tech’s Deepest Problems, Women Are The Canary In The Data Mine
The book proposes this simple but radical solution: Women should not try to adapt to the male-centric corporate world, instead women should “lean out” and create their own companies. “I’ve figured out a way to create safe space for myself in tech,” wrote Shevinsky.
In a recent conversation, we discussed how the culture of overwork contributes to the problem of misogyny in many companies, and about how the singular focus on growth and profit drowns out ethical concerns that in the long run ultimately ruins companies. We also spoke about how feminism has said all it can, and yet things don’t seem to be getting better. And we discussed how a hostile workplace for women often indicates that a company has other ethical issues as well.
- The Surprising Thing I Gained When I Switched to a Remote Workforce
One way that businesses are trying to stem employee turnover and are working to improve employee well-being is embracing the paradigm shift to a telecommuting workforce, aka “working from home.” A 2014 PGi survey of 1,000 workers found that 80 percent of their employers offered a telecommuting option, and about half of these employees exercised this option at least once a week. The millennial generation is all about this lifestyle, where 68 percent of millennials are more interested in a position that involves working from home and 64 percent would like the opportunity to work remotely.
One of the aspects of telecommuting that I didn’t think of when we first started was the increase in quality hires I was able to make. Before the switch, we were pigeonholed into hiring from the localities surrounding our business, or hiring someone who was willing to make the long commute every day — something that weighs heavily on even the best of employees.
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- It’s Time to Tax Companies for Using Our Personal Data
The data tax could be a minor cost, less than 1 percent of the revenue companies earn from selling our personal data, spread out over an entire industry. Individually, no company’s bottom line would substantially suffer; collectively, the tax would pull money back to the public, from an industry profiting from material and labor that is, at its very core, our own.
This idea is not new. It is, essentially, a sales tax, among the oldest taxes that exist, but it hasn’t been done because assigning a fixed monetary value to our data can be very difficult. For a lot of internet businesses, our personal data either primarily flows through the business or remains locked within.
- The Washington Post Is A Software Company Now
Since 2014, a new Post operation now called Arc Publishing has offered the publishing system the company originally used for WashingtonPost.com as a service. That allows other news organizations to use the Post’s tools for writers and editors. Arc also shoulders the responsibility of ensuring that readers get a snappy, reliable experience when they visit a site on a PC or mobile device. It’s like a high-end version of Squarespace or WordPress.com, tailored to solve the content problems of a particular industry.
By offloading the creation of publishing tools and the hosting of sites, media companies can concentrate on the journalism itself rather than the technical requirements of getting it in front of readers. Scot Gillespie, the Washington Post’s chief technology officer, says that Arc’s value proposition is “let us run the CMS [content management system] for you, the creation of circulation. You focus on differentiation.”
Photo: Felix Russell-Saw