National Geographic Publishes “The Race Issue”, Exploring Race and Diversity in the 21st Century

National Geographic has published a single-topic issue exploring the subject of race in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination this April. The April edition of the magazine, The Race Issue, features a pair of black and white fraternal twin sisters from the United Kingdom, Marcia and Millie Biggs, on the cover. The Biggs twins on the cover are a catalyst for readers to rethink what they know about race.

The Race Issue, which is accompanied by a discussion guide aimed at parents and educators, includes the latest research, powerful anecdotes and unparalleled visual storytelling to explore the human journey through the lens of labels that define, separate and unite us. Select features include:

  • “Skin Deep,” an article on the genetics of race and roots of scientific racism, by Pulitzer-Prize winning author Elizabeth Kolbert and photos by Robin Hammond.
  • “The Things That Divide Us,” a look into the evolutionary roots of group bias and current efforts to combat this bias, with text by David Berreby and photos by John Stanmeyer.
  • “The Rising Anxiety of White America,” by renowned journalist Michele Norris, who looks to 2044 when America will be less than 50 percent white and details the cultural shift already taking place. Photos by Gillian Laub.
  • “The Stop,” a powerful piece featuring anecdotes from black and Hispanic motorists who’ve been pulled over by the police due to the color of their skin. This piece was reported in partnership with ESPN’s The Undefeated, with text by Michael Fletcher and photos by National Geographic photographer Wayne Lawrence.
  • “Streets in His Name,” a photographic essay, with text by award-winning journalist Wendi C. Thomas, on streets around the world bearing MLK Jr.’s name and how they reflect the legacy he left behind.
  • “A Place of Their Own,” which showcases a new brand of activism at historically black colleges and universities as racial tensions escalate across the country. Text by Clint Smith and photos by Nina Robinson and Ruddy Roye.

The Race Issue kicks off the magazine’s “Diversity in America” series. Throughout the rest of 2018, the series looks at racial, ethnic and religious groups in the United States, including Muslims, Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans, and examines their changing roles in 21st-century life.

In conjunction with the publication of the issue, National Geographic has also launched a social media campaign, #IDefineMe, calling on individuals to share their experience with race and what it means to them. Through photos, videos or text across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the online community is encouraged to respond to the call-to-action: Science defines you by your DNA. Society defines you by the color of your skin. How do you define yourself? #IDefineMe

Additionally, “America Inside Out with Katie Couric,” a documentary television series covering some of the most complicated and consequential questions in American culture today, premieres April 11 on National Geographic.

The Race Issue is available online now at natgeo.com/TheRaceIssue and on print newsstands March 27th.

Tech Industry’s Diversity Discussions Rife with Contradictions, New Research Report from CompTIA Reveals

 

As America’s technology industry strives to build a more gender and racially diverse workforce, a new report released today by leading tech industry association CompTIA reveals a series of contradictory viewpoints on the current state and future goals for workplace diversity.

Nearly eight in ten high-tech industry workers surveyed by CompTIA say they are satisfied with their organization’s diversity efforts; and 87 percent say they’ve worked in a department comprised of a diverse group of employees in the last year.

At the same time, 45 percent of workers say the industry has lagged in promoting diversity, while another third at least partially agree. This position is backed by statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Commission and other sources, which find a tech industry workforce that’s overwhelmingly white and male, with fewer African Americans, Hispanics or women than other industries.

“The human element may be at play here,” said Carolyn April, senior director for industry analysis at CompTIA. “People want to be aspirational; they want to believe that their company is very progressive and encouraging, offering job opportunities to any qualified candidate, regardless of demographics.”

One area of general consensus is on diversity’s impact on innovation. Nearly two-thirds of respondents agree that an organization with a heterogeneous employee base is more likely to produce world-class innovation than one that is largely homogeneous in makeup. Another 28 percent at least partially agree with that premise.

One of the more curious findings of the survey relates to gender. Asked if women and men are naturally inclined to succeed in roles that amplify their gender traits, nearly half of respondents agreed. But among executives and senior managers, 61 percent agreed with the statement, compared with 46 percent of middle managers and 22 percent of staff-level workers.

“One possible reason so many executive-level respondents believe women and men succeed more in roles that play to gender traits is that the vast majority of senior managers in the high-tech industry are men,” said Yvette Steele, who manages CompTIA’s Advancing Diversity in Technology community.

“Women are more likely to be working in middle management or at the staff level, which could explain the disparity of the responses,” Steele continued. “When it comes to moving up the ladder gender stereotypes, unconscious bias as well as prejudice affect progress toward greater equity.”

The industry’s gender gap is widest when it comes to pay equity. Two-thirds of women in high tech say they would leave their job if the discovered pay imbalances among employees doing equal work, compared to 44 percent of men who said the same.

On an optimistic note, a majority of workers feel things are changing, with 59 percent of all respondents saying the industry has made strides toward a more diverse workforce.

“The industry is having a reckoning moment,” April concluded. “Maybe companies and executives didn’t realize that diversity has been a problem, but the majority now do, and more resources are being allocated toward diversity. We’re still in a learning curve, but we’re on a positive trajectory.”

To promote greater diversity with the technology industry, CompTIA has established two communities, on Advancing Diversity in Technology and Advancing Women in Technology. More than 2,800 individuals are active in the two communities.

CompTIA’s “Diversity in the High-Tech Industry” report is based on two online surveys conducted in December 2017; one to 400 U.S. IT professionals, and the other to 200 workers outside the high-tech industry. The complete report is available free of charge at https://www.comptia.org/resources/technology-diversity-research.