TECH CEO: If Silicon Valley Wanted To Solve The Diversity Issue, It Would Be Solved

Shellye Archambeau

African-Americans in the tech industry still seem to be relatively few and far between.

Tech behemoth Google’s US-based workforce is only 2% black, the company recently announced

But that is changing — very slowly, but surely.

In February of this year, Apple appointed Denise Young Smith to lead its worldwide human resources division — a position previously held by a white man.

Also this year, storage startup Dropbox announced the appointment of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to its board of directors.

But despite all of that, racial minorities and women are generally underrepresented in management roles, according to a 2013 CNNMoney probe into the 20 top U.S. tech companies. 

Shellye Archambeau, CEO of enterprise software provider MetricStream, recently spoke to Business Insider about the lack of diversity in tech. 

In her career, Archambeau has held several executive roles at companies including Arbitron, Loudcloud, NorthPoint Communications, and Inc. In 2000, Internet World named her one of the top 25 “Click and Mortar” executives in the country.

Here’s a Q&A with one of the smartest black people in tech:

Business Insider: In your opinion, why does Google have so few minorities? Is it simply because, as some have argued, that there just aren’t enough who apply for jobs there?

Shellye Archambeau: Diversity within an organization isn’t something that happens overnight. It requires a deep and long-standing commitment to creating a corporate culture that truly celebrates differences. If you look at MetricStream, since our very inception, diversity was part of our fabric. We aspired to be a strong, global company, and that meant hiring people that represented different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences. In many ways, diversity is a governance issue – the tone for diversity has to be set at the top.

BI: What do Google’s diversity stats say about Silicon Valley as a whole?

SA: As we talk about issues of diversity in Silicon Valley, it is important that our conversations are grounded in real data as opposed to generalizations. No doubt, Google’s employee data reveals some interesting insights about the composition of their employee base. It is commendable that they shared this information publicly, and it is a huge step forward in terms of advancing the dialogue on this issue.

According to a recent survey from Fenwick & West on Gender Diversity in Public Companies in Silicon Valley, findings indicate that “the past two decades (and, in particular, the last four years since the depth of the financial crisis) has been a time of progress for women in leadership roles in Silicon Valley public companies.” So, while we aren’t yet where we should be in terms of diversity in Silicon Valley, the data signals that we are headed in the right direction.

BI: How can we get more minorities working at tech companies?

SA: I feel as though it is my responsibility, as minority woman in business, to help others be successful. Mentorship is something I am deeply passionate about.

Having served on the boards of non-profit organizations here in Silicon Valley – such as Watermark, a community of executive women who come together to connect and advocate for the advancement of women in the workforce; and Information Technology Senior Management Forum, an organization that aims to increase the level of African-American representation at senior-levels of IT through development programs, networking, and mentoring – I have seen first hand the positive impact that can be had.

I urge others, from those sitting in the C-suite to those aspiring young entrepreneurs, to become more proactive in building out networks and communities who can provide support and mentorship.

BI: What are tech companies like Google doing wrong in terms of diversity?

SA: California is one of the most diverse and liberal states, so it is rather surprising that this region, and the companies within it don’t necessarily reflect those same characteristics. Diversity of gender and race is not a serious focus in Silicon Valley. We have the smartest, most innovative and courageous workforce in the world. If Silicon Valley wanted to solve this issue, it would be solved. In order for Silicon Valley to continue to be the most innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial place on earth, Silicon Valley needs to celebrate diversity of all kinds.

And in that regard, we’ve got some great leaders to look up to; Ursula Burns of Xerox, Marissa Mayer of Yahoo, Meg Whitman of Hewlett-Packard, and Virginia Rometty of IBM. These women sit at the helm of some of the most powerful and successful companies in the world. Everyday they inspire us through their leadership, they broaden our perspectives, and they help tear down the structures, hierarchies, barriers — real or perceived — that might otherwise hold us back.

BI: If you were Google cofounders Larry Page or Sergey Brin, how would you improve diversity at Google?

SA: Measure it. It starts with the pipeline of candidates. What percent of the candidates in consideration for specific roles are diverse? How are those percentages trending? Set pipeline targets. Encourage hiring managers and HR support functions to go beyond their traditional networks. Recognize and reward managers that are creating diverse teams.

SEE ALSO: The 46 Most Important African-Americans In Technology

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17 DIY Bathroom Hacks to Make Your Experience Less Crappy



There’s no ifs, ands or butts about it — the bathroom is the worst room in the house.

Yet we spend a significant amount of time in the lavatory. All of those hours basking in the bath, prepping for a night out in front of the mirror or releasing the Kraken can add up fast.

But the washroom doesn’t have to be so bad. These tips, tricks and hacks will help make your time in the loo a little more tolerable. Read more…

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If You Want To Work For Apple, Microsoft, Or Google, Go To One Of These Schools

google headquarters office campus

For all the talk of “cognitive ability” and “behavioral interviewing,” tech firms like Microsoft and Google have a similar hiring pattern to just about any other business: proximity. 

That’s according to Wired, which found that recruitment is typically tied to how close a college campus is to the corporate campus, with a few notable exceptions. 

To find this out, Wired did a little poking around LinkedIn to find the top five “donating” schools for seven tech firms. The magazine’s mission was “to see if non-Stanford grads have a chance at Silicon Valley firms (they do) and whether Ivy Leagues dominate (they don’t).” 

Take Microsoft, for instance. Bill Gates’s empire is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. Correspondingly, lots of recruits come from that state. Judging by Wired’s infographic, Microsoft employs approximately: 

  • 5,000 University of Washington grads
  • 1,000 Washington State grads
  • 800 Western Washington University grads

Then there’s Apple. The house that Steve Jobs built has this employee breakdown: 

  • 900 University of California, Berkeley, grads
  • 800 San Jose State grads
  • 300 University of Texas, Austin, grads

Lastly, let’s look at Google. The prestigious search giant has loads of California connections, with some East Coast schools thrown in. The approximate numbers are: 

  • 2,500 Stanford grads
  • 2,000 University of California, Berkeley, grads
  • 800 Carnegie Mellon grads
  • 800 University of California, Los Angeles, grads

Why would big, global companies hire from their nearby colleges? While we don’t have anyone in HR at Microsoft, we do know hiring trends. Namely, people hire people they know, and it’s easiest to know the folks who are nearby. 

And if you didn’t go to Stanford, fret not; you can still end up at Google. Just spend a stint at Microsoft: Wired reports it’s the top feeder company to Google. 

SEE ALSO: Who You Know Is Even More Important Than You Realize

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Acer unveils five smartphones, a tablet and a smartband

Acer has gone rampant and unveiled a slew of new device before their expected Computex 2014 debut (starting June 3). Those devices include the Acer Liquid X1, E700, E600, Liquid Jade and Liquid Z200 smartphones, the Liquid Leap smartband and the Iconia 8 tablet. All devices are expected to launch in Q3 of this year.

Now the best-equipped smartphone of the bunch is the Acer Liquid X1. It's an octa-core LTE smartphone with a 5.7-incher at the front and Android KitKat on board. The display is uses the Zero Air Gap technology for lower light reflection, higher contrast and brighter images and has an IPS panel of 720p resolution. The smartphone has a 1.7 GHz processor and 2 GB of RAM are embedded into a MediaTek MT6592 SoC. The camera is a 13 MP unit with the impressively-wide f/1.8 aperture, 0.3s autofocus and 1080p video capabilities.

The Liquid X1 has 16 gigs of storage expandable through a microSD card (up to 32 additional gigs) and there's a 2,700 mAh battery on board.

Acer Liquid X1

The Acer Liquid 700 and 600 both have Android KitKat on tap along with microSD card slots for cheap expansion of the storage. The Liquid E700 is the more powerful of the duo. It has a MediaTek MT6582 chipset with a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, Mali-400 GPU and 2 GB of RAM. It also supports three SIM cards and is powered by a potent 3,500 mAh battery.

The screen of the Liquid E700 is a Zero Air Gap 5" IPS unit of 720p resolution. There's an 8 MP camera with an LED flash on the back as well.

The Acer Liquid E600 has the same size display but of the much lower 480 x 854 pixel resolution. It's powered by a Snapdragon 400 chipset with a quad-core 1.2 GHz processor, the Adreno 305 GPU and 1 GB of RAM. The battery capacity is lower at 2,500 mAh but there's LTE connectivity, which the E700 doesn't offer.

Acer Liquid E700 • Acer Liquid E600

We move on to the Acer Liquid Jade smartphone and Liquid Leap smartband, which Acer showed at an event in April but didn't elaborate too much on what they offer. Well now we know the Liquid Jade has a 720p IPS display of 5" diagonal of the same Zero Air Gap variety. There's a 1.3 GHz quad-core processor with 1 GB of RAM embedded on the MediaTek MT6582 SoC.

The camera is the same 13 MP wide-aperture, fast-focusing unit of the Liquid X1. Finally the battery is a 2,100 mAh unit.

As for the Liquid Leap – it's Acer's first wearable device. It has a 1" touchscreen display and can do fitness tracking, call and SMS notifications. It will be offered in Moonstone White, Mineral Black, Aquamarine, Fragrant Pink, and Vivid Orange colors and is IPX7 certified for water protection up to a meter for as long as 30 minutes.

Acer Liquid Jade and Liquid Leap

The Acer Liquid Z200 is the simplest of the bunch. It has a 4" WVGA screen (480 x 800), 1 GHz dual-core processor inside a MediaTek MT6572M chip. There are 512 MB of RAM, 2 MP fixed-focus camera and a 1,300 mAh battery.

Acer Liquid Z200

The Acer Iconia 8 tab has an 8" Zero Air Gap display of 1080p resolution, stereo speakers and an Intel Atom Z3745 inside. It runs on Android KitKat with very slight customizations.

Acer Iconia 8

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The 10 Hottest Apps Right Now


This month was crazy in the app world.

Foursquare, the superpopular location-based mobile app, announced that it was splitting its business into two separate mobile products

And the popular game Dots is getting a sequel. Finally!

The App Store updates with new additions all the time, but these are the 10 apps that people are talking about this month.

Beats Music

Apple confirmed this week that it was buying Beats Music in a $3 billion deal

In an internal memo to employees, Tim Cook wrote that, “Beats Music was built with deep respect for both artists and fans. We think it’s the first subscription service to really get it right.”

Although that remains to be seen (Beats Music has only 111,000 subscribers), Beats updated its iPhone app, and dropped its monthly subscription price from $120 to $99. 

Price: Free to download; $10 per month/$99 per year subscription fee

Available: iOS | Android

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel has been around for a couple years, but it was recently updated with a new interface and in-app chat capabilities.

It presents you with one potential date at noon every day. The matches aren’t random — potential mates are friends of friends — and then you like or pass the person. If the person likes you back, you score some chat time in a private chatroom. 

The company recently received $2.8 million in funding

Price: Free

Availability: iOS

Monkey Parking

Finding an affordable place to live in San Francisco might be hard, but finding a parking spot might arguably be worse. 

That’s where Monkey Parking comes in. You can bid on spots that are going to open up where you want to park. And, you can put your parking spot up for auction and watch as the bids start coming in.

Currently the app is only available in San Francisco and Rome (as in Italy — the app’s founders are Italian), but it’s possible that if it catches on, it’ll roll out to other cities. 

Price: Free

Availability: iOS

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Turkish Police Detain CNN Reporter On-Air on Gezi Anniversary



Turkish police detained journalist Ivan Watson while he was reporting live on-air Saturday.

In the video, above, Watson is describing the scene in central Istanbul, when plainclothes police officers begin surrounding him (around the 3:00 mark). The CNN correspondent, who is based in Istanbul, was reporting from Taksim Square, where he says Turkish riot police were on-hand to prevent demonstrations on the one-year anniversary of last summer’s Gezi Park protests.

Turkish police detained me and my crew in the middle of a live report in Taksim Square. One officer kneed me in the butt.

— Ivan Watson (@IvanCNN) May 31, 2014 Read more…

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14 Summer Clothing Hacks That Don’t Require Sewing



When it’s hot out, you just want to rip your all your clothes off — but what you really should be doing is ripping all your clothes on.

You deserve the most out of your wardrobe, and upcycling your clothing is the best way to make it last. But before you cower in fear at the thought of needles and thread, take a look at these DIY ideas. You won’t need to go anywhere near a sewing machine to do any of it, so all 10 digits can breathe a hearty sign of relief.

Warm weather means you’ll be boiling in those nasty denim jeans — time to cut off the legs of the legs! That shirt, while it has a cool design, is looking a like dingy — time to refresh it by cutting it to bits and turning into a trendy crop top! Read more…

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