This woman saw a problem with diversity in her workplace. Here's how she's fixing it.

She was usually the only black woman in the room, so she created her own company to change that.

Success in the tech industry isn’t new to Melissa James.

The office-manager-turned-CEO of The Tech Connection helped grow her former team at Sample6 Technologies from a handful of techies to 25 people in just two years. She did all kinds of work, including ciphering through data and metrics, and finding the best and brightest applicants. This is where she started to notice an unfortunate trend, which she decided to conquer by founding her own startup.

When she started her career in tech, James was often the only black person — and the only woman — in the room.


Photo used with permission via Melissa James.

“When people hear the word 'diversity,' they tend to immediately think of race,” James said. “It’s more about the diversity of thought. You want a multitude of backgrounds representing your team, and that currently isn’t the case in most tech offices.”

Now, James is creating a software system to help companies "hire blindly."

Here’s how it works: According to James, many hiring managers see a name and instantly get an idea of who that person is and what their background means. James’ program removes the candidate’s name from the resume. It also removes where they went to school and their current location. Those details are replaced with their core skill set, where they’ve worked in the past, and the character strengths they bring to the table. This, she believes, will help increase hiring diversity for these companies.

While her product is limited to the tech world right now, she's working to ensure that the software won’t just be a product initiative. Instead, she hopes it'll also introduce a necessary dialogue about increasing workplace diversity.

James’ diversity concerns are echoed pretty much everywhere in the tech industry.

Does this look like your workplace? According to the data, probably not. Image via iStock.

Just last year, Apple came under fire for the lack of diversity on its leadership board. White men made up 72% of all leaders. Today, 28% of Apple's leaderships roles are held by women, 6% by Latinos, and just 3% by black leaders. Yikes.

Apple isn’t the only company struggling with diversity issues, though. Just about every major tech company in America, from Google to Facebook, is struggling to find the balance between men and women in the workforce. And the gap only gets larger as you climb higher up the leadership ladder.

Gay and transgender employees still make up about 6% of the workforce for federal, state, and local jobs, and workers with disabilities still struggle to find gainful employment, too.

When we remove opportunities to create and use stereotypes, we open ourselves up to lots of choices.

James' software is a push in the right direction, but it certainly isn't the only step we need for bringing diversity to every workplace.

Thankfully, lots of companies are working on this problem. Just last year, DiversityInc recognized companies including AT&T, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson as leaders for increasing diversity. Apple declared a commitment to increase diversity in their offices, and "Saturday Night Live" added Sasheer Zamata to the cast after comments from cast member Kenan Thompson led to an outcry from viewers about the lack of initiatives to increase diversity. The methods vary in all of these cases, but it's clear that in all industries, the need for change has been made apparent.

“Diversity is like rice,” James said. "It’s a staple that’s cooked differently in every different household, and each version is delicious in its own way. We have to have that diversity in culture, ideas, and thoughts. Diversity is not limited to race, and when we tap into various community backgrounds when looking for talent, we inevitably find produce something greater.”

That sounds like a pot of goodness we can all enjoy.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

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The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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