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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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Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

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