Posted on

Activision, Facing Internal Turmoil, Grapples With #MeToo Reckoning

More than 1,500 workers for the video game maker Activision Blizzard walked out from their jobs this week. Thousands signed a letter rebuking their employer. And even as the chief executive apologized, current and former employees said they would not stop raising a ruckus.Shay Stein, who used to work at Activision, said it was “heartbreaking.” Lisa Welch, a former vice president, said she felt “profound disappointment.” Others took to Twitter or waved signs outside one of the company’s offices on Wednesday to share their anger.Activision, known for its hugely popular Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and StarCraft …

Read More

Posted on

Who Discriminates in Hiring? A New Study Can Tell.

Twenty years ago, Kalisha White performed an experiment. A Marquette University graduate who is Black, she suspected that her application for a job as executive team leader at a Target in Wisconsin was being ignored because of her race. So she sent in another one, with a name (Sarah Brucker) more likely to make the candidate appear white.Though the fake résumé was not quite as accomplished as Ms. White’s, the alter ego scored an interview. Target ultimately paid over half a million dollars to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of …

Read More

Posted on

Your Thursday Briefing

Good morning. We’re covering catastrophic floods in China, a shift by governments to a new pandemic normal and protests over water shortages in Iran.Floods trap train passengers in ChinaAt least 25 people died in and around Zhengzhou, a city of five million and the capital of Henan Province, when the heaviest rainfall on record caused severe flooding. Twelve of the victims were stuck on a subway train when waters rose.The terror began on Tuesday evening when floodwaters breached a retaining wall near an entrance to the subway’s Line 5, which makes a loop around the city center. The …

Read More

Posted on

Activision Blizzard Is Sued by California Over Workplace Culture

A California state agency is suing Activision Blizzard, the video game maker that produces Call of Duty, over claims of sexual harassment and discrimination.After a two-year investigation, the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court that Activision fostered a “‘frat boy’ workplace culture.” Executives sexually harassed women, the agency said, and male employees openly joked about rape and drank alcohol while engaging in “inappropriate behavior” toward women at their cubicles during events known as “cube crawls.”The lawsuit added that women were routinely paid less than men …

Read More

Posted on

She’s One of China’s Biggest Stars. She’s Also Transgender.

Jin Xing, a 53-year-old television host often called China’s Oprah Winfrey, holds strong views about what it means to be a woman. She has hounded female guests to hurry up and get married, and she has pressed others to give birth. When it comes to men, she has recommended that women act helpless to get their way.That might not be so unusual in China, where traditional gender norms are still deeply embedded, especially among older people. Except Ms. Jin is no typical Chinese star.As China’s first — and even today, only — major transgender celebrity, Ms. Jin is …

Read More

Posted on

Knowing What Your Co-Worker Makes Doesn’t Close the Pay Gap

Carolyn Kopprasch earns $225,000 a year. Maria Thomas makes $267,890. Then comes Darcy Peters with a salary of $105,143.That information, taken in before I exchange pleasantries with these women, feels almost illicit — like the confessions of a stranger oversharing at a bar.We’ve never spoken before, and there is a certain intimacy that comes from picking up the phone to call someone knowing nothing but her name and her salary. And there is also, some companies bet, a certain kind of power.Ms. Kopprasch, Ms. Thomas and Ms. Peters all work at Buffer, a fully remote social media company — “Slack is …

Read More

Posted on

Black Workers Stopped Making Progress on Pay. Is It Racism?

Consider information technology, which offers some of the best-paid jobs in the country. African Americans earn around one in 10 bachelor’s degrees in computer science nationwide. By contrast, they account for only 2.6 of every 100 computer workers in the region around San Francisco, including Silicon Valley.Even with the credentials that many African Americans have in the field, Dr. Spriggs said in an interview, “Silicon Valley says, ‘Yeah, but they are not skilled.’”But for all the evidence of racial disparities, many economists say employers’ racial biases cannot fully explain what’s going on in the workplace. The idea that discrimination …

Read More

Posted on

The Cost of Being an ‘Interchangeable Asian’

On a recent Tuesday evening, Jully Lee and her boyfriend curled up on the couch and turned on the TV to watch the Ovation Awards, a ceremony honoring stage work in the Los Angeles area that was held virtually this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ms. Lee, an actor, had been nominated for her role in the play “Hannah and the Dread Gazebo,” which was in production before the pandemic.Ms. Lee, 40, had submitted a prerecorded acceptance speech in case she won. During the ceremony, each nominee’s photo was shown as his or her name was announced. When …

Read More

Posted on

Banks Fight $4 Billion Debt Relief Plan for Black Farmers

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration’s efforts to provide $4 billion in debt relief to minority farmers is encountering stiff resistance from banks, which are complaining that the government initiative to pay off the loans of borrowers who have faced decades of financial discrimination will cut into their profits and hurt investors.The debt relief was approved as part of the $1.9 trillion stimulus package that Congress passed in March and was intended to make amends for the discrimination that Black and other nonwhite farmers have faced from lenders and the United States Department of Agriculture over the years. But no money has …

Read More

Posted on

Biden’s Proposals Aim to Give Sturdier Support to the Middle Class

Skeptics have warned of government overreach and the risk that deficit spending could ignite inflation, but Mr. Biden and his team of economic advisers have, nonetheless, embraced the approach.“It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom and middle out,” Mr. Biden said in his speech to a joint session of Congress last week, a reference to the idea that prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the wealthy, but flows out of a well-educated and well-paid middle class.He underscored the point by singling out workers as the dynamo powering the middle class.“Wall Street didn’t build …

Read More