News Highlights: Weeks of July 3 and 10

Male and Female Entrepreneurs Get Asked Different Questions by VCs — and It Affects How Much Funding They Get, by Dana Kanze, Laura Huang, Mark A. Conley, and  E. Tory Higgins of The Harvard Business Review

The questions potential investors ask entrepreneurs about their venture may depend on gender. Researchers analyzed Q&A sessions between venture capitalists and entrepreneurs and identified two types of questions: promotion or growth-oriented questions and prevention or loss-oriented questions. Promotion questions evoked answers that suggest gain, while prevention questions evoked answers that suggest losses for the investor. They found that 67% of the questions posed to male entrepreneurs were promotion-oriented, while 66% of those posed to female entrepreneurs were prevention-oriented. The conclusion? Being a woman can mean you get less funding for your venture.

UCLA Study Finds Middle Schoolers Are Happier in Diverse School Settings, from The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education

A new UCLA study finds that middle schoolers from diverse backgrounds feel safer, less lonely, and less bullied in schools where racial and ethnic groups are of relatively equal size. Students attending such schools were more tolerant and less prejudiced, and teachers treated students more fairly and equally. In classrooms with less diversity than the school overall, the effects disappeared. The researchers explain how a diverse school community may breed these positive outcomes: “when ethnic groups are of relatively equal size, there may be more of a balance of power.”

How the On-Demand Economy Enables the Cycle of Racial Labor Discrimination, by Kate Aronoff of Colorlines

It’s an age-old strategy for employers– rely on independent contractors instead of full-time employees to avoid regulations and protections like Title VII, which bars employers from discriminating based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. Prime examples: the drivers at Uber and Lyft and the ‘taskers’ at other companies whose discriminatory practices have recently come under scrutiny, are not protected by Title VII. There’s another problem with ride-hailing apps: instead of investing time in more robust review processes, they rely solely on customer rating systems to manage their drivers’ performance. Nayantara Mehta explains the problem: “What these rating systems allow is for all the biases that exist out there in society in customers—whether intentional or not—to translate into affecting a worker’s livelihood.”

On Anti-Transgender Microaggressions, by Francis Walker of Inside Higher Ed

Francis Walker, a transgender academic, reflects on the microaggressions they face while navigating the academy. Just after starting their master’s degree, the chair accidentally outed Walker to the entire department, and then there is the “double-duty” of constantly educating colleagues on trans issues. Walker points out that a common tendency among academics is to question and study transgender people’s behavior and choices as if they were experimental subjects. Walker acknowledges that their colleagues don’t mean any harm, and even intend to spread accurate knowledge about the transgender community to others, but these prodding questions are intrusive and have a lasting negative impact.

Phone Booths Are Back in Times Square. No Quarters Required., by Tamara Best of The New York Times

If you happen to visit New York City before September, you might come across three old phone booths in the middle of Times Square. Pick one up and you’ll hear one of over 70 immigrant stories. You may hear from a Puerto Rican woman who wants to learn more English so she can become a bus driver, a Tibetan woman who is now happy to exclaim her nationality freely, and a Nigerian man who misses his family and the business he lost to Boko Haram. This art project by Aman Mojadidi aims to expose thousands of tourists and passersby to under-told immigrant narratives from across the city.

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DiversityEdu Team

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