Tag Archives: Pinterest

Amazon Shopping Made Easy by SnapChat

If you are an Amazon shopper, and lets be real, who isn’t, things just got easier. Amazon.com, the world’s largest online retailer and social media player SnapChat have hooked up.

It’s a rare for Amazon to team up with anybody. They don’t need to. But they like SnapChat. The new relationship will help Snapchat compete with Instagram and Pinterest for social shopping cash. Snapchat announced it’s  dropping a new visual product search feature using images and barcodes. The move, code named “Eagle” was first reported by TechCrunch in July.

The idea is if you see it, and like it, you can buy it. Snapchat users can use their camera to scan the item or that universal barcode. That brings up a card showing the item or something similar with the title, price, a thumbnail image, average review score and Amazon Prime availability. Just tap on it and you’ll be whisked away to Amazon’s app or website to buy it.

Social media shopping or social commerce is taking off in a big way and Amazon wants in on the deal.  SnapChat hopes to stem the loss of daily users that has dropped from 191 million to just over 188 million. Social site Instagram launched Shopping tags in Stories and a dedicated a Shopping channel in Explore. Pinterest opened up Shop the Look pins and hitting 250 million monthly users. SnapChat hopes the new feature will blend with its young and culture-obsessed audience.

Breaking It Down

This move is all about new markets for Amazon. SnapChat is a young people’s game. This new generation is all about their smartphones and selfies and pictures and social media. They’ve moved away from Facebook and Amazon has seen it. They have also moved away from traditional online shopping as well as the malls. So how do you get with they new young audience and new way of shopping? You get into their world. A young person will see  a new pair for sneakers or jacket on a Kardasian and want it. SnapChat sees it and Amazon sells it.

Black Woman to Lead Diversity at Lyft

Nilka Thomas

Lyft, the chief rival to Uber in the ride sharing market, has named Nilka Thomas as its new Vice President of Talent and Inclusion. Thomas will  oversee recruiting, inclusion, diversity and employee relations.

Thomas is a native of  Anchorage, Alaska and attended the University of Oregon where she was an All-American in track and field. She graduated with a degree in psychology and sociology. Prior to joining Lyft Thomas worked as the Director of Global Diversity, Inclusion and Governance at Google. Thomas is now the highest-ranking member of the Lyft team focused on inclusion and diversity.

Lyft wrote in its blog that “Nilka will lead efforts to source and hire top talent, and ensure that inclusion and diversity efforts are seamlessly integrated from the earliest candidate touch points.”

Thomas is following in the steps of other black women who have taken on the challenge of diversity in the work place. At Apple Denise Young Smith was charged with improving diversity. At Twitter Candi Castleberry-Singleton has been named Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity. Neilsen Holdings, an audience measurement company,  named Angela Talton as its new Chief Diversity Officer.  At  Pinterest Candice Morgan was named as the Diversity Chief.

See also: Black Women Leading Corporate Diversity Programs

Black Women Leading Corporate Diversity Programs


Angela Talton

Diversity has become a buzz word in corporate America. Bringing new color and new perspectives to the workplace from the factory floor to the boardroom has never before been so urgent. Many corporations in the tech sector and the non-tech sector understand the need for inclusion has far reaching implications for industry and the nation.  Talented black women are being selected to drive this effort.

Nielsen Holdings, a leading audience measurement company, named Angela Talton  as its new Chief Diversity Officer. Talton is moving up from her former position of Senior Vice President of Global Diversity Inclusion.

According to a company press release Talton will continue to drive Nielsen’s diversity and inclusion programs including supplier diversity, training and employee engagement. Talton started at Nielsen in 2007 as senior vice president for global call center operations. Talton was formerly employed by Sears and ALLTEL Communications which was purchased by AT&T in 2013 . Talton attended University of North Carolina Chapel Hill where she earned a degree in business administration. She also secured an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Nielsen’s CEO Mitch Burns said of Talton, “Diversity and inclusion are crucial to our growth, strength, and ability to innovate.  Angela’s vision, leadership and execution have helped us re-imagine diversity at a global scale. As Nielsen’s Chief Diversity Officer, she will be a vital part of my leadership team and a champion for our company wide investments to ensure our business is representative of the communities where we live and work.

Candice Morgan

Candice Morgan

Pinterest has named Candice Morgan as their diversity chief.  Morgan worked at Catalyst Incorporated for 10 years where she focused on building diverse and inclusive work environments. Catalyst is a nonprofit research group tracking women in business. Morgan will report to Pinterest’s head of recruiting.

Pinterest is one of the few tech companies to publicly set out goals to employ more women and minorities.

Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp said Morgan will “help build the programs and teams” Pinterest needs to reach its “creative potential as a company.” 

Pinterest’s business team is made up of two-thirds women. However that dominance is not reflected in other areas of the company. For example only 21 percent of the tech jobs, 19 percent of the engineering jobs and 16 percent of the company’s leadership positions are female.  Minority representation inside Pinterest reveals that only  8 percent of its employees weren’t white or Asian. Black or Hispanic employees accounted for 5 percent of business roles and less than 2 percent of engineering roles. Blacks and minorities are completely absent from leadership positions.

Pinterest is close to the half way point of meeting the self imposed hiring goals. Morgan is joining the company at a crucial time in this process. Her responsibilities will be to make sure Pinterest reaches those goals. She will also work with outside partners such as the diversity strategy firm Paradigm and internal employee groups. The company is seeking to increase the hiring rate for full-time engineering roles to 30 percent women and 8 percent minority. In July of 2015 those hiring rates were 21 percent and 2 percent respectively.

“Pinterest is willing to experiment and really sees that no one is getting it 100 percent right and there is no one solution,”  said Morgan in a statement to USA Today. “Pinterest knows to find solutions that work for Pinterest, it has to be innovative.”

Reaching diversity goals is an elusive target, ask any CEO. Most recently even Apple, the giant of the tech sector, had to admit it barely improved its diversity admitting the company remains mostly made up of white men.  

Apple efforts face an uphill battle since the even the board of directors seem to resisting diversity efforts.  Apple’s board voted down a proposal to increase the diversity of its board and senior management. The board described the proposal as “unduly burdensome and not necessary.” Apple’s board held up its ongoing scholarship programs for black students that provides 114 under-served U.S. schools with Apple products, and its sponsorship of the Grace Hopper conference for women in technology as evidence of its diversity efforts.


Obama Hosts Technology Demo Day



President Obama hosted the first ever White House Demo Day on his birthday. The purpose of Demo Day was to accelerate diversity in the U.S. tech sector and highlight the administration’s dedication to this goal.

The event hosted more than 90 entrepreneurs from 30 different companies. Many participants were expecting to see and demonstrate start up technology efforts from various entrepreneurs. The diverse group of participants represented the spectrum of  women and minorities struggling to get recognition from the established tech community. In a show of support the White House and ventures capitalist announced several programs and initiatives to advance diversity in tech.

One group of 40 top venture capital firms representing over $110 billion dollars invested in almost 7,000 start ups announced their commitment to a more inclusive entrepreneur environment. In a letter from the New Enterprise Association, a group that includes Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital,  and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, committed to monitor diversity within their individual firms and the companies they invest in.  The significance of this letter cannot be understated when women and African-Americans face huge obstacles to employment and investment in Silicon Valley.

Big name technology companies also made their presence known. IBM, Microsoft, Airbnb and Indiegogo are falling in step with the likes of Apple, Intel, Facebook and Pinterest by announcing that they will adopt the Rooney Rule. The rule comes from the NFL and states that a women or minority must at least be interviewed for senior positions in their companies. As many as 45 venture capital firms have adopted the Rooney Rule. But there are some who believe that even though the rule is well meaning it won’t work.

Google and Facebook announced a new program aimed at improving their diversity. Facebook launched the Supplier Diversity Program, that will focus on increasing the number of women and minority-owned business in the company’s supply chain.

In another announcement the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the expansion of its InnovateHER 2016: Innovating for Women Business Challenge. The program is national competition intended to identifying products and services designed to uplift and empower women and families. The contest is conducted through a string of local business competitions that includes a final round of live presentations. The idea is to spur innovative efforts by and for women.

Now you know



Congressional Black Caucus Talks Diversity in Silicon Valley

CONGRESSIONAL-BLACK-CAUCUS_2_20Members of the Congressional Black Caucus Diversity Task Force traveled to Silicon Valley on Sunday. The objective of the visit was to meet with executives from some of the Valley’s biggest companies to discuss ways to get more diversity into America’s technology sector.

Making the trip were CBC Chairman G. K. Butterfield (D-NY)  and Representatives Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). The group met with representatives from Apple, Bloomberg, Google, Intel, Kapor, Pandora and SAP.

“Our goal for this trip is to encourage and partner with these organizations to implement a diversity plan that will place more African-Americans in the tech pipeline,” Butterfield said in a statement Thursday. “This will potentially lead to a wide range of opportunities, from student internships to positions on the boards of tech companies.”

In May the CBC launched a five year program intended to expand recruitment of African-Americans at every level of the industry. According to a CBC TECH 2020 anouncement the tech industry will produce 1.4 million tech jobs by the year 2020. Seventy percent of those jobs will go unfilled. As part of the TECH 2020 initiative the CBC has announced specific goals and principles for tech diversity.

Efforts to bring more blacks, Latinos and women into the technology industry were highlighted by the efforts of civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson who persuaded companies to release their diversity data. The data uncovered that only African-Americans and Latinos were less represented than women in the valley. The percentage of people of color employed in the tech sector were in single digits; the low single digits.

The numbers measured from 2014-2015 indicate that after a year diversity among the biggest tech companies has not improved. Google’s 2015 report showed only 2 percent black employees and 3 percent Hispanic. Google has decided to spend $150 million dollars on improving diversity. That money will not all be spent in house. According to Google half of the money will go to ouside organizations.

In a blog post earlier this week Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg said one of the most important things companies can do to promote diversity in the workplace is ”to correct for the unconscious bias that all of us have.”

Apple computer’s diversity report shows that its workforce is made up of 11 percent Hispanic and 7 percent black employees. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, who is on the record as being unsatisfied with the diversity of the workforce, has dedicated $50 million to improve the companies diversity and inclusion.

Rev. Jackson has asked that tech companies create specific, measurable recruitment goals and report their success in meeting those goals.

The executives of Pinterest claim to be the first in the industry to honor Rev. Jackson’s request by publicly announcing their diversity goals.   Pinterest is expanding the number of universities where it recruits, instituting an internship program. The company is working to identify students from underrepresented backgrounds and setting up Inclusion Labs at the company to experiment with new ways to improve diversity. The company has also taken a page from the NFL rule book, the Rooney Rule, that requires that a woman and a minority candidate be interviewed for leadership positions within the company.

Intel, the worlds largest maker of computer chips, is also laying claim to being the first to publicly announce their diversity goal. According to a post from Rosalind Hudnell, VP of Human Resources and Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Intel, the company set its goals out in May of this year. Hudnell also announced a $300 million effort by Intel aimed at increasing diversity in the company. Intel is using some of that money as an incentive for it’s employese to get into the diversity act. Intel will dish out up to $4,000 in bonuses to employees who can recommend a minority or women candidate that can increase the diversity of the workplace.

The most recet report on Silicon Valley diversity was published by Fortune.com on July 30th and it compares the diversity of some of the valley’s biggest companies ranked by gender and ethnicity. You can see the report here.

Related stories

Silicon Valley Cash? Not for Blacks and Women

Congressional Black Caucus to Talk Diversity with Silicon Valley Leaders




App of the Week – HeartThis

163901-9e310a0a4f0a82a5101c5c254f62e9ec-medium_jpgWhen it comes to shopping online the African-American shopper is ready, willing and able. A new study of African-American consumers revealed that black people use mobile devices for shopping more than the general population. African-American shoppers are leading the way when it comes to using their mobile devices to shop according to Target Market News. African-Americans use smartphone and other mobile devices to comparison shop, price match, and research product details.  Black people take their product research to the next level by also investigating the product in the store and are actually more likely to buy online.That is why HeartThis is the App of the Week.

HeartThis shopping app allows the user to shop more than 330 stores.  The store available include Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Kohl’s, J. Crew, Target, and others. Not only can you shop but the app also shows you if there are any promo codes available to save you a few additional dollars.

To get started with HeartThis, the user selects their favorite stores and categories of apparel including active wear, shoes, bags, accessories or swimwear. This creates a customized feed of items in a Pinterest like layout. The user then “hearts” the items they like adding it to their collection. If the user decides to buy the item they can do so with a tap of the “Buy” button that directs them to the retailer.

HeartThis is different from its mobile shopping app competitors because it doesn’t just offer high-end stores. The app is also helpful to the online budget conscious shopper by providing an alternative way to shop from mainstream stores like Target and those at your local mall and online retailers like Amazon and others. Budget shoppers will appreciate HeartThis’s ability to track down promo codes saving them time hunting for the best deal.

HeartThis is free and available on Apple.

Newest Social Media Scams

Social media is where a lot of black people hangout online. Its the place to be online. But African-Americans need to understand that social media is the heart of scam country.The newest social media scams are constantly evolving and becoming either more sophisticated or more irresistible. You need to know what the latest scams are and how they work. CSO has published a slide show of the newest social media scams and how they work. After reviewing the list I found that a lot of them are really very typical and play on a person’s greed and desire to get something for nothing. Many work by urging the victim to act quickly. Please remember that if you think you’re gonna get something for nothing its you who may be left with nothing. There is no software that can spot a scam. Why? Because scammers work on the person and their weaknesses and not the technology. So no anti-virus, no anti-malware, no spam blocker is going to protect you. You need to know what to look for and control your desire to get something for nothing.

Now you know.

CSO 10 New Social Media Scams to Watch Out for.