inclusion

Gender and racial makeup of startup's founding team impacts funding

A recent report by DocSend Inc., a subsidiary of DropBox, surveyed over 300 pre-seed startups, finding that on average, in terms of gender alone, mixed teams raise the most funds, while all-male teams raise the least. In terms of both gender and race, on average, mixed gendered teams with minority members raise the most funds while all-male teams with no minority members raise the least. These findings are consistent with prior studies in terms of reflecting the levels of access to funding opportunities, relative lack of investment in diverse teams, and systemic gender bias.

Job Quality Toolkit aims to move dialogue on quality jobs and retaining workers

The Baldrige Performance Excellence Program at NIST recently released the Job Quality Toolkit which outlines eight “drivers of job quality.” The toolkit aims to enhance the discussion around job quality, becoming an “actionable tool… to improve the quality of every job,” which will improve employee recruitment and retention.

DOE seeking manufacturing productivity proposals, feedback on barriers to funding

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking public feedback on the current barriers and actions needed to make its funding opportunities and innovation and entrepreneurship activities more inclusive, just and equitable, and, in a separate effort, it is seeking input on improving productivity and efficiency of the manufacturing sector through a $4.8 million request for proposals.

Report: Better outcomes for students at Tribal Colleges and Universities with entrepreneurship courses

A new report from the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) highlights the impact of business and entrepreneurship courses at Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), which have long served as bastions of cultural identity at many American Indian and Alaskan Native reservations and important economic drivers in these prominently rural areas. MBDA finds statistically significant evidence that TCUs with stronger business and entrepreneurship curriculum typically serve the most rural areas, and that these areas have higher levels of self-employment, median earnings, and higher rates of bachelor’s degree attainment than areas served by TCUs without strong business and entrepreneurship curriculum.

Disparities persist in Science & Engineering education and employment for women, minorities, and persons with disability

As support for efforts to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) continue to ramp up at organizations in sectors across the country, policy-makers and program designers must carefully consider the dynamics underlying the persistent disparities faced by women, minorities, and persons with disability in obtaining education and employment in science and engineering (S&E). A recent NSF report begins to explore these dynamics, finding persistent disparities in S&E education and employment for women, minorities, and persons with disability.

Innovation Equity District launching in Austin, TX

To bolster its already thriving technology sector, the city of Austin, Texas, has partnered with Opportunity Hub (OHUB) and others from industry and academia to bring a new Equity District to the city. Similar to the innovation district model, this new Equity District will be “anchored in equitable place-making and mobility for the fourth industrial revolution” by providing coworking space, entrepreneurship support programs, a platform for fostering networking and mentorship, re-skilling training and certificates, and an investment structure to increase early-stage investment in Black founders.

Organizations unveil fresh approaches to address workforce challenges

In a year that has seen the economy drop off a cliff, unemployment skyrocket and racial discrimination shock the consciousness of a nation, one might think all hope is lost. But there are those who are working to take this moment in time and re-emerge on the other side a stronger, more inclusive nation. As many workers face the prospect of a job that may never return, Americans in a more comfortable position who have been able to shift their work to remote locations have applauded the work of those left on the front lines during the current pandemic. And a realization that the economy wasn’t always working for all, and the American dream was becoming more of a nightmare for large segments of the population, is coalescing into action for better jobs and greater inclusion.

This week, an alliance of workforce partners has begun to release a suite of tools designed to help those who have worked to build their skills through experience, but lack a four-year degree. A recent report reveals how those who have worked to build their skill set have nonetheless experienced stagnant or downward wage trajectories. Turning that tide to a more positive outcome is the driving force behind many in the workforce development field. In this story we look at the efforts of Opportunity@Work and the Center for Workforce and Economic Opportunity at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, both of which are part of Markle’s initiative known as Rework America Alliance.

$16 trillion economic cost of racial discrimination for last 20 years; manufacturing organizations focusing on workforce equity

Against the backdrop of a recent report from Citigroup Global Perspectives & Solutions that tags the cost of failing to address the racial gaps between Blacks and whites in the U.S. economy over the last 20 years at $16 trillion, the Industry and Inclusion initiative — a joint effort by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance and the Century Foundation — is working towards making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) the centerpiece of workforce development strategy. Highlighting best practices for supporting people of color in accessing and building wealth through opportunities in manufacturing, the initiative offers a framework for all workforce development organizations to accelerate their efforts in closing racial equity gaps.

Inclusive innovation ecosystem prize competition launched

The Lab-to-Market (L2M) subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on the Science and Technology Enterprise is launching a $325,000 prize competition to highlight successful examples of innovation ecosystems, particularly existing resources that support underserved communities or remarkable responses to the pandemic environment. There are three categories for applicants with an informational webinar scheduled for Sept. 25, before the portal opens on Sept. 30.

Where are the women? An examination of women's participation in the SBIR/STTR program

A recent report by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) and the Small Business Administration (SBA) found that participation rates in the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs by women-owned small businesses (WOSB) has essentially remained flat since 2011. Although participation rates vary by awarding agency, the report highlights several barriers faced by women entrepreneurs. Despite the gloomy findings, the report features promising practices from entrepreneurial support organizations (ESOs) that may “right the ship” in supporting women entrepreneurs through the SBIR/STTR program.

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