Things That Matter

Facebook Wants To Add Latinas In Tech To Their Teams And Offer Them A Slice Of Their Big Salary Earning Pie

While creating an idyllic work atmosphere can seem nearly impossible, there’s no doubting that a diverse work environment can help push companies closer to achieving this. Time and time again, research has proven that diversity in the workplace is essential. Not only can having people from different backgrounds and walks of life drive creativity and productivity it can also foster education and empathy. One of the most influential companies in the world right now has recently, fortunately, decided to take a step back, survey its employee landscape and add diversity to it.

In the latest big move from social media giant, Facebook has announced its plans to diversify its existing workforce within the next five years.

On July 10th, the social media giant released its latest job numbers and explained where it hopes to see itself in the near future.

Twitter / @FBnewsroom

In its sixth-annual diversity report, Facebook disclosed that it has had little success hiring from what it refers to as “traditionally underrepresented groups.” Since 2014, the social media company has worked globally to hire more employees who are Black, Latino, Indigenous and Pacific Islanders as well as disabled employees and veterans. It has also focused on hiring more women around the world.

This year, Facebook claims that its workforce breaks down to  63.1% male and 36.9% female. Also, 44.2% of its employees are white. The remaining employee population amounts to 43% Asian, 5.2% Latinx and 3.8% Black. An added 3.1% of its employees report being from two or more backgrounds while 0.7% were marked down as “other” — mostly consisting of Indigenous people and Pacific Islanders.

However, it seems the company has its work cut out for themselves because they have only shown minor improvements in these categories in the past year.

Twitter / @flashrecruiter

“We’ve made some progress increasing the number of people from traditionally underrepresented groups employed at Facebook but we recognize that we need to do more,” Facebook admitted in its report.

This year’s stats find only a .6% increase in women employees over last year’s percentage. Senior leadership has also changed from 70% male to 67.4%. Additionally, its efforts to improve its racial diversity has also proved to be a slow process. Over year, it increased 1.6% in Asian employees, .3% in Latinx employees and .3% in Black employees. Facebook only increased their representation in their “other” and “two or more” categories by .1% each.

Though the numbers appear disheartening, Facebook is confident to expand upon what little progress they’ve achieved.

Twitter / @DigiCrimRMIT

In a Facebook blog post, the company states:

“Since 2014, we have increased the number of Black women at Facebook by 25X and the number of Black men by 10X. And importantly, even as we have grown, we have worked very hard on making Facebook a more welcoming, respectful workplace.”

While these numbers sound impressive, considering the small percentages their diversity breaks down to, it is still nowhere close to where a huge company like Facebook should be. Still, they have big goals for increasing these numbers — both globally and nationally — over the next five years.

Their blog post goes on to say:

“We envision a company wherein the next five years, at least 50% of our workforce will be women, people who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, Pacific Islanders, people with two or more ethnicities, people with disabilities, and veterans. In doing this, we aim to double our number of women globally and Black and Hispanic employees in the US. It will be a company that reflects and better serves the people on our platforms, services, and products. It will be a more welcoming community advancing our mission and living up to the responsibility that comes with it.”

Though this is an ambitious push for more company diversity, some critics point out that Facebook has, so far, failed Black and Latinx women.

Twitter / @jguynn

As a technology journalist for USA Today, Jessica Guynn covered this failure last year when Facebook released its fifth-yearly diversity report.

In her piece, she reported:

“The sharpest deficits in Silicon Valley are African-American and Hispanic women, who make up 1 percent or fewer of workers, while across other industries they are represented at much higher rates consistent with their proportion of the overall U.S. population.”

Guynn goes on to point out the lack of intersectionality in diversity hiring:

“Allison Scott, chief of research at the Kapor Center, says the diversity conversation in Silicon Valley mostly focuses on race and ethnicity or gender, not both. And efforts made by tech companies to close the gender gap have boosted the fortunes of white women while hobbling progress for women of color.”

Failure to recognize that marginalized people can also have privilege has benefited white women in diversity hiring. Also, not seeing that a marginalized person can occupy more than one category has failed Black women and women of color as well as female veterans and disabled women.

Twitter / @marcboxser

Though their slow growth can be discouraging, it’s a start. More companies need to embrace a more diversified workforce that reflects the true dynamics of our society. Until that is achieved, these organizations will miss out on amazing employees simply because of outdated hiring processes.

Nopales Are Now Being Used To Make High-End Vegan Leather Goods Thanks To Two Mexican Designers

Things That Matter

Nopales Are Now Being Used To Make High-End Vegan Leather Goods Thanks To Two Mexican Designers

Desserto / Facebook

If you’ve always thought nopales were the answer to the world’s problems, prepare to be validated. Two entrepreneurs from Guadalajara and Aguascalientes have just debuted a luxury, organic vegan leather entirely made from nopales. The material is made to last over ten years in your car, purse, or wallet. While creators Adrián López Velarde and Marte Cázarez have named their innovation Desserto, the people have already started calling it Cactus Leather. 

The material itself is made without phthalates, toxic chemicals or PVC. Also, because nopales grow without much water, the material is far more sustainable than animal leather options, which require water to grow all the plants that feed an animal throughout his or her life, plus water for the animal themself. Desserto made its debut last month at the International Leather Fair Lineapelle in Milan. López Velarde told Fashion United that, “the enthusiasm for our Desserto sustainable materials at Lineapelle was overwhelming.”

The duo’s inspiration for innovation was seeing the density of environmental pollution their respective industries were producing.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

If you’ve ever worked in retail, you already know what they’re talking about. López Velarde and Cázarez saw a need to reduce the environmental pollution they both bore witness to. They were so dedicated to creating a sustainable option, they left their jobs and started Adriano Di Marti, the company that created Desserto. They’re not done innovating just yet. Desserto is Adriano Di Marti’s first product, and it won’t be the last. They plan to continue researching and developing new products that can revolutionize the leather industry for the better.

They chose the nopal, in part, because it’s a symbol of Mexican identity.

Credit: @desserto.pelle / Instagram

 López Velarde told Fashion United, “The idea of using this raw material was conceived because this plant does not need any water to grow, and there is plenty of it throughout the Mexican Republic. Also, symbolically, it represents all of us Mexicans and everybody knows it. Besides, to be able to incorporate this material into various industries, it is essential to count on a stable, abundant supply of raw material.” They spent two years researching and developing a product that met all the technical requirements to be used in the automotive and fashion industries.

The International Leather Fair Lineapelle created significant buzz for the brand. After sampling all the alternative leathers at the fair, a presenter announced that they felt Desserto was the “most appropriate for use in luxury brands thanks to its flexibility, softness, touch and color.”

The company is already producing handbags and is working with big brands in other industries.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

López Velarde teased some “very interesting projects” in the works with “high profile companies in neighboring countries,” according to Fashion United. Will the new Tesla boast nopal leather? Will the Birkin bag finally leave alligators alone and use the luxuries, organic, sustainable Desserto leather instead? We dream.

Companies can reduce the water consumption of their products by 20 percent when using Desserto instead.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

López Velarde cited some shocking statistics in the interview, saying the fashion industry uses as much water as it would take to fill 32 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. According to López Velarde, the fashion industry is projected to increase its solid waste by 60 percent by 2030. Their nopal vegan leather will remain durable for a minimum of 10 years, and afterward, will biodegrade. It’s made from organic materials, after all. 

López Velarde and Marte Cazáre were born the same day and year in México, because of destiny.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

In an interview with Heraldo de Mexico, the 20-somethings recalled how they met as students in Taiwan. The two were studying international business when the met. They immediately clicked and discovered that they were, not only two Mexicanos sharing culture in Taiwan, but that they also shared the same exact birthday.

Their advice to other jóvenes with “crazy” ideas: Go for it.

Credit: desserto.pelle / Instagram

People told them they were crazy. They told reporter Adriana Luna that their youth has been an asset, because they had nothing to lose when they embarked on this dream, and everything to gain. They hope to see Desserto used to create armchairs, luxury couches, car seats, and in the fashion industry. 

If you’re in the area, you can visit their brick and mortar shop to learn more about the leather, or buy a bag for yourself.

READ: A Guadalajara-Based Scientist Discovered Nopal Juice Can Create Plastic And Our Eco-Friendly Latina Moms Are About To Lose It

Couple Livestream High-Speed Chase After Trying To Smuggle Group Of Undocumented Men

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Couple Livestream High-Speed Chase After Trying To Smuggle Group Of Undocumented Men

CAMERA PHOBIA / YouTube

There are organizations throughout the country that serve the undocumented community. In fact, there are some organizations based around the border that are there specifically to help undocumented people as they make their way across the tough terrain. Those groups such as No More Deaths assist by making the journey not as painful or draining by leaving food and water. They certainly don’t drive them across the border. That kind of job is typically done by coyotes — people who get paid to smuggle undocumented people across the border. All of these people are in danger of getting arrested and have been arrested for doing this kind of work. This latest story, however, is unlike anything we have ever seen. 

Last week, in Laredo, Texas, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) arrested two people after they led police on a high-speed chase while they were transporting a group of undocumented men — and they documented the whole thing via Facebook Live.

Credit: CAMERA PHOBIA / YouTube

Alejandro Vela, 22, and Karyme Espinoza, 19, from Texas, captured their high-speed chase on Facebook Live as they drove trying to evade police while driving with a group of undocumented men in the back of their 2010 Mercedes Benz. 

Vela was driving the car and Espinoza was recording on Facebook Live. She didn’t look stressed about the situation and actually didn’t seem bothered at all that the police were chasing them. In fact, she seemed to be happy about it.

Credit: CAMERA PHOBIA / YouTube

“Hey, I’m live on Facebook,” Espinoza said jokingly. “I need you to do me a favor without telling anybody,” she said. “Immigration is on my ass because I have ten guys with me.” She added “we are currently going 160 (mph),” she said. The male is then heard talking to someone on the phone. He tells them if they can open the gate and then close it behind them so they “lose them.” 

According to the New York Post, when the CBP eventually caught up with them the driver and passenger fled by foot again. They were caught in the end and arrested. 

Credit: @aintnobarbie / Twitter

The News & Observer report that Vela (the driver) was charged with “evading arrest, unlawful transport of a person and reckless driving.” The female (the passenger) “was charged with unlawful transport of a person and evading arrest on foot.”

 “This is one of the first times I do see one of the persons actually engaged in the crime actually live-streaming it,”  Texas Department of Public Safety’s Sergeant Eric Estrada said in an interview with KGNS News. “We would never think that someone would want to incriminate themselves by live-streaming the crime they are actually committing.”

Here’s the entire 10-minute video, but you may need a barf bag because you will get dizzy.

This almost looks as if it could be the plot of the movie. But we can’t help but feel bad for the undocumented people in their car. Crossing the border illegally is always a risk, but entrusting people who are willfully behaving erratically. 

This week as well, another couple was arrested for smuggling undocumented people in San Diego. That couple also led the CBP in a high-speed chase.

Credit: Unsplash

In this case, the 30-year-old driver and his 34-year-old female front passenger attempted to smuggle a large group of undocumented people and also had some in the trunk. 

According to the CBP, they suspected the couple had undocumented people in their car after they saw several people going into their car and then headed westbound towards Chula Vista. 

The CBP report that “agents turned on their emergency lights and siren to initiate a vehicle stop. The driver refused to stop and fled at a high rate of speed into a neighborhood near Proctor Valley Road.”

CBP verified they were going extremely fast. “Before agents could approach the vehicle, the driver sped off to State Highway 125, at times going in excess of 100 miles per hour,” they reported. “He continued northbound, exited, then drove westbound on Jamacha Road. The driver continued to drive erratically and, at one point, tried to run an agent’s vehicle off the road. The chase came to an end at Darby Street in Spring Valley, when the driver crashed into a parked car.”

“This is another example of the dangerous acts human smugglers perform every day for financial gain and how they show no regard for the lives of those involved,” Chief Patrol Agent Douglas E. Harrison said in a press release. “Fortunately, this chase came to a safe conclusion and ended with the driver and co-principal in custody.”

READ: A City Claims A Family Can’t Sue Over A Wrongful Death Because Undocumented People Don’t Have Rights Under Constitution