Most Important Developments for 1/29

Democrats in Congress are looking to advance their longstanding goal of raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, introducing legislation Tuesday that would do so over five years. “In the richest country in the history of the world, if you work 40 hours a week, you should not be living in poverty,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., the incoming chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, told reporters. “Minimum wage must be a living wage, enabling people to live with dignity. It is unacceptable that Congress has not passed an increase in the minimum wage since 2007 — 14 years ago.” President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan also contains a provision to raise the federal minimum wage from the current level of $7.25 an hour to the $15 minimum. The president also signed an executive order last week telling the Department of Labor to develop recommendations on providing the $15 minimum wage to federal workers. ABC News

0129 Blog OT1

Five of the largest U.S. banks publicly committed to mandating a diverse slate of applicants when hiring employees, part of a push to diversify an industry whose top ranks remain largely white and male. JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., and U.S. Bancorp all said they would either adjust policies for considering job candidates or disclose the ones they already have in place. Their policies mirror the so-called Rooney Rule, which started in the National Football League as a way of making sure people of color are considered for coaching jobs. In recent years, the rule has gained traction in corporate America, particularly for boards of directors. The commitments came about after the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, a union group, sent proposals to the banks in its capacity as a shareholder. The group owns shares through its reserve fund. That led to discussions and a series of agreements, according to Brandon Rees, deputy director of corporations and capital markets at AFL-CIO. WSJ

0129 Blog OT2

Apple is urging iPhone and iPad users to promptly update their operating systems to fix security bugs that may have already been exploited by hackers. On its support webpage, the company said three security flaws “may have been actively exploited.” It did not reveal too many specifics about the bugs, noting “Apple does not disclose, discuss, or confirm security issues until an investigation has occurred and patches or releases are available.” The issue is a link in an exploit chain, meaning a hacker would need to exploit further bugs for it to be fully executable. The company declined to comment further on any attacks. The company pushed out the security patches on Tuesday as part of its new iOS 14.4 software, which also includes fixes for keyboard lag and allows smaller QR codes to be read by the camera. CNN

0129 Blog OT3

Is there gender- or race-based salary disparity in your company? If you don’t know the answer, then it’s surely “yes.” Combatting disparity requires an active effort on the part of your entire organization. It’s something you would know about. According to PayScale, women make 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. Black women make 75 cents for every dollar earned by white men. Even when adjusted to people with the same qualifications and the same job, women and people of color still get paid less than men. This should bother you. It boils my blood. And that’s why at Unito we’ve committed to combating salary disparity within our company. It’s something that every member of our team is a part of. How do we push this change? Our efforts stand on two key pillars: transparency and data. Everybody who works at Unito knows exactly how much their colleagues make. We built a transparent salary matrix that lists salaries by department, role, and seniority. It includes commission structures for customer-facing teams, and potential salary growth increases associated with company milestones. Fast Company

0129 Blog OT4

Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer is continuing to blaze new trails in corporate America. At the end of February, Brewer, who is the coffeehouse company’s first Black and first female COO, will be leaving her position to serve as CEO of drugstore chain Walgreens. In this new role, she will be the only Black woman currently serving as a Fortune 500 CEO, and just the third Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 firm in history. As a longtime executive in corporate America, she’s spoken openly about the bias and challenges she’s faced as one of very few Black women in the C-suite. “If there is a place where bias doesn’t exist, I have not found it,” she said. Recognizing that many women experience bias and gender discrimination in the workplace, Brewer said that her biggest message to women in business is to “stay steadfast” and know that “your voice matters.” CNBC

0129 Blog OT5

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