Monday, September 21, 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Advice for Living

Written by: By Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee for her Supreme Court nomination hearings in 1993.Credit...Stephen Crowley

“Did you always want to be a judge” or, more exorbitantly, “a Supreme Court justice?” Schoolchildren visiting me at the court, as they do at least weekly, ask that question more than any other. It is a sign of huge progress made. To today’s youth, judgeship as an aspiration for a girl is not at all outlandish. Contrast the ancient days, the fall of 1956, when I entered law school. Women accounted for less than 3 percent of the legal profession in the United States, and only one woman had ever served on a federal appellate court.

Today about half the nation’s law students and more than one-third of our federal judges are women, including three of the justices seated on the United States Supreme Court bench. Women hold more than 30 percent of law school deanships in the United States and serve as general counsel to 24 percent of Fortune 500 companies. In my long life, I have seen great changes.

How fortunate I was to be alive and a lawyer when, for the first time in United States history, it became possible to urge, successfully, before legislatures and courts, the equal-citizenship stature of women and men as a fundamental constitutional principle. Feminists, caring men among them, had sought just that for generations. Until the late 1960s, however, society was not prepared to heed their plea.

What enabled me to take part in the effort to free our daughters and sons to achieve whatever their talents equipped them to accomplish, with no artificial barriers blocking their way? First, a mother who, by her example, made reading a delight and counseled me constantly to “be independent,” able to fend for myself, whatever fortune might have in store for me.Second, teachers who influenced or encouraged me in my growing-up years. At Cornell University, my professor of European literature, Vladimir Nabokov, changed the way I read and the way I write. Words could paint pictures, I learned from him. Choosing the right word, and the right word order, he illustrated, could make an enormous difference in conveying an image or an idea.

At Columbia Law School, my professor of constitutional law and federal courts, Gerald Gunther, was determined to place me in a federal court clerkship, despite what was then viewed as a grave impediment: On graduation, I was the mother of a 4-year-old child. After heroic efforts, Professor Gunther succeeded in that mission.

Another often-asked question when I speak in public: “Do you have some good advice you might share with us?” Yes, I do. It comes from my savvy mother-in-law, advice she gave me on my wedding day. “In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.

Advice from my father-in-law has also served me well. He gave it during my gap years, 1954 to ‘56, when my husband, Marty, was fulfilling his obligation to the Army as an artillery officer at Fort Sill, Okla. By the end of 1954, my pregnancy was confirmed. We looked forward to becoming three in July 1955, but I worried about starting law school the next year with an infant to care for. Father’s advice: “Ruth, if you don’t want to start law school, you have a good reason to resist the undertaking. No one will think the less of you if you make that choice. But if you really want to study law, you will stop worrying and find a way to manage child and school.” And so Marty and I did, by engaging a nanny on school days from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Work-life balance was a term not yet coined in the years my children were young; it is aptly descriptive of the time distribution I experienced. My success in law school, I have no doubt, was in large measure because of baby Jane. I attended classes and studied diligently until 4 in the afternoon; the next hours were Jane’s time, spent at the park, playing silly games or singing funny songs, reading picture books and A. A. Milne poems, and bathing and feeding her. After Jane’s bedtime, I returned to the law books with renewed will. Each part of my life provided respite from the other and gave me a sense of proportion that classmates trained only on law studies lacked.

I have had more than a little bit of luck in life, but nothing equals in magnitude my marriage to Martin D. Ginsburg. I do not have words adequate to describe my supersmart, exuberant, ever-loving spouse. Early on in our marriage, it became clear to him that cooking was not my strong suit. To the eternal appreciation of our food-loving children (we became four in 1965, when our son, James, was born), Marty made the kitchen his domain and became chef supreme in our home.

Marty coached me through the birth of our son, he was the first reader and critic of articles, speeches and briefs I drafted, and he was at my side constantly, in and out of the hospital, during two long bouts with cancer. And I betray no secret in reporting that, without him, I would not have gained a seat on the Supreme Court.

Ron Klain, then associate White House counsel, said of my 1993 nomination: “I would say definitely and for the record, though Ruth Bader Ginsburg should have been picked for the Supreme Court anyway, she would not have been picked for the Supreme Court if her husband had not done everything he did to make it happen.”

That “everything” included gaining the unqualified support of my home state senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and enlisting the aid of many members of the legal academy and practicing bar familiar with work I had done.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in her chambers on Friday, August 23, 2013.Credit...Todd Heisler/The New York Times

I have several times said that the office I hold, now for more than 23 years, is the best and most consuming job a lawyer anywhere could have.

The court’s main trust is to repair fractures in federal law. Because the court grants review dominantly when other jurists have divided on the meaning of a statutory or constitutional prescription, the questions we take up are rarely easy; they seldom have indubitably right answers. Yet by reasoning together at our conferences and, with more depth and precision, through circulation of, and responses to, draft opinions, we ultimately agree far more often than we divide sharply.

When a justice is of the firm view that the majority got it wrong, she is free to say so in dissent. I take advantage of that prerogative, when I think it important, as do my colleagues.

Despite our strong disagreements on cardinal issues — think, for example, of controls on political campaign spending, affirmative action, access to abortion — we genuinely respect one another, even enjoy one another’s company.

Collegiality is crucial to the success of our mission. We could not do the job the Constitution assigns to us if we didn’t — to use one of Justice Antonin Scalia’s favorite expressions — “get over it!”

Earlier, I spoke of great changes I have seen in women’s occupations. Yet one must acknowledge the still bleak part of the picture. Most people in poverty in the United States and the world over are women and children, women’s earnings here and abroad trail the earnings of men with comparable education and experience, our workplaces do not adequately accommodate the demands of childbearing and child rearing, and we have yet to devise effective ways to ward off sexual harassment at work and domestic violence in our homes. I am optimistic, however, that movement toward enlistment of the talent of all who compose “We, the people,” will continue.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has served as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1993, is the author, with Mary Hartnett and Wendy W. Williams, of the forthcoming book “My Own Words,” from which this essay is adapted.

We need more women in the C-suite. It won't happen on its own.

Jane Fraser addresses Brazil-US Business Council forum in Washington, DC in March 2019.  Erin Scott/Reuters

Fraser will be the first woman to lead a major US bank.

Her promotion is a symbolic step up for women across industries, and not only in finance. Just 6% of CEOs at S&P 500 companies are women, according to the research and strategy development nonprofit Catalyst.

There's no single, direct path to shattering the proverbial glass ceiling. But one thing's for sure: Women won't wind up in the C-suite by chance. Organizations need to be deliberate about addressing the systemic gender biases that preclude women from advancing in their careers.

Welcome to Gender at Work.

This is a twice-monthly newsletter that takes an expansive look at how your gender identity informs your career. Last week we explored the unique challenges that BIPOC women have faced during the pandemic. This week we're talking about ways to cultivate gender diversity in leadership roles.

We won't promise to cover every single strategy. But we've outlined some of the most pressing below.

Direct women to jobs where they manage profit-and-loss

Among Fraser's previous roles at Citigroup: running the bank's strategy division during the financial crisis and steering the bank's Latin America division through several crises.

It's crucial for women leaders to gain experience that involves managing a business' profit-and-loss. Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal published an analysis of executives at the biggest public companies and found that men were more likely than women to get these jobs, which directly affect the bottom line. The people who hold these positions are better positioned to eventually be CEO.

The Journal analysis found that women often get funneled into different tracks, like human resources and legal. These functions are important to a business' performance, but typically don't lead to the CEO job.

Be aware of implicit biases

Implicit biases are the unconscious stereotypes or assumptions that people can hold about others. For example, "an effective senior banker is (wrongly) imagined to be aggressive, dominating, transactional," Astrid Jaekel and Elizabeth St-Onge, partners at management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, wrote in The Harvard Business Review in 2016. These characteristics "are stereotypically masculine," they add.

People who hold these assumptions might feel that a woman isn't "management material," simply because they feel more comfortable with the image of a man in charge.

"Firms are more willing to take risks on men. With a woman, she has to prove it first," one senior woman in finance told The Harvard Business Review.

Our colleague Marguerite Ward reported that women and BIPOC often feel the need to change the way they look, act, and speak in order to fit in with the existing workplace culture.

So it's critical for managers to be aware of how those biases can show up. Leadership might provide training sessions on what to look out for and how to establish inclusive hiring and promotion practices. Professional-services firm PwC, for example, is using virtual reality to simulate office scenarios in which employees have to decide who to hire and promote, Business Insider previously reported.

Any company that offers unconscious bias training should hold managers accountable for meeting certain DEI standards, Dr. Janice Gassam Asare wrote for Business Insider.

Hold organizations accountable

Ideally, companies would be intrinsically motivated to develop inclusive hiring and promotion practices. But they aren't always. So it helps to have a little external pressure.

Fraser's promotion to her current role — president of Citigroup and CEO of Global Consumer Banking — happened shortly after the head honchos on Wall Street were called out for their (white) boys' club culture.

At a congressional hearing in April 2019, Democratic Rep. Al Green asked the CEOs of some of the largest banks, including Citigroup, whether they believed that their likely successor would be a woman or a person of color. No one raised their hand.

JPMorgan also took action, promoting a record number of women to managing director in April 2019 (26% of the group, or 30 executives, were women).

Focus on the first promotion gap

According to a 2018 McKinsey study, 8% of women in early-tenure jobs are promoted, while 10% of men are.

But that first promotion gap leads to a smaller talent pool of candidates for executive leadership later on. Researchers refer to the lack of promotion opportunities for women, and especially BIPOC women, as the "broken rung."

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said that diversity and inclusion efforts can't be effective if promotion efforts are concentrated at the top.

"A lot of companies' programs and a lot of diversity efforts are focused at the top — how do we develop senior leaders? And that's super-important. But what we also have to focus on is what we call 'the broken rung,' that first broken rung from employee to manager," Sandberg previously told Ward.

Bridging the gender gap that first promotion is a key way to help women reach the C-suite. 

Change needs to happen at home, too

We should note: These are all structural changes organizations can make in order to promote gender diversity in leadership. But women need support networks at home, too, in order to advance professionally.

Axios' Felix Salmon and Erica Pandey reported that Fraser's husband left his job as head of global banking at European bank Dresdner Kleinwort in order to help Fraser advance in her career.

Still, managing work and family was hardly a breeze. Axios reported that Fraser worked part-time at McKinsey while her two kids were young. She'd often do her work in the kitchen at 3 a.m.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Getting the Job Done: How Immigrants Expand the U.S. Economy

Listen the podcast here:

In the United States, the economic impact of immigration is a lightning-rod topic that sparks strong feelings on both sides. Opponents have long held that immigrants take away jobs from American citizens and lower wage standards. Proponents dismiss that idea, saying immigrants expand the economy through their hard work and determination. The truth is somewhere in the middle, according to new research from Wharton’s J. Daniel Kim.

To be sure, immigrant workers ramp up competition for jobs, creating a surplus in labor supply for some sectors. But immigrant entrepreneurs have a more profound impact on overall labor demand by starting companies that hire new workers, creating a positive ripple-effect on the economy.

“The problem with the ongoing discussion is that it’s largely one-sided,” Kim said in a recent interview with the Wharton Business Daily radio show on SiriusXM. (Listen to the podcast at the top of this page.) “To be fair, both forces here simultaneously exist. In order for us to have a systematic understanding of the role of immigration on job creation, you need to take both accounts together. And this is what we do in the study.”

Kim is co-author of “Immigration and Entrepreneurship in the United States,” along with Pierre Azoulay, professor at MIT’s Sloan School of Management and associate with National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Benjamin F. Jones, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and an associate with NBER; and Javier Miranda, economist with the U.S. Census Bureau. In their research, the scholars use comprehensive administrative data from 2005 to 2010 on all new firms in the U.S., the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2012 Survey of Business Owners, and data on firms listed in the 2017 edition of the Fortune 500 ranking to paint a more accurate picture of the economic impact of immigrants in America.

“The problem with the ongoing discussion is that it’s largely one-sided.”

“This paper works to fill in the picture through the lens of entrepreneurship,” the authors wrote. “By looking in a more comprehensive manner at the U.S. economy, the analysis helps balance the ledger in assessing immigrants’ economic roles.”

Dispelling Myths

Immigrants make up roughly 15% of workers in the U.S., yet they are 80% more likely than native workers to become entrepreneurs, according to the study. By those numbers, the assumption that immigrants leach jobs away from Americans isn’t incorrect, but it is incomplete. First- and second-generation immigrants are launching businesses across the spectrum, from small sandwich shops with one or two employees to major tech firms with thousands of workers. For example, when South Africa native Elon Musk built his Telsa plant in California, he spawned more than 50,000 jobs and injected $4.1 billion into that state’s economy in 2017.

“What we find, with overwhelming evidence, is that immigrants act more as job creators than they act as job takers in the United States,” Kim said during his interview with Wharton Business Daily.

“Immigrants in the U.S. create a lot more jobs than they take, primarily because many are prone to starting businesses that go on to create a lot of jobs.”

The study builds on previous research that dispels myths about immigrant workers and quantifies the facts, including that immigrant entrepreneurs account for close to 25% of patents and are more likely to hold STEM degrees. Using tax records, the researchers debunked another popular theory that immigration suppresses wages. They found wages were the same or slightly higher for immigrant-founded firms versus firms with native founders.

The authors encourage more research along the same dimensions, saying more information can help shape economic policy around immigration and help remove politics from a debate that’s often short on truths.

“That’s the main takeaway here, that immigrants in the U.S. create a lot more jobs than they take, primarily because many are prone to starting businesses that go on to create a lot of jobs,” Kim said. “While I will not comment on the policy implications of these results, I believe that the broader discussion on the role of entrepreneurship and immigration on economic growth needs to account for both sides – because leaning on one would provide an incomplete picture.”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

How to grow your business in Houston

State of latino entrepreneurship (2019 research report)

Latino owned business

The total number of businesses grew by 34% between June 2009 and June 2019 (10 years) compared to 1% for all business owners in the USA
Employs more than 3 million people
Contributes nearly $500 billion in annual sales to the U.S. economy.
Average annual growth rate in revenue of 14% (outpacing the growth of the U.S. economy)
5-year compound annual growth rate in revenue of 9%.
54% of Latino-owned businesses had positive annual revenue growth and
63% had positive compound annual revenue growth over the past five years

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Small Business Trends: 2020


To learn about small business trends and life as a small business owner, Guidant Financial became a founding member of the Small Business Trends Alliance (SBTA), a group of companies dedicated to supporting small businesses with data trends and insights. The SBTA reports on data to help small business owners grow their businesses as well as bring transparency to small business ownership by giving prospective business owners the information they need to be successful.

To achieve this goal, Guidant Financial and SBTA companies surveyed over 3,100 current and aspiring small business owners nationwide with our annual Small Business Trends survey. We asked small business owners questions ranging from their confidence in business in the current political landscape to their biggest obstacles as business owners. Here’s a look at current small business trends and what to expect in the coming year.

(more info on link)

More usefull statistics links:

Learning Center: Infographics 2019-2020

Women in Business – 2020 Trends

10 Small Business Statistics Every Future Entrepreneur Should Know in 2020

Monday, September 7, 2020

Who is the Entrepreneur? Race and Ethnicity, Age, and Immigration Trends Among New Entrepreneurs in the United States, 1996-2019

Learn more about the trends in race and ethnicity, age, and immigration among new entrepreneurs in the United States between 1996 and 2019.

Featured highlights:
  • The share of all new entrepreneurs who are Latino more than doubled between 1996 and 2019 while the share who are White decreased over the same period.
  • New entrepreneurs were largely young in 1996, and were more likely to represent all ages by 2019.
  • In 2019, about 1 in 4 new entrepreneurs was an immigrant. This is close to twice the share of entrepreneurs that were immigrants in 1996.