Today’s News & Commentary — November 14, 2017
Writing for the Atlantic, Sarah Lacy describes that Women in Tech Are Rising Higher in China Than in the U.S. Lacy notes the disparity between the percent of U.S. tech companies that, when asked how many women have C-level jobs at their company, answered “one or more” (53%), and the percentage of Chinese tech companies that answered “one or more” (almost 80%).
Also at the Atlantic, Lolade Fadulu discusses American skepticism of automation displacing certain interactive jobs. Fadulu cites recent Pew Research Center reports in which almost 60% of respondents said they would not use a driverless car or use a robot caregiver out of concern for ceding control of those things to technology. Ironically, some evidence indicates that humans are worse drivers and caregivers than their automated counterparts (e.g. Fadulu notes that 37,000 of 2016’s fatal crashes were attributed to poor decision making by drivers).
Last week, a British court upheld a ruling that Uber must give drivers benefits. Uber, which lost its license to operate in London in September (see our coverage here), lost its appeal of a 2016 decision deeming Uber drivers “workers,” rather than “contractors.” This designation gives drivers more rights than they would receive as “contractors,” though not as many as they would receive if classified as “employees.”
Tesla, another Silicon Valley titan, has been accused by employees of a California production plant of racial discrimination. A class-action suit filed Monday described the plant as a “hotbed for racist behavior.” This suit is at least the third this year alleging employment discrimination in Tesla workplaces.