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Tech brands celebrating Pride month

LGBTQ+ rights are human rights

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, a series of protests widely regarded as the historic event that ignited the gay liberation movement and the first Pride parade in 1970.

A lot of companies are joining in this year’s celebration by changing their logos or selling limited edition merchandise to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community, but being an ally doesn’t stop at plastering a rainbow on everything and using #Pride online for the month of June. Here, we have compiled a list of tech brands who have taken concrete steps in creating equal opportunities for everyone and a more inclusive culture, not just this month but all year round:

Apple

Apple released a new watch band and watch face for the Apple Watch at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this year in celebration of Pride. A portion of its proceeds will be donated to LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations including Encircle, Gender Spectrum, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.

Apart from Pride merch, Apple has long supported inclusion and diversity by hiring and advocating on behalf of underrepresented minorities, including LGBTQ+ people. For this, the company has been receiving a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Corporate Equality Index for 16 years now — a benchmarking tool on corporate policies and practices pertinent to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer employees.

Dell

 

Since 2002 Dell has been actively participating in and leading initiatives that support the LGBTQ+ community that the HRC’s Corporate Equality Index also deems the company as one of the best places to work for LGBT equality. The company provides healthcare benefits to its LGBTQ+ employees including parental leave, adoption assistance, and gender transition toolkit.

Dell is an active sponsor of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, a nonprofit organization that partners with Top Fortune 500 companies in building resources and hosting events to help other companies around the globe in achieving lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workplace equality. This year, Dell also hosted a Pride month training for its Nashville office to help its employees become better allies to the community.

Google

June 4 Google Doodle is a celebration of 50 years of Pride, created by Doodler Nate Swinehart who says, “working on this Doodle was a very personal project for me. As a member of the LBGTQ+ community, I am very familiar with the struggle of feeling included, accepted, and that I am a ‘part’ of this world.” Google also put up Pride Forever, which aims to preserve LGBTQ+ history for future generations by extending the Stonewall National Monument from its physical location in New York City to a digital experience that anyone can access on pride.google.com.

Apart from programs that support minorities, Google has Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) comprised of LGBT Googlers and their allies called Gayglers, as well as Trans at Google that seeks to ensure that the company’s products and policy stances are inclusive of all gender identities and expressions.

Instagram

Instagram recognizes that many of its users are members of the LGBTQ+ community. To celebrate Pride this year, the platform will display relevant hashtags in a rainbow gradient including #lgbtq, #bornperfect, and #pride2019 for a month. Using the hashtags in Stories will also turn the story ring into rainbow instead of Instagram’s gradient.

Instagram is updating gender options for users as well, “to be more inclusive and reflective of how people self-identify today.” There is also an LGBTQ+ teen guide on online well-being and self-care that Instagram created with The Trevor Project.

Lyft

Like Instagram, Lyft now offers a range of pronoun options to support transgender and non-binary riders. For transitioning drivers, Lyft provides them assistance with changing the name and gender designation on their driver’s license together with the National Center for Transgender Equality. Through its Round Up & Donate feature has donated over $5 million to HRC and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Lyft also has a Gender Inclusion & Affirmation policy created by members of the company’s LGBTQ+ employee resource group, LyftOUT, that lays out comprehensive protections and benefits for its employees.

Microsoft

Later this month Microsoft is releasing a Surface Pro Pride Type Cover designed with and for the LGBTQ+ community, and donating US$ 100,000 to nonprofits in celebration of Pride. For its employees Microsoft has implemented anti-discrimination policies and benefits since 1989. In 1993, they were one of the first companies in the world to offer employee benefits to same-sex partners. Microsoft is also one of the companies that’s received a perfect score from HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.

To quote Microsoft, “we’ve come far in the last 50 years after Stonewall, but we haven’t gone far enough.” In many countries where tech companies operate, being queer is still a crime and LGBTQ+ rights are still not recognized.

It takes more than just hearing voices of the community to make the world more inclusive and non-discriminatory — individual allies and corporations play a big role in amplifying the movement. Let’s celebrate Pride not just by buying rainbow products that donate to a good cause or using hashtags this month, but also by eliminating bias in everything that we do and pushing for equal rights in the workplace and local communities until we no longer have to.

Happy Pride!

Enterprise

Lazada’s 11.11 concludes with record-breaking sales

E-commerce is growing in the Philippines

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Lazada just had a blast with its 11.11 sale. This year’s sale sets new records for the online store company, with over 11 million deals from local and international brands sold to customers in the Philippines.

Lazada tallied one million sold items within the first hour of the 11.11 sale. One million users also shopped for various items on the website. By the end of the sale event, Lazada shoppers spent a total of 205 million minutes shopping on Lazada. That’s equivalent to watching a marathon of harry Potter for 187,000 times. Filipinos also proved to be shopping-savvy, collecting up to PhP 170 million worth of vouchers during the sale. One person’s shopping cart even amounted to a whopping PhP 1.2 million.

Bigger league of millionaire sellers

Dealers and sellers also set a record for increasing the membership of Lazada’s millionaire-seller league. The league, where sellers past a million peso sale mark earn membership, gained 1,140 new sellers because of the 11.11 sale.

Top brands in the 11.11 sale include Xiaomi for mobile category; CooCaa for home appliance; Pampers for mother’s care; Hydro Flask for general merchandise; Maybelline for health and beauty; and American Tourister for fashion.

This year’s 11.11 sale proves that e-commerce is booming the country. Globally, e-commerce is growing steadily, with China’s Singles’ Day event this year crossing the US$ 38 billion mark for total sales.

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Enterprise

Huawei might get a third extension in the US

Despite US promises to stop extensions

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When will Trump’s obsession with Huawei end? For more than two years, the US government has wandered into an on-and-off relationship with Chinese companies, especially Huawei and ZTE. Currently, the Chinese corporate world is suffering a massive ban on American soil.

Huawei, the ban’s main target, operates purely through a temporary extension granted by the US government. Unfortunately, the license runs out in a few days on November 18, US time. Even then, the current one is already the second extension since May’s definitive ban. In fact, the government already talked about ceasing the extensions altogether.

However, if their previous “promises” are anything to go by, even this particular promise was made on shaky ground. First reported by Politico, the government is expected to extend Huawei’s extension a third time. Unlike the previous 90-day extensions, however, the upcoming one will extend the company’s license by six months.

Though surprising, a third extension likely stems from the government’s recent headway with a more permanent deal. As such, the Trump administration will gain much more by keeping Huawei as a bargaining chip during the deal’s negotiations.

Still, this is getting tedious. For months, both the US and China have been in a relentless tug-of-war for Huawei’s right to operate. However, despite all the news, the issue hasn’t seen a definitive conclusion. Huawei is still in the same mire that it’s been in since May. Who knows when it will end?

SEE ALSO: Taiwan suspends sale of three Huawei phones

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Apple: Students with Chromebooks ‘are not going to succeed’

Wants you to buy the MacBook Pro instead

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Are you buying the new MacBook Pro? Apple’s new 16-inch notebook is a powerful device built for heavy-duty use. If you’re a student today, a new MacBook is surely an asset, especially if you do heavy design work. In fact, Apple itself is advertising the device as the best option for academic life.

In a recent interview with Cnet, Apple’s marketing head Phil Schiller waxed poetic about the company’s continued dominance in academic institutions and creative industries. “College students’ [use] is dominated by Macs,” Schiller said. “In the majority of creative fields — writers, video editors, music creators and programmers — I think that’s an area that’s super strong.”

In fact, a quick trip to the nearest private college confirms this fact. Macs are super popular. “We just have great customers who love the Mac,” Schiller said.

Of course, the computing world isn’t populated by just Apple. Windows is still a capable alternative for a huge chunk of the world. Apple isn’t happy with Windows’ continued presence.

“The PC world is a world of sameness,” said Schiller. “You have commodity hardware [and] a generic operating system that has to work on a lot of stuff, so it doesn’t work great on any one thing.”

True enough, Apple’s devices are catered more for creative purposes. However, Schiller’s rant goes further. The marketing boss goes off against Google’s Chromebooks, lambasting them as the poorest option for students.

“You need to have these cutting-edge learning tools to help kids really achieve their best results,” Schiller said. “Yet Chromebooks don’t do that. Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they’re cheap testing tools for required testing. If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed.”

Schiller’s follow-up tweet doesn’t do much to save face. “We discussed giving kids and teachers the content, curriculum and tools they need to learn, explore and grow. Not just to take a test,” he tweeted. Like the original interview, the tweet touts Apple’s superiority in bringing out success, despite their astronomical prices. To Apple, owning a MacBook is a requirement to be successful.

Schiller’s opinion is a strong statement against Google’s popular notebook. The Chromebook is still a massively affordable and massively flexible option for markets of all sizes. Despite the division losing strength, Schiller’s statement goes against all PCs, as well.

SEE ALSO: Apple sets another record this year

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