Link Roundups feature articles and bits of internet goodness that our dramaturgy team digs up. If you find something you want to send our way, drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter!
The ARTery has details on a report released last week by the city’s office of Diversity, calling for new strategies to diversify the city’s workforce after uncovering some sobering statistics about how gender and race are represented in Boston:
Overall, the report finds the city’s workforce is predominantly white (58 percent) and does not reflect Boston’s diverse population. Hispanics make up 18 percent of the city’s population, but only 11 percent of the city’s workforce while Asians make up 9 percent of the city’s population, but only 4 percent of the city’s workforce, according to the report. However, blacks make up 23 percent of the city’s population and 26 percent of the city’s workforce, according to the report.
But, when it comes to leadership positions (department heads) all minority groups are very much underrepresented, the report found — 74 percent are white, 18 percent are black, 5 percent are Hispanic and 3 percent are Asian.
In his post on the Butts in Seats blog, Joe Patti looks at the Quartz post breaking down the recent Pew Research study stating that kids from different economic backgrounds use social media differently. There are some interesting takeaways for organizations looking to reach young and economically diverse audiences online:
Income and race also often determine whether someone has access to a desktop or tablet computer. In any case, it seems increasingly important to make sure your website design is mobile friendly (h/t Drew McManus) if you want teens to have positive interactions with it as that is increasingly the platform of choice.
Staff chat posts feature articles and news that the C1 team discusses as part of our weekly all-staff meeting. We’d love to hear your thoughts too — hit us up on Facebook or Twitter!
For this week’s Staff Chat, we are looking at the state of poverty in Boston in response to a report released in November:
The report by the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center shows that the poverty rate in Massachusetts is at 12%, making it one of the highest in the United States. Massachusetts also leads the nation in income disparity between the lowest and highest levels of wage earners.
The Boston Globe, which broke the story, highlighted some troubling statistics, including:
- — After an initial decrease in poverty after President Lyndon Johnson declared “War on Poverty” with an army of Great Society social programs, the poverty rate slowly rose again and the current poverty rate is the same as it was in 1960
- — Though several Great Society programs (food stamps/SNAP, Head Start, Medicare and Medicaid) are still going strong, in the past twenty years Massachusetts has slashed almost $3 billion in funding for affordable housing initiatives, early childhood learning programs, and job training for young people
- — Wage stagnation is a chief cause of the plateauing poverty rate; had income growth reflected productivity growth, the lowest wage earners would be earning at least $10,000 more per year than they are now. The highest 1% of wage earners would collectively earn almost $1 million less
- — Looking solely at cash income, poverty in Massachusetts is at 27%; adjusted according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure, which takes into account other forms of income and public assistance, the poverty rate drops to 12-14%
- — Adjusted for inflation, the average working class individual earns $5000 less than his 1960s counterpart
The MBPC report included this infographic to explain how today’s worker would fare had wages increased at the same rate as productivity:
Both the report and the Globe stories point out that many of the Great Society programs are still in place and still yielding results. What sticks out in their assessments of poverty today is the idea that the best way to close the poverty gap in Massachusetts is to strengthen community bonds that will prepare future generations to succeed in all aspects of life – economically and creatively – by developing technical skills through job-based training, achieving more in school, and developing close partnerships with employers and community organizations that can provide support throughout their lives. Continue reading