5 Biggest News Stories of the Week: October 13

As the saying goes, the news never stops — but there’s a lot of it out there, and all of it doesn’t always pertain to our readers. In this weekly news roundup, we’ll cover the top news stories that matter most to our diversity focused audience.

1. House GOP Could Gain More People of Color but Racial Issues Remain for Republican Party

The House G.O.P. conference currently only has a dozen or so people of color, but that could change with the 67 Black, Latino, Asian or Native American candidates that are on the ballot for November. 

Of those 67 candidates, there are: 

  • 32 Latinos
  • 22 Black candidates
  • 11 Asian Americans 
  • 2 Native Americans

While these Republican candidates of color are nearing the finish line, white Republicans have still used racist language and lines of attack, showing they are not concerned with “racial sensitivity,” The New York Times reports. 

During a rally over the weekend with former President Donald J. Trump in Nevada, Senator Tommy Tuberville, Republican of Alabama, asserted that Democrats were “pro-crime” and wanted reparations for “the people that do the crime.” 

And in other places such as Wisconsin and North Carolina, “Democrats have accused Republicans of darkening the skin of Black candidates in campaign materials and of running ads brazenly trying to tether Black politicians to Black criminals,” The New York Times reports.

2. Warner Bros Shuts Down Two Programs That Served As Paths for Underrepresented Voices

As part of staff reductions and other budget cuts, Warner Bros Television Group announced that it is closing Stage 13, its digital short-form programming division, and its Warner Bros Television Workshop, which was in existence for more than 40 years. 

The devastating part of this news is the fact that the closing of these programs will hinder Hollywood’s path to more diversity. In a Tweet, Puck News Founding Partner Matthew Belloni said both Studio 13 and the television workshop were “major paths for underrepresented voices in television.”

Deadline reports that the programs have brought about diverse talent such as Jonathan I. Kidd & Sonya Winton-Odamtten, the co-producers of “Lovecraft Country,” Charmaine DeGraté, writer and co-executive producer for “House of Dragon” and others. 

In response to closing these programs, Warner Bros said it would continue to develop programs for people of color as writers and directors under a larger diversity, equity and inclusion umbrella.

3. Grads for Life Report Show Racial Disparities in Career Advancement

DEI consulting firm’s Grads for Life’s 2022 Equity and Career Advancement report shows that while some employers are trying to implement equitable talent practices in the private sector, racial disparities remain. 

As part of the research, 1,900 graduates from the Year Up workforce development program, which Grads for Life is a subsidiary of, were surveyed on equity and career advancement. 

While only 5% of respondents were white, the data shows that white alumni were 47% more likely to have received promotions in 2021 than any other racial group and were 44% more likely to have received raises. 

While some employers are removing requirements for a college degree for job applicants, survey respondents with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree were 9% more likely to get a raise, promotion or move to a higher-paying job between 2020 and 2021. 

4. The Benefits of Providing Pathways to Debt-Free Education

While President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order that forgives up to $20,000 in student loans for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for non-Pell Grant recipients, that’s still much less than the average federal student loan debt of $37,667 and the total average balance, which includes private loans, of nearly $40,274. That’s why employers need to consider offering school debt reimbursement in some form. 

In fact, when it comes to what job seekers are looking for in potential employers, education assistance programs in the form of debt reimbursement and tuition sponsorships rank high on the list. 

Educational assistance programs are offered by employers as part of a benefits package and involve the employer paying for the educational expenses of its employees in a variety of ways. Ways employers can pay for educational expenses include: 

  • Direct payments of tuition
  • Scholarship grants
  • Offering student loan repayment assistance

Given the student debt burden many workers carry, offering education assistance programs is a great way for employers to attract, train and retain talent. It’s also a great way for employers to grow a skilled and educated workforce, giving them a competitive edge in the business world. 

5. Evolving Employee Development Strategies in a Post-COVID Workplace

The Great Resignation made employees reevaluate where and how they work, and many want flexibility and learning and development opportunities. 

While many employed workers say professional development and training opportunities are important to them, the number of employers offering those benefits is low. 

Companies that don’t adapt to these learning and development opportunities run the risk of losing out on the war on talent. 

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