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Oct 17, 2016

DealBook Morning News - October 17, 2016: Looser Tongues in Silicon Valley, Law Firms Lagging on Diversity

The New York Times 
 By Amie Tsang

“With great power comes great responsibility.”
Nerds are taking the Spider-Man quote to heart.
Political activity used to be seen as antithetical to Silicon Valley’s value system, in which the world was transformed by making problems obselete, not by turning to Washington. But that has changed as the prospect of a Trump presidency has pushed the tech community to jump into the fray.
(The action is not all anti-Trump — Peter Thiel, living up to his reputation as the biggest contrarian in the valley, will give $1.25 million to Mr. Trump’s campaign.)
Still, the tech community has been freer with its opinions than its checkbook. Data from August shows Hillary Clinton taking in $7.7 million from the tech community. President Obama had raised $21 million by the same point in 2012.
New York Law Firms Lag on Diversity
New York’s big guns are the nation’s most profitable law firms — the economic engine of the industry — but they are hardly driving progress when it comes to including women and minorities in their ranks.
A survey by the New York City Bar Association showed that of the law firms that responded, mostly those with more than 50 lawyers, there were fewer women working as associates compared with the year before. Minority women only made up 15 percent of female partners at firms that had committed to the bar’s statement of diversity principles, and less than 3 percent of partners over all.
Representation of minorities was unchanged from the year before, even with major firms hiring staff to improve diversity.
Why this lack of progress? Some lawyers left because there were few prospects of becoming partner. Some firms also had no women or minorities on their management committee.
Quotation of the Day
“Trump knows in his heart that cutting carbon is the right thing to do. He’s very different in person. He listens.”
Andrew E. Sabin, who runs a privately held precious-metals recycling business. He is a leading supporter of climate change initiatives and a strident Republican who has donated big sums of money in an effort to elect Mr. Trump.
Chemical manufacterers are also vying to prevent climate change. Companies like Honeywell and DuPont have backed an aggressive shift away from using hydrofluorocarbons, a profitable chemical that has been the foundation for the fast-growing air-conditioning and refrigeration business. They are competing to create more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Coming Up
• Bank of America reports its quarterly results, which investors will scrutinize for weakness in the consumer sector.
• IBM reports quarterly earnings. It is betting on Watson, its artificial intelligence technology, to help it expand, employing about 10,000 workers on the project and investing billions of dollars. The company does not report seperate financial results for Watson, but UBS estimates that it may generate $500 million in revenue this year and grow rapidly, nearing $17 billion by 2022.
DealBook readers, what’s keeping you up at night?
The New York Times is starting a new podcast with Charles Duhigg, the author of “The Power of Habit” and “Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business.” The show will explore how and why people change.
We’re looking for readers who are grappling with a complicated situation and aren’t sure what to do. We want to help you resolve that situation. Ideally, you’d be open to letting us in on the process.
Maybe you are struggling with a management dilemma, or trying to figure out why a team won’t jell. Maybe your spouse makes a lot more money than you do, and it’s created a divide in your relationship. Perhaps you are struggling to scale down your lifestyle, or you left your last job under a bit of a cloud, and now you’re nervous about starting a new job. Or you can’t stand one of your co-workers, and don’t know what to do.
We would love to hear what you’re going through, and try and help you find some solutions. Call 234-200-6115 and leave a voicemail, or send your questions and stories to podcaststories@nytimes.com. (Nothing will be used in our podcast unless we get your permission first.)
We can’t wait to hear from you.
Contact amie.tsang@nytimes.com


5th Annual DealBook Conference
On Thursday, Nov. 10, The New York Times will host its fifth annual DealBook conference, Playing for the Long Term, at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. Just two days after a new United States president is elected to office, some of the world’s most influential leaders in business, technology and policy will come together to assess the challenges and opportunities that will define the global economy. To request an invitation to attend, please go to nytdealbookconference.com. We hope to see you there.


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