Weekend Edition Sunday

Conceived as a cross between a Sunday newspaper and CBS' Sunday Morning with Charles KuraltWeekend Edition Sunday features interviews with newsmakers, artists, scientists, politicians, musicians, writers, theologians and historians. The program has covered news events from Nelson Mandela's 1990 release from a South African prison to the capture of Saddam Hussein.

Weekend Edition Sunday debuted on January 18, 1987, with host Susan Stamberg. Two years later, Liane Hansen took over the host chair, a position she held for 22 years. In that time, Hansen interviewed movers and shakers in politics, science, business and the arts. Her reporting travels took her from the slums of Cairo to the iron mines of Michigan's Upper Peninsula; from the oyster beds on the bayou in Houma, La., to Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park; and from the kitchens of Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. In the fall of 2011, NPR National Desk Reporter Audie Cornish began hosting the show.

Every week listeners tune in to hear a unique blend of news, features and the regularly scheduled puzzle segment with Puzzlemaster Will Shortz, the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times.

Weekend Edition Sunday is heard on NPR Member stations across the United States and around the globe via NPR Worldwide. The conversation between the audience and the program staff continues throughout the social media world.

When Ashley Madison, the website that helps people cheat on their spouses was hacked, it got our data expert wondering about the statistics of infidelity. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Mona Chalabi.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Wall graffiti at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. The company rel...
As the big tech firms grapple with a lack of diversity, three women of color who work in the industry talk about the challenges of expanding staff demographics.


Silicon Valley is a place that operates on data — hard facts and numbers.

Last month, the tech giant Facebook released a report on diversity among its workers — and the numbers weren't good.

The company reported that nearly 70 percent of its employees are men; 57 percent are white; Hispanics represent just 4 percent. Black employees comprised just 2 percent of their workforce.

Facebook is hardly the only Silicon Valley firm struggling to diversify. Diversity reports from Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn and others show a tech industry with demographics that are out of whack with the nation and tech consumers.

It's a serious problem that tech companies are now paying attention to in a more public way.

This week on For the Record: Fixing the sameness of Silicon Valley. We speak with a tech worker who left her job at a major Silicon Valley firm because she found it inhospitable to women of color, and with two other women who are trying to fix the diversity problem from different angles.

Angelica Coleman, development relations manager on the platform marketing team at Zendesk

Coleman grew up outside Boston, and after college a lot of her friends started working as software engineers. They told her what a cool industry it was, and that was it: She wanted a career in tech.

Coleman got a job at a small tech firm in Boston and shortly thereafter it was bought by file-hosting giant Dropbox. Coleman moved to the Bay Area to work at headquarters as an administrative assistant. Immediately, she felt out of step with the place.

She estimates that only 12 out of Dropbox's 1,200-plus employees were black. That meant that when she went to lunch with her white co-workers, she felt out of place.

"Most of the conversations were around, like, white beauty products," Coleman says. "I have no idea what those are like. Tanning solutions — no idea what that's like. Their family vacation houses in Palm Springs — no idea what that's like. Never once asked me, 'Hey, Angie, what did you do this weekend?' "

Her bosses started to notice.

"The head admin would sit me down and say, 'I don't think you are engaging enough with the team. Some of the team members feel like you're not trying hard enough to be friends with them,' " she says. "It was actually almost the opposite."

Professionally, Coleman thought she was doing well. But when she told the higher-ups she wanted to break out of her admin role and move up, she says she was told she'd have to go somewhere else.

She can't say for sure it was because of her race, but she watched as her white peers moved up. As a black woman, she didn't have anyone to turn to in order to sort out what felt like unfair treatment.

"People, especially white people, do not like talking about race," she says. "It's uncomfortable for everyone. Luckily, if you are white, you get to avoid talking about race as much as you want, because you don't have to. But as someone who is minority, race is an everyday part of their life. Not having a single person inside of a company to ever express any of those feelings, pain, questions, anything, it's extremely difficult."

Laura Gomez, CEO and founder of Atypica, a recruiting software company

Gomez thinks about these issues every day. She was an early employee at Twitter, and now she runs a company whose sole mission is to fix the diversity problem in Silicon Valley.

Gomez says the whole industry felt impenetrable to her.

"I hated that no one looked like me," she says.

Now tech companies are making their workforce demographics public and hiring diversity managers. Gomez says those positions must have support to be effective.

For instance, "Are you giving the diversity head a budget?" she says. "Are they working within all organizations, not only recruiting? Do they have the leverage to make sure that they are making the changes that need to be made?"

Maxine Williams, director of diversity for Facebook

Williams believes that her bosses are invested in change. But since she joined the company in 2013, Facebook's diversity numbers have barely budged.

The biggest obstacle, she says, is the "pipeline" problem — the argument that not enough diverse candidates are qualified for the jobs.

"Something like 4.5 percent of people graduating with computer science degrees are black," Waters says.

Gomez fundamentally disagrees.

"It is not a pipeline issue whatsoever," she says.

The responsibility for finding diverse candidates lies with the companies, she says — especially with recruiters, who are guilty of hiring people who look just like they do and come from the same places.

"One person will refer the person that they went to school with, and that school happens to be Stanford," Gomez says. "And then that person happens to refer another person that happens to go to the same school."

However, both Gomez and Williams agree on this: It's no use making an effort to recruit a diverse workforce without the culture to support them.

"I don't want people to feel that we have to be a place that uses 'blind' as a suffix," Williams says. "Where you have to say, I'm color-blind or I'm gender-blind or I'm sexual orientation-blind, in order to see people as your colleagues, in order to feel like you're being polite. I want you to see these things as assets."

All three say change is hard, but not impossible. Williams says the biggest roadblock is sensitivity.

"We've done a lot of work to get people to understand it's OK to be vulnerable," she says. "To say what you don't know; to with good intent seek to understand the life of the other. So I think because people are sensitive to being considered exclusive or racist or sexist it stops them from opening up to a place where they can learn and do better."

Coleman is happy at her job at Zendesk, a software development firm in San Francisco, a firm she landed at after leaving Dropbox.

"It took a while to build my confidence back up and remind myself that no, you are a badass. You do so much. You are amazing," she says.

We reached out to Dropbox but they didn't respond to our request for comment about Angelica Coleman's story but they did release a statement earlier this month and in it they said "diversity is a critical issue for the company." And they're sad to hear a former employee feels otherwise. They do not think her account is an accurate reflection of the company culture.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

As relations between Cuba and the U.S. move toward normalization, many worry Havana's iconic sites could be forever spoiled by an influx of tourists and cash.

It's the tourist mantra these days: Get to Cuba before it loses its 1950s nostalgia and turns into a capitalist tourist trap.

This week saw 54 years of Cold War-era hostilities warm up in the Caribbean sun: On Monday, Cuba and the U.S. reopened embassies in each other's capitals, a major step in the normalization of relations between the long-time foes.

The closer ties over the last few months have prompted a surge in tourism, and a perception that the island is about to undergo a radical transformation.

While visitor numbers are way up this year, it's business as usual at Old Havana's obligatory tourist stop, La Bodeguita del Medio watering hole.

The thirsty guzzle mojitos in its rustic, crowded bar, while the hungry eat the local favorite dishes of ropa vieja and tostones in the packed restaurant, with its bright blue walls covered in the signatures of visitors from around the world.

Right on cue, French tourist Regis Beuche predicts Cuba's capitalist embrace is imminent.

"It can't stay like this anymore," Beuche says. "There are no more communists in the world, so it's time to change."

Keeping with the conventional wisdom these days, Beuche says it will be an American tourist invasion that fans the winds of change hardest.

"American people don't respect this currently," he says. "I mean, it's difficult for an American to think different than an American."

While it's not hard to find a Frenchman to take a swipe at an American, it is the common fear among tourists here, that a McDonalds or Starbucks will pop up among the old city's stunning mix of neoclassical and colonial architecture — much of which is getting a paint job and refurbishing.

Carlos Rodriguez has been a waiter at the state-run Bodeguita for 23 years, and he says don't worry, the slight opening of the economy taking place now won't spoil the country's charm.

"These changes are well thought-out and are taking place slowly," assures Rodriguez. And also on cue, he adds that Cuba will never become capitalist: "We're just trying to make our socialism a little more perfect."

As a ringing bell marks the start of the next tour of the old city's Rum Museum, Canadian Reinette Otte and her husband say they wouldn't mind some American convenience about now.

"We were actually looking for a McDonald's so we could get a bathroom, to be honest," Otte says.

Tourism spiked in the first five months of this year, up more than 15 percent. Even now, during what is usually Cuba's low season, hotel and tour bookings are soaring, straining the country's insufficient tourist infrastructure — there are only about 60,000 hotel rooms in all of Cuba.

Anthony Policastro, of Hoboken, N.J., says it takes a particular patience to be a tourist here.

"You have to be prepared for a little bit more grittiness, and you've just got to plan for things not going the way that you expect," Policastro says.

You need political patience, too. Policastro visited the Museum of the Revolution, which takes many a swipe at "Yankee aggression" against the Cuban people.

On a wall right off the entrance, titled the Corner of the Cretins, is lined with cartoon cutouts of the former Cuban dictator Bautista alongside Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

Some things may take longer to change than others.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.