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INNOVATION

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup

Quantic’s Weekly Roundup is a satisfying mix of the latest breaking news, business, STEM and social science stories. Here are your headlines for this week:

What women want: The proportion of women in tech remains far too low, despite concerted efforts to rectify things. Studies show that this regression is largely due to poor culture in many tech workplaces that aren’t inclusive enough to support female workers. In cultures where discrimination was more prevalent, women would advance to managerial roles just 28% of the time, versus 40% for men. Some of the top inclusive culture aspects that women wish to see in a company include supporting parents and parents-to-be, genuine mentors, and diversity in senior positions. 

High hopes: Jay-Z has created a $10 million fund for startups to boost minority-owned cannabis businesses. The rapper and entrepreneur says he is motivated by an imbalance in the marijuana business: People of color, who have been disproportionately punished for involvement in the drug, where it is illegal, comprise only a small number of those making money from the multibillion-dollar market in legalized pot. Mr. Carter, who started the $10 million in seed money received as part of a merger, joins a broader push for equitable, economic opportunity across the cannabis sector. 

Born to be wild (and safe): New fashion technology from Airbag Inside Sweden AB designed airbag jeans and high-tech vests to make motorbikes safer. The wearer tethers the jeans to their bike and if they fall from the motorcycle, the airbags are triggered, filling with compressed air and lessening the impact on the lower body. The airbag can then be deflated, refilled with gas and reassembled into the jeans to use again. This is part of a larger effort to make innovative safety options more attainable to motorcyclists around the globe. 

Food for thought: Executives at Kellogg Co. and Unilever are calling on startups to help tackle food industry issues. The companies partnered with the organizers of the Future Food-Tech Summit to launch the Innovation Challenge, which will culminate in a pitch at the live-streamed virtual event on March 11-12. Innovative food solutions can include improving taste, plant-based alternatives, gut wellness, and waste management.


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