May 19, 2020

BlackBerry 10 Has Best Launch Ever in BlackBerry History

blackberry
Thorsten Heins
BlackBerry 10
smartphone
Bizclik Editor
2 min
BlackBerry 10 Has Best Launch Ever in BlackBerry History

 

BlackBerry announced today that through the launch of the anticipated BlackBerry 10 smartphone, the company saw its best launch sales day ever in Canada.

“In Canada, yesterday was the best day ever for the first day of a launch of a new BlackBerry smartphone.  In fact, it was more than 50% better than any other launch day in our history in Canada,” said Thorsten Heins, President and CEO of BlackBerry.

Even further, BlackBerry reported successful BlackBerry 10 sales performance in the UK.

“In the UK, we have seen close to three times our best performance ever for the first week of sales for a BlackBerry smartphone,” continued Heins.

BlackBerry did not release any specific figures, but there have been reports of Canadian retail stores that are sold out of the new phone.

BlackBerry released the BlackBerry Z10 in the UK last week and in Canada on February 5th retailing for approximately $149.99.

The US smartphone market is still waiting for the BlackBerry 10 OS to hit shelves, with rumors that it will be available late February or early March. This will be BlackBerry’s true test for its new OS. With the fact that BlackBerry’s reputation fell steadily in the last few years, will the US market be open to accepting them as reputable competition again? If the US follows in Canada and the UK’s footsteps, good things could be coming to the technology giant and its profit margin, something that would be a benefit to the Canadian economy. 

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Jun 12, 2021

How changing your company's software code can prevent bias

Deltek
diversity
softwarecode
inclusivity
Lisa Roberts, Senior Director ...
3 min
Removing biased terminology from software can help organisations create a more inclusive culture, argues Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR at Deltek

Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day. 

Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at  and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization. 

Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.

Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?  

We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization

What impact can exclusive terms have on employees? 

Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.    

Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code

Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!

What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?

What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.

What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology? 

My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve. 

 

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