President Trump and CEO Michael Dell at the White House (Photo: NY Times, all rights reserved)

BOSTON — Actions sustained over several decades are typically a better indicator of corporate commitment and principles than press releases.

That fact has been driven home during 2020, a year of reckoning for the nation in terms of social justice and diversity. As a result, corporations have been clamoring to do everything possible to prove how they’ve gotten in line with a galvanized public and its demand for change. They’ve awoken.

Some corporate initiatives have been genuine while others are nothing but transparent marketing ploys. Earlier this month, financial services company Nasdaq Inc. disclosed a proposal to the U.S. Securities…


Commentary: Dell Technologies, honors, awards and the importance of telling ‘the rest of the story.’

BOSTON — Sometimes, getting half the facts is worse than no facts at all.

In January, Dell Technologies Inc. tweeted about CEO Michael Dell being named a candidate for CEO of the decade by the TechNewsWorld website.

The next day (on Jan. 24), Michael Dell retweeted the announcement and wrote that he was honored by the recognition. However, neither the company nor Dell himself pointed out that TechNewsWorld is operated by the highly respected Oregon-based Enderle Group Inc.

Its principal analyst, Rob Enderle, wrote the…


New England journalism group awards a media company that enabled censorship and threatened the reporter who exposed it

BOSTON — In early February, the New England Newspaper & Press Association presented the Boston Business Journal with several honors at its annual meeting in Boston.

Awards are nice, but it was a missed opportunity for the association representing six states to send a message that media executives are as accountable for their actions as the officials their newsrooms cover. Instead of striking a blow for integrity, it struck out.

The presentation came months after Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting posted details…


Cambio LLC CEO Neil Patwardhan

BOSTON — A Texas startup has developed software designed to enable greater inclusiveness in the employee recruiting and hiring process.

Austin-based Cambio LLC, a job-matching platform maker, plans to solve the diversity problem with technology. The nascent company is marketing software to enable users to shorten the hiring process and eliminate the “deep systemic rot” of discrimination.

“Diversity and inclusion have been talked to death for 20-plus years,” CEO Neil Patwardhan said. “Humans are biased in general and for a long time bias in hiring has gone virtually unchecked since there isn’t a clear way to measure it. Until now.”


Was it Staffing or Censorship?

BOSTON — Last month’s removal of a Newsweek reporter just days after a press freedom group received a sizable donation raises an important question: Who is responsible for standing up for the truth — and those charged with telling it?

Jessica Kwong (LinkedIn)

Newsweek dismissed reporter Jessica Kwong after she didn’t include President Donald Trump’s trip to Afghanistan in a piece about the president’s planned Thanksgiving Day activities. The story was subsequently updated and the changes were noted at the bottom of her article. But it apparently wasn’t enough for media execs.

A Newsweek spokesperson told the Washington Examiner, “The story has been…


The exotic pet trade remains a persistent problem amid a patchwork of state laws restricting such ownership.

BEVERLY, MASSACHUSETTS — You discover a poisonous cobra in a classroom. Who you gonna call?

If you’re one of hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the Northeast, the correct answer is probably Michael Ralbovsky. Since 1996, the herpetologist in Beverly has become a favorite resource for police departments confiscating dangerous creatures in New England and the Tri-State area for more than two decades.

It all started with the capture of 24-inch venomous snake discovered at a suburban-Boston elementary school. Word spread of Ralbovsky’s skills and he’s now a behind-the-scenes expert advising about 450 departments and agencies — as a free…


BOSTON — There’s no limit to the number of U.S. sanctions Dell Technologies Inc. is allowed to accrue as it receives federal contracts worth hundreds of millions per year, officials said.

The Texas-based technology giant settled a discrimination case in late September with a $7 million payment to the U.S. Department of Labor. The deal came just 16 months after Dell settled another discrimination case involving black and female employees in North Carolina. That settlement involved back wages amounting to nearly $3 million.

Such violations and subsequent settlements are just the latest for Dell. Since 2000, the company has been…

Christopher Calnan

A Boston-based journalist who during the last 25 years has reported for news organizations in Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida and Texas.

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