Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. Pearl Milling Company

Long criticized as a racist caricature, the Aunt Jemima brand has finally changed its name. Why should you care? Attached with the new name, Pearl Milling Company, is also a new logo/branding. “This name is a nod to where our delicious products began before becoming a family-favorite breakfast staple,” PepsiCo said of its new branding. “While the Aunt Jemima brand was updated over the years in a manner intended to remove racial stereotypes, it has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the dignity, respect and warmth that we stand for today.” [CNN]

2. LinkedIn Tackles Hiring Biases

As a part of Black History Month, LinkedIn announced new measures to tackle hiring biases. Why should you care? The new initiatives, to help address the many different forms of biases, vary from changes within its own algorithms and systems to external recruiting processes. After many years of being scrutinized for the systemic biases within their platform, LinkedIn explains it as: “Deepening our understanding of who is using our products is an important step on this journey. When we can measure outcomes across gender, race, ethnicity, and disabilities, we will be able to see whether or not opportunities are equitable on our platform, and if not work to close any equity gaps.” [SocialMediaToday]

3. Clubhouse

Trending completely in the opposite direction of inclusivity, we are now hearing about Clubhouse – an app that is exclusively invite-only. Why should you care? Described as an app that is part talkback radio, part conference call and part Houseparty, Clubhouse was first launched in March of last year. It’s picking up steam as of late due to an audio-chat Elon Musk hosted with Robinhood CEO after the GameStop trading frenzy. In simpler terms, it’s like tuning in to a live recording of a podcast or going to a members-only yacht club and listening in on a conversation. Just like everything else that has gone virtual this year due to the pandemic, we aren’t the least bit surprised that real world elitism has followed suit. [The Guardian]

4. Union Rights For Influencers

SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of TV & Radio Artists) has announced an agreement that would give influencers union rights. Why should you care? Previously, union rights for influencers only extended as far as YouTubers who advertised on their channels, but now it will cover all influencers across all platforms (Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Twitch). In a total sign of the times, as the millennial generation redefines what work looks like, influencers will now qualify for health and pension benefits through the union. [Backstage]

5. Lyft/Uber x COVID-19 Vaccine

Lyft and Uber just made it easier to get to your COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Why should you care? In an effort to get more people vaccinated against COVID-19, Lyft launched two new features – Lyft Family and Rides for Others. Though their vision was streamlining the process of getting family and friends to vaccine appointments (e.g. ordering a ride for a family member that lives in a different state), the functions can be used for any type of ride/anywhere. Uber, not to be outdone, this week announced its partnership with Walgreens to offer free rides to the pharmacy for vaccine appointments. At the end of the day, it’s just nice to see social media/tech being used for good. [Mashable]

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