Blackstone Joins Rush to Miami With Office for Technology Staff

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(Bloomberg) — Blackstone Group Inc. plans to open an office in the Miami area and hire about 215 workers as South Florida lures more finance and investment firms.



a flock of seagulls standing on a beach with a city in the background: An aerial drone view as beachgoers take advantage of the opening of South Beach on June 10, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.


© Photographer: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images
An aerial drone view as beachgoers take advantage of the opening of South Beach on June 10, 2020 in Miami Beach, Florida.

The location will mostly house back-office technology employees. Investment professionals won’t be based there, for now.

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Read more: Hedge Funds Head for Florida With Taxes on Rich Rising Elsewhere

South Florida has been actively recruiting firms including hedge funds, some of which are attracted to the state’s zero income tax. While Miami-Dade isn’t cheap by Florida standards, it can be a bargain compared to New York.

“Miami is a vibrant market with a pipeline of top talent from best-in-class technology programs and a large technology footprint,” Jennifer Friedman, a spokeswoman for Blackstone, said in a statement. The office “will enable us to diversify our talent pool and grow our technology team.”

The Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners on Thursday approved a resolution related to $650,000 in incentive funds to bring an unnamed investment firm to the area. Workers at the office will make an average of $200,000 a year, according to the meeting agenda.

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COVID-19 budgets, data security, and automation are concerns of IT leaders and staff

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Dueling surveys from Kaseya showed that IT department leaders share their underlings’ worries about security and productivity.

IT technician with network equipment and cables

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

IT infrastructure and security management company Kaseya have released a two-part report featuring insights gleaned from surveys of both IT leaders and IT practitioners. The two reports—”Technical Priorities for IT Practitioners” and “Strategic Priorities for IT Leaders”–show that members of both sides of IT departments share broad concerns on a variety of issues including data protection and security. 

The researchers behind the study spoke with 878 respondents in July 2020, more than 500 of whom were IT practitioners and 335 were IT leaders. According to the survey responses, IT leaders are more concerned with ensuring that operations are always up and running amid coronavirus-related budget shortages, while the managers and technicians working daily with technology are more focused on maintaining productivity using limited resources.

“Our 2020 IT Operations survey makes it clear that IT leaders and practitioners are trying to do as much as they can today with far fewer resources than usual,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer at Kaseya. 

“Understanding the new challenges that IT leaders and practitioners will face in 2021, we are committed to continuing to evolve and improve the solutions we make available to manage and solve those challenges.”

SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)

Data protection and security were something both sides of the IT coin could agree on, with both leaders and employees highlighting the startling increase in cyberattacks since the onset of the pandemic and the need for more focus on protecting organizational data. 

According to the survey, “Improving IT security” was the top priority in 2020 for more than half of IT practitioners and 60% of IT leaders. “Cybersecurity and data protection”

Athletes And Staff Get Wearables To Ensure Social Distancing

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Each year, thousands of elite and amateur runners compete in the London Marathon. Last year, 42,000 people completed the 26.2-mile course that spans across the British capital, with thousands of people lining the streets to lend their support.

The marathon is an opportunity to achieve personal goals and raise millions of dollars for charitable causes.

But running a mass participation event in the era of Coronavirus is impossible and marathons across the globe have been canceled or postponed, much to the disappointment of those who had spent months training and fundraising for their big day in the limelight.

London Marathon

London hopes things will return to normal for the 2021 event but in the meantime, the 40th staging of the event will take place in a secure bubble in St James Park. Just 100 elite athletes will compete in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair races, while 500 members of staff will be on hand to ensure everything runs smoothly.

It’s not business as usual, but London will be the only major marathon taking place anywhere in the world this year.

Naturally, the bubble will be subject to strict social distancing and safety measures to safeguard everyone within. But just to make sure, everyone will be fitted with wearable technology that hopes to minimize the risk of infection.

Organizers have partnered with Tharsus to implement the ‘Bump’ system which alerts users if they are getting close to anyone else in the secure area. Wearable devices use Radio Frequency (RF) technologies to determine proximity to one another and notify the wearer if their distance is not sufficient.

What’s more, the system can identify individual users, meaning it will be possible to inform anyone who has come into close contact with someone who is later diagnosed with Covid-19.

Science, tech institutes to now be rated based on support to female staff

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Science and Technology institutes will be rated based on the support they give to female staff under the new Science Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP), 2020, that aims to make the arena more inclusive and diverse.


Besides stressing on support to female staff, the focus of ranking parameters will also be language and geographical locations.



“There will be a separate chapter on equity, inclusion and diversity in the new science policy,” Department of Science and Technology (DST) Secretary Ashutosh Sharma said.


Deliberations are underway to have a new STIP 2020 which is expected to be unveiled by December, he said. Both government and private institutions will be graded.


“We are setting up a framework based on which evaluation will be done. There will different parameters like how many women are recruited every year, what is total number (of women in an institute), how well they have progressed in their career, what kind of support they get, are there committees to address their grievances and a whole lot of things that can ensure them a level playing field,” Sharma added.


He said the percentage of women in the area of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is low. For instance, the representation of women in engineering courses in top institutes is just 10-12 per cent.


To ensure that the percentage increases, the DST has started many initiatives.


The DST is also implementing ‘Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)’ Scheme to provide various career opportunities to women scientists and technologists, primarily aimed to bring gender parity in the S&T sector by inducting more women talent in the research and development domain through various programmes.


Sharma stressed that other aspects

Technological Institution to be rated on Female Staff Support

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Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2020: According to the newly introduced Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2020, scienttific and technological institution will be based on the support provided to the female staff in these institutions. The policy has been introduced to make such institutions more diverse and inclusive. In addition to the support extended to female staff, ranking parameters will also include the geographical location, socio-economic strata, age and language.

Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST) was quoted saying that under the new science policy, there will be a separate chapter on inclusion, equity and diversity. He also added that deliberations for the new Science Technology and Innovation Policy 2020 are underway and the policy is expected to be unveiled by December 2020 on the basis of which Government as well as Private institutions will be graded.

The framework for evaluation is being worked upon, said Mr. Sharma. Adding that different parameters such as the number of women employees recruited every year, total number of female staff in an institute and their career graph, the kind of support they are provided with along with a committee for grievance redressal are the parameters that will be taken into account, Mr. Sharma said that this will ensure the women with a level playing field.

With low representation of women in the field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the number being as low as 10 – 12% in top engineering institutes, the Secretary said that the DST is starting a number of initiatives to ensure that the number of women increases in STEM. Along with STIP 2020, a ‘Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN)’ Scheme is also being started by the Department to provide women scientists and technologists with various career opportunities.