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WiCipedia: 50 to Watch & the 'Sheryl Sandberg of Mexico'

Eryn Leavens
6/16/2017
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This week in our WiCipedia roundup: GTB releases list of 50 women in telecom to watch in 2017; She Loves Tech competes in Pakistan; Erica Baker is our new role model; and more.


Women in Comms' next networking luncheon is coming up on November 1 in London. Join us during the OSS in the Era of SDN & NFV event for a fun afternoon of networking, lunch and discussion. Register and learn more here.


  • Circle Pakistan at NED University has organized a global startup competition titled She Loves Tech, Dawn.com reports. Winners of the competition will receive a week-long startup bootcamp in September "with opportunities to network with investors and top tech companies in China." While the competition is open to everyone, the entries have to be focused on creating change for women in some way. Sadaffe Abid, co-founder of Circle, which is "a social enterprise focused on women's economic inclusion and leadership through entrepreneurship and leadership development," said, "Women are an untapped potential here. I strongly believe that investing in women is the way to go forward. We need to come up with innovative women-centric proposals for start-ups." (See WiCipedia: Middle Eastern Progress & Founders Fight Exclusion.)

  • Global Telecom Business (GTB) has released a list of 50 female telecom movers and shakers to watch in 2017. All of the women on the list were nominated by readers of GTB, and are mostly in C-suite positions, representing Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763), Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and many more leading companies. Make sure to check out the full list, because how cool is it to see all of these accomplished women celebrated in one place?! (See WiCipedia: 'Ladyboss,' Femtech & Diversity at Slack.)

    See Anyone Familiar?
    (Source: Global Telecom Business)

  • It's an understatement to say that black women are a rarity in tech, so when a notable African American woman in tech makes a big move, it's a big deal. Erica Baker, a senior engineer and diversity advocate in San Francisco, has just jumped ship from Slack to accept a director of engineering position at Kickstarter, a woman-run company. In a USA Today interview, Baker explained that in her new role she will be focused on diversity and inclusion, as well as (wo)manning her own engineering team. Wayne Sutton, co-founder and chief technology officer with Change Catalyst, said, "It's hard to put in words all the challenges black women in tech face. [Those who make it] are role models for not just black women but everyone in tech." (See What Facebook's Recruiting Woes Tell Us and Why We Need Diversity Before AI Takes Over.)

  • Bulgaria and Romania have the most women working in tech in eastern Europe, with 27.7% and 27.2%, respectively, reports ZDNet. The European Union's average percentage of women working in tech is 16.1%, so a more than 10% divide is no small change. So what do these two countries that rarely make the news unless it's about dire poverty have in common? "In the East Bloc, women as well as men were pushed into engineering and science occupations," Iva Kaneva, a Bulgarian senior Python backend developer, says. The article further explains: "The communist regime needed the workforce, so it did not allow mothers to stay at home and care for their children. Often, it assigned them jobs typically performed by men, such as welding, mechanical repairs or tool making." While communism may not be the answer to many of our problems, it sure seems to be working for this one. (See WiC Panel: Diversity Must Flow Top Down.)

  • It's not easy to get a title like "the Sheryl Sandberg of Mexico," but Blanca Trevino, co-founder, president and CEO of Softtek , the largest IT vendor in Latin America, doesn't let challenges stop her. In a profile on CNBC, Trevino stressed the need for women to get involved in tech, no matter the hardships standing in their way: "Don't focus on the obstacles you face, but focus on the skills and talents you bring to the field. It's all about mind-set." She also gave three pieces of advice to women looking to create their own startup in tech: commit to your big idea, focus on your strengths and partner up wisely. Sounds easy enough, right?! (See AT&T Teaches Mexican Women to Code.)

    — Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading

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    Sarah Thomas
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    Sarah Thomas,
    User Rank: Blogger
    6/16/2017 | 10:34:25 AM
    Congrats to the WiC members
    Happy to see a number of our WiC speakers and members on the GTB list! Agreed they are women to watch, doing big things in our industry!
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