This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Lack of diversity awareness widespread in tech; brogrammers get schooled; Afghan girls learn to code; and more.
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It won't surprise anyone that men and women disagree on gender and diversity in the workplace. While some men believe that the lack of diversity hiring stems from a dearth of qualified hires, women tend to think that unconscious bias is to blame for the issue. Business Insider analyzed First Round's "State of Startups" report and found that out of more than 700 startup founders, only 17% were women. Having so many men in the ring seems to perpetuate male hiring. "Simply put, tech companies don't make diversity a priority." Two numbers stood out to us most in this report though: Almost a quarter of startups have no plans to increase diversity, and one-third of startups haven't even talked about diversity within the company. In order to increase diversity in hiring, we first need to be on the same page and get everything out in the open. (See WiCipedia: Small Steps Forward, Big Step Back.)
The lack of diversity in hiring isn't just discriminatory; it's also costing big money. HR Dive says that "women alone could miss out on $299 billion in income by 2025," based on a recent
Accenture report. This is due to lack of minority hiring and also lack of salary parity. CNET argues that while tech jobs generally pay well, the rate at which salaries increase for people of color is paltry, and that hiring for token diverse employees just to make diversity reports look better isn't really helping anyone. "The concern becomes if you're just hiring them in and the environment is so negative that they then just turn around and leave, you really haven't made any gains," says Elizabeth Ames, vice president of strategic marketing and alliances for the Anita Borg Institute. (See WiCipedia: Internet by Bicycle, Pay Gaps & Misogyny in the Valley and Mentor Monday: Anita Borg's Elizabeth Ames.)
Girls Who Code and CollegeHumor have teamed up to create "The Problem With Brogrammers," a video that depicts the fundamental differences in the way male and female programmers work and view their work. CNET reports that while female coders may look for ways that technology can help those who are less privileged, male programmers are drawn to more self-serving innovations. "Oftentimes, the tech industry is perceived to create technology to make life easier for the most privileged, essentially replacing their moms rather than tackling our society's most pressing challenges," said Girls Who Code Founder Reshma Saujani. See below for the full video. (See WiCipedia: Hogrammers, Cleavage & Finding a Niche.)
Say you don't need a mom robot and you want to invent something a bit more altruistic. You might want to head over to WHACK, a "woman-centric" hackathon held at Wellesley College in Mass. The event's motto, "Hack for Social Good," hints at the non-profit focus of the event, which drew 80 undergrads this year. NationSwell explains that "UpLift, which combats sexual harassment; Partners in Health, which ships medical supplies to developing countries; and Wellesley's Office of Disability, which makes the campus more accessible to those with a physical handicap," were the recipients of the two-day hackathon. The conference was funded by Major League Hacking and was open to everyone. (See BTE 2015: Innovation Thrives on Diversity.)
A new program in Afghanistan, Code to Inspire, is teaching young women how to be "digitally literate," reports Yahoo. Girls are learning computer science there, no small feat in a country where only 24% of women are able to read and 40% of people are unemployed. "In the past, girls didn't study computer science. We want to change this situation," Munireh Hossein Zada, a 19-year-old student, says. The program is trying to build a pipeline for students to create work-from-home computer jobs instead of only having the option of being a stay-at-home wife, potentially restructuring gender norms in the traditional society. "Zada states it more simply: 'I'm a strong girl, and I want to prove that Afghan women can be strong.'" (See Mentor Monday: AT&T's Brooks McCorcle.)
Re: Brogrammers @Eryn I just heard about the Spinn Coffeemaker -- you can turn it on with your phone and select what type of coffee you'd like it to make (or you can operate Spinn by telling Alexa you want coffee). I used to joke that my phone could even make coffee for me and now it can, apparently. So now I'm reconsidering my earlier comment - maybe we've reached the peak of self-serving innovations and can just focus on the altruistic ones now ;)
ErynLeavens, User Rank: Light Sabre 12/9/2016 | 12:54:29 PM
Re: Brogrammers Kelsey,
I hadn't thought about this issue before either, and I'm sure there are a lot of exceptions too. I've definitely heard about men creating things that aren't self-serving, though not sure I can think of any women who have created mom robots! But there are so many fewer women that it's really hard to know where to put the blame. I agree that a healthy balance of self-serving and altruistic is good though.
Brogrammers The Brogrammer video is too funny! I hadn't given much thought to what types of innovations male or female coders focus on, but that's really interesting to hear that women focus more on technology that helps the underserved and men focus on more self-serving innovations. I think it would be less of a "problem" with brogrammers if there were more female programmers to balance out the goals of these innovations as I think both self-serving and altruistic technologies are useful to everyone.
LONDON, 12/4/2017 There are skill shortages in many emerging technology areas, such as artificial intelligence, notes Carolyn Dawson, managing director of the TMT unit for KNect 365, an Informa business. Attracting and training more women to the tech field will help the industry grow faster and better explore a broader range of possibilities. Dawson heads the ...
In a digital economy, a company's success is based on its relationship with the end user and the experience that customer has in using a product or service, says Sigma Systems CTO Catherine Michel, speaking as a panelist at Light Reading's Women in Communications luncheon in London earlier this month. A male-dominated environment will miss out on key aspects of ...
DENVER -- The tech industry is a vibrant, fast-paced place to be, but the industry could benefit from institutional changes to support more diversity, says Equinix CMO Sara Baack. Recent scandals have brought to light the need for more diversity, and Baack hopes this increased visibility will be the impetus for lasting change. In leadership, Baack encourages her ...
NEW YORK -- Sprint's Director of Technology Innovation & Architecture - Strategy, Planning and Development, Ginger McClendon, talks about how the future of network design will evolve with the advent of 5G and distributed architectures, while explaining the importance of learning from cellular surprises of the past.
NEW YORK -- Sprint's Director of Technology Innovation & Architecture - Strategy, Planning and Development, Ginger McClendon, explains that while she's noticed more women at tech conferences, the telecom industry can still be a difficult place for women to break into and continues to have a culture of being cutthroat. McClendon discusses why listening to her inner ...
LONDON -- Sigma Systems works to help CSPs become digital service providers, and that means tracking not just technology but many other trends and expectations, says CTO Catherine Michel. The biggest challenge today is doing all of that at a much faster pace than ever before.
DENVER, 10/5/2017 Jill Stark, region president of enterprise sales for Sprint, shares her approach to leading a diverse team. In addition, Stark addresses the importance of seeking out mentors, and encourages women in the communications industry to take risks and step out of their comfort zone in order to meet their career goals.
LONDON, 9/26/2017 At the recent Digital Futures event in London, Alexandra Rehak, IoT practice head at research house Ovum, talks about the ways in which network operators could generate new revenues from IoT.
New York is Silicon Alley. Israel? Silicon Wadi. And in Santiago, it's Chilecon Valley. Thirty years after the end of Pinochet's dictatorship, Chile has become one of South America's most vibrant economies. For the past six years, the government has given interest-free loans of up to $40,000 to entice startups to move to Santiago. Light Reading traveled to Chile ...
It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMware.
Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.