This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Women reign in edtech; harassment repercussion laws shift; high hopes for 2018; and more.
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Last week we took a look at cryptocurrency and the lack of women in the industry. This week, another article about bitcoin and women's involvement has emerged from Fortune. The article states that the shortage of women in cryptocurrency stems not from tech but from a lack of investing knowledge: "Why are women so absent from this space? One factor could be that at their core, investments in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are just that: investments. And in every asset class that's been studied so far, men take riskier bets than women -- and cryptocurrency investing is nothing if not risky." This is an important question as Bitcoin hit an all-time high this week with a crazy price surge. As one woman in Bitcoin put it, "There's pervasive gender bias that's in tech in general and that's transferred over to Bitcoin." Yet there's some good news on the financial front. CIO Dive found that out of any industry, the financial sector has the most women in the C-suite -- about 26% compared to the average of 23%. (See WiCipedia: Cryptocurrency & a Sexism Code Word .)
MyEtherWallet.com compares the rate of female traders to male traders. (Source: Fortune)
What's one sector of tech where women are doing surprisingly well? Edtech, says this Forbes article. While only 17% of tech companies generally are run by women, edtech -- the marriage of education with technology -- boasts a 34% rate of companies headed by women. This is attributed to the fact that there are more female teachers than male teachers, so the population reflects itself. Dani Pascarella, founder and CEO of Invibed, says, "Edtech ... is one of the quietest multi-billion segments in the technology sector and worth more than $250 billion worldwide. It's also one of the few areas of technology where female entrepreneurs are winning." So far, it's been an under-the-radar sector, but that could change in 2018 as edtech companies gain more funding from accelerator programs. (See Trump Commits $200M to Improving STEM in Schools.)
While tech is no stranger to sexual harassment, the #metoo movement has taken other industries by storm, which is leading some to ask when tech will have its own #metoo moment. Sure, allegations and lawsuits have been swirling for years, but where's the big event that will finally oust the offending men from the industry and give women a fair shot? Vanity Fair asked this very question in a recent article, stating that the harassment in Silicon Valley is different than it is in Hollywood, and that the repercussions -- both for the harassers and the harassees -- will also be different. Though the history of high-powered men silencing accusations with big money and tantrums may resonate with those in the entertainment industry as well, "Silicon Valley has its own unique kind of harassment that in part stems from the fact that many of the people who work in tech have been in male-dominated spaces for so long," says Bloomberg reporter Emily Chang, who is also author of the upcoming book Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley. Hollywood will always need leading ladies to make a movie that people actually pay to see, but does tech technically need women to make a product that people will buy? (See WiCipedia: #MeToo Hits the Valley & WiC Goes to London.)
Speaking of which, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) may be the first of the big tech companies to make a substantial change when it comes to how it handles harassment claims, The New York Times reports. The company announced that it had "eliminated forced arbitration agreements with employees who make sexual harassment claims and was also supporting a proposed federal law that would widely ban such agreements." Microsoft is no stranger to lawsuits involving discrimination against women, having recently faced a class-action suit with nearly 9,000 plaintiffs. Politician Kirsten Gillibrand said of the new arbitration policy, "Without the secrecy of mandatory arbitration agreements, serial predators will be less likely to continue climbing the corporate ladder and employees won't be forced to stay quiet about the harassment they have faced at work, which is good for employees and good for business." (See WiCipedia: Momism, Lead With Values & Demand Equality.)
2017 has been a crazy year for women in general, not just in tech. Light Reading is taking the last week of December off to decompress and recharge, and we'll be back on your screen the first week of January. If you're already raring to go for 2018, check out our upcoming Women in Comms Breakfast Workshop held in Denver on March 22, 2018. The topic is "Combating Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," and while we wish this topic weren't so ever-present, it clearly needs all the attention it can get. We can't wait to see you there. Happy holidays! (See WiC Panel: The Upside of Sexism Scandals.)
danielcawrey, User Rank: Light Sabre 12/27/2017 | 9:51:54 PM
Bitcoin Indeed, bitcoin is a very risky asset to be investing in. It takes a lot of time to really catch up to what's going on with cryptocurrency, and traditional investment advisors don't exactly know much about the tech behind it.
Forget the self-driving car, Cisco is aiming for the self-managed network – one where machine learning and automation propel both innovation and efficiency. At CES, Cisco SVP and GM of the service provider business Yvette Kanouff talks about how operators can transition toward more automated operations, and also why the annual consumer electronics show is ...
PRAGUE -- Lauren de la Fuente, vice president of marketing and communications at Boingo Wireless, and Terri Reintjes, director of architecture strategy at Sprint, reflect on how their experience as women in the telecom industry has changed over the last 30 years and where there's still room for improvement -- whether it's in supporting more diverse teams or ...
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.