This week in our Women in Comms roundup: Ellen Pao soldiers on; Indian women seek workforce inclusion; companies led by women make more money; and more.
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Ellen Pao may have lost her gender discrimination lawsuit one year ago, but she's not through seeking justice just yet. She is reportedly working on a tell-all memoir with Random House, though no release date has been set. Pao has started a movement with her disclosures about what it's like to work as a woman in tech in Silicon Valley over the past year, from the Elephant in the Valley survey, which was inspired by Pao's trial, to Project Include, where Pao is a founding member. Her memoir, Reset, is being promoted by Random House as a "fearless first-person account exposing the toxic culture that pervades the tech industry." (See WiCipedia: IVF Woes & Changing an Archetype and Tales From the Valley: Bias, Sexism & Worse.)
Indian women in business have taken the spotlight this week with news of female-led startups and the pressure for women not to work in order to get married and raise families. In India, only 22% of women work, and in urban areas that number plummets to 16%, according to the BBC. Women who were interviewed by the BBC said they were told they shouldn't work because they needed to focus on their "real" lives, i.e., finding a husband, and also because being pretty was enough.
We often hear about the demise of child stars after their time on the screen ends; the drug abuse and bankruptcy that ultimately ruins them. Danica McKellar is one huge exception. McKellar, who you surely recognize from her days on The Wonder Years, had her own crisis of identity after the show ended, and enrolled at UCLA with the intention of studying acting. There she found that she also had a passion for math, where she surprised herself by scoring the highest grade in her class on her calculus midterm. While still acting, math seems to be McKellar's real passion these days. She's even got a theorem named after her, or if you want to get technical about it, the "Percolation and Gibbs states multiplicity for ferromagnetic Ashkin-Teller models on Z2." Best of all, McKellar serves as a mentor for young girls who are also interested in math. Her first book, Math Doesn't Suck, is geared toward middle school girls and aims to break down stereotypes about girls who want to pursue STEM. We can't think of a better role model. (See A Man, a Mission & an Underwater Flashlight.)
Horoscopes work every time...
Johnson & Johnson is joining the long list of companies committed to encouraging young girls to pursue STEM. They've recently partnered with FHI 360 and Junior Achievement Worldwide with "hopes to reach one million girls between the ages of five and 18 by 2020." The consortium is slated to target girls through school activities and extracurriculars to increase engagement in STEM, and hopefully convince girls to study math and science and enter into a tech-related career. Ivan Charner, director of FHI 360's National Institute for Work and Learning, said, "Careful research and analytics show that building awareness and increasing girls' knowledge and engagement will help influence their decision to enter STEM2D careers." (See WiC Poll: Start Young to Improve the Pipeline.)
If one thing was made clear in the world of women in tech this week, it's that the lack of female representation in the tech space has nothing to do with women's skillsets. Multiple studies proved that "tech companies led by women are more capital-efficient and achieve, on average, a 35 percent higher return on investment than firms led by men." Though they receive significantly less funding from VCs, they are capable of doing more with less, and are "able to generate 20 percent greater revenue than their male counterparts." So why do women hold only a quarter of tech positions in the US? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. (See More Women in Tech Is Critically Important.)
— Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading
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.