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.
Interested in joining Women in Comms on our mission to champion change, empower women and redress the gender imbalance in the comms industry? Visit WiC online and get in touch to learn more about how you can become a member!
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
Service providers are refreshing their IMS and looking for real cloud native IMS functions, according to Micaela Giuhat, Metaswitch's VP of product management, Cloud Native Core, who shares her thoughts on everything from container-based approach to VNFs to her experiences and advice as a leading woman in comms.
At the Big Communications Event (BCE) 2018 event in Austin, Melissa Arnoldi, president of Technology and Operations at AT&T, spoke about AT&T's path to 5G and the important role software plays. 5G will eventually have a significant impact on how businesses work and how they engage with their customers.
Executive Producer Janet Leahy, President of Arrow Solutions Kathy Boelter, CEO of Women of Wall Street Karen Ashworth Macfarlane and the Founder and CEO of Corporate Cowgirl Up Wendy Bohling join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas in Denver to discuss ways to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, help women advance and level the playing field.
DALLAS -- Automation Everywhere -- Srilakshmi Valisammagari, senior technologist & strategist - SDN/NFV Innovations for Verizon, addresses the operators' efforts to deliver automation to enterprise customers via Verizon Service Designer. Valisammagari says Verizon Service Designer simplifies the process flow -- from service design to implementation to provisioning ...
Blind hiring, raising awareness, encouraging dialogue and ending binding arbitration agreements are a few ways the industry can thwart gender discrimination, says former Wall Street executive Karen MacFarlane, who saw first hand how pervasive it was in the financial industry.
Gender consultant and author Wendy Bohling shares her thoughts on why we need to create an atmosphere of transparency, authenticity and accountability to make sure the #metoo movement doesn't ultimately backfire.
Diversity of thought may be the most important in an industry that depends on innovation, according to Telstra COO and Tesla Board Member Robyn Denholm, who advises women to "just go for it" when it comes to building a career here.
KANSAS CITY -- Light Reading's Mari Silbey interviews New Orleans CIO Kimberly LaGrue about investing in the city's network infrastructure and how broadband will form the foundation for smart city initiatives in the future. The interview takes place during the Smart Cities, Dumb Pipes ...
Female representation on company boards can set the tone for company culture and help companies perform better, but there's still few women on boards, Small Cell Forum CEO Sue Monahan tells Light Reading.