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WiCipedia: Queen of Code, Female VCs & STEM Expectations

Eryn Leavens
5/12/2017
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This week in our WiC roundup: Grace Hopper picture book is released; Israeli girls study more but expect less; female VCs come out on top; and more.


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  • It's no secret that we're big Grace Hopper fans at Women in Comms, so we were pretty psyched to see this forthcoming book for kids. Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark is set for release next week on May 17. The picture biography for children celebrates "the boundary-breaking woman who revolutionized computer science." While this isn't the first book about Hopper, for children or for adults -- others include The Girl Who Could Talk to Computers and Grace Hopper: Admiral of the Cyber Sea -- any excuse for girls to read about such an inspirational trailblazer is a win in our book. (See WiCipedia: Grace Hopper Promotes Diversity, Girl Scouts Code & How to Thrive and Grace Hopper: Power to the Pipeline .)

    All Hail the Queen

  • A new study out of Israel by the Cyber Education Center of the Rashi Foundation finds that though female high school students study STEM more than their male counterparts, they also "rely more on private tutoring and have less confidence in their ability to succeed." The Times of Israel summarized the study, which was conducted around a specific STEM exam that all Israeli high schoolers must take. While the study does not reveal the results of the exam by gender, it does say that "more boys than girls (71% vs. 54%) thought there was a strong likelihood they will go on to a career in computers and math, whether in academia or in industry." (See WiCipedia: Orthodox Women Code & Pop Culture Tech Queens.)

  • Nazanin Daneshvar, the "most highly acclaimed female Iranian Internet entrepreneur known to date," has experienced her share of workplace struggles. We Are The City recently interviewed the startup founder about breaking glass ceilings in a country that often tries to hold women down. Daneshvar attributes her success to having a father who treated her like a son and persevering despite not being taken seriously at the office. Now, her goal is to help other Iranian female founders, who are a very small percentage of the workforce considering women only account for 12% of employed Iranians. (See WiC Leading Lights Finalists 2017: Hedy Lamarr Award for Female Tech Pioneer of the Year.)

  • Women in tech have a difficult time securing funding -- that's no surprise. Luckily, there are a few female venture capitalists whose mission is to help female founders. Meet Shelly Kapoor Collins, a San Francisco-based managing partner at Propeller Venture Capital. Collins specializes in women's startups, a minority in itself. And she can identify with that, given that only 7% of VCs are female, according to TechCrunch, says The San Francisco Chronicle. Collins created a network solely for woman-run businesses called the Shatter Fund (with the catchy slogan #WomenWhoShatter). Another female entrepreneur, Eileen Gordon, agrees with Collins because she realizes that female consumers need products designed by women to be successful: "If you're talking about a business catering to a female sensibility... it is helpful to have a woman in the room. They often have an instinct about it." (See WiCipedia: 'Ladyboss,' Femtech & Diversity at Slack.)

  • Speaking of female VCs, Newsweek interviewed Constance Freedman, co-founder of Moderne Ventures, a female-run venture capitalist company that just raised $33 million in its first round of funding. Freedman told Newsweek all about her experience as a female VC, and one thing stood out: men waste time. "The number of [investors] that I approached in raising this fund who actually just wanted to turn it around and ask me for a date or go on their yacht in Nice or make some kind of pass at me -- it was really frustrating... I wanted the money, but not that bad!... The amount of time people waste when they're not even serious about investing is probably the most frustrating part of that process for me." It looks like Freeman made it work though, because now she's the one people are asking for money. (See The Rise of Women Startups.)

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

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