This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Female founders face Twitter harassment; Amazon needs a new opener; Oracle has lawsuit battle ahead; and more.
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It seems every angle of gender discrimination has been chewed over again and again, but an article in Forbes made a refreshing point: Who do you want to make money for? Because that's what it all comes down to, right? One female tech accelerator CEO said, "Who owns companies? You get teams who roll in with a woman, and I'm like, 'great, how much [of the company] does she own?' " She continued that while companies may appear inclusive, the women representing the companies are often just for show and have very little actual stake in the company. The article focuses on raising capital for entrepreneurs, but this can really apply to anyone working in any position. (See Women Who Tech Gives $85K to Female-Led VR & AI Startups and The Power of Women-Owned Businesses.)
Women who have an online presence are no strangers to harassment. And often, harassers hiding behind screens feel they have nothing to lose. Not so in the case of Xyla Foxlin, a 20-year-old startup founder and college student who received rape threats and other terrifying harassment, including her home address broadcasted. Business Insider reports that while her first attempts to shut down her stalker via
Twitter and the police failed (neither took the threats seriously), Foxlin was able file a subpoena, use her women-in-tech network to track down the attacker's personal info via Twitter and locate the owner of the account. Now here's the big surprise: The account belonged to a woman in the same robotics program as Foxlin. The author of the article writes, "'It was two months of not knowing who to trust,' Foxlin said. 'It's incredibly emotionally draining and time consuming to pursue it. But being silent and bottling it up makes it worse.' Although Business Insider saw about a dozen tweets and DMs sent by the harasser, most of them are too explicit to share." This isn't the first incident of Twitter endangering women in tech by not taking complaints seriously, unfortunately. (See WiCipedia: 'Build Up, Never Tear Down'.)
Xyla Foxlin's Microsoft Surface Commercial(Source: YouTube)
Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) is the latest tech company under fire for wage discrimination. USA Today says that the company is being hit with a lawsuit representing all women who have worked there since 2013. The article states, "The case alleges that Oracle's actions towards its female employees are 'immoral, unethical, oppressive, unscrupulous, and offensive.'... According to the Labor Department, 1,207 women work at Oracle in the same product development class as the women filing the suit." In other words, the number isn't listed, but if Oracle loses the case, they're going to owe a boatload of money. Though Oracle has attempted to level the playing field recently by upping its ratio of female board members, offering unconscious bias training and committing to a diversity effort, it all comes down to the moolah. (See Google Shares Gender-Blind Pay Policies and US Sues Oracle for Pay, Hiring Discrimination.)
Amazon had a particularly embarrassing email backfire to a potential new hire recently, The Register explains. An
Amazon Web Services Inc. recruiter sent a female software engineer an email with the subject line "Diversity HIRE :: JOB :: Software Engineer @ Amazon," encouraging her to apply for the position. As The Register put it, "It may as well have started with: 'Dear token minority...' " In a statement, Amazon praised itself for its commitment to diversity measures and high pay, but did not address the email subject line. You can see the full statement here. (See 40% of Minority Tech Engineers Report Experiencing Bias.)
kq4ym, User Rank: Light Sabre 10/18/2017 | 8:59:50 AM
Re: MIT prof It is still surprising to see such bad behavior happening is places where one would think intelligence would reign. But with the ease of reporting incidents via social media and instant internet news, I would suspect we're going to read such reports with increasing frequency.
ErynLeavens, User Rank: Light Sabre 10/10/2017 | 2:13:15 PM
Re: MIT prof That seems like a very literal take, but you're right that we don't have more context so it could have meant something less misogynistic and more historical. I wouldn't put my money on it though. I tried finding more info but there's nothing.
lstark, User Rank: Light Beer 10/8/2017 | 5:01:02 PM
Re: MIT prof Let's keep in mind that the word "should" is frequently used to indicate compliance with historical trends, not as a moral imperitive. For example, "it's 4pm already. The freeways should be filling up with rush hour traffic." History shows that many young men and women in their late teens, even at MIT, are will be married in a few years. Of course, I wasn't there, so i can't interpret what was actually intended.
ErynLeavens, User Rank: Light Sabre 10/6/2017 | 12:58:24 PM
MIT prof I was pretty shocked to see the MIT prof's comment about how female students should be getting married soon. If ANYONE has made it to MIT, wouldn't you think they have a pretty promising professional career ahead of them? I wonder how old the professor is...
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.