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WiCipedia: Who Cares About Diversity? We Do

Eryn Leavens
4/7/2017
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This week in our WiCipedia roundup: The happiest cities for women may not be the most profitable; men don't care much about diversity in tech; the healthy hackathon; and more.


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  • Last week we discussed the best cities for women who work in tech, and while a number of criteria were analyzed, overall quality of life was not one of them. A new study by MoveHub has ranked US states as the best and worst for women, and we can safely say that the best place for a career is not necessarily the best place to live by broader standards. Case in point: Hawaii. While the Aloha State has repeatedly been voted the worst state for business ventures, or really just to have a job, it's MoveHub's number one pick for the best quality of life for women. After Hawaii, the West Coast and East Coast fared pretty well, with much of the Midwest and South falling far behind. Check out the map below to find out where life is best for women in the States. (See WiCipedia: Best Cities for WiT, Born to Code & Dancing Backwards.)

    Turns Out Hawaii Really Is Heaven
    On the other hand, we probably won't be planning a trip to Oklahoma anytime soon...
    On the other hand, we probably won't be planning a trip to Oklahoma anytime soon...

  • While we definitely think men are crucial to the effort to diversify tech, it's not often an entirely male panel convenes to discuss their take on the issue. At a Charleston Women in Tech event this week, a group of six men sat down to be interviewed about the male "perspective of women in tech," Tech.co describes. The men were all Caucasian and in leadership roles in their companies, so this was not exactly a comprehensive panel, yet the men were all supportive of women in the industry, if a little oblivious that there was a diversity issue at all. A video recording of the panel can be seen here, though quality is of the shaky iPhone variety. (See Tech Leaders: Gender Diversity Could Add Billions to Economy and WiCipedia: Male Allies, Co-Working Spaces & Automation.)

  • Sometimes the challenges for women in tech seem so insurmountable we forget that we've got it pretty good as far as jobs for women go. Actually, we've got it the best as far as jobs for women go. InHerSight conducted a study comparing job satisfaction in different industries, TechCrunch reports, and tech nearly always came out on top. "According to the InHerSight data, women remain underrepresented in the tech workplace. Only 28 percent of all tech jobs are staffed by women, but women still prefer working in the industry to any other," the article explains. There was one category where tech fell short, and it's no big surprise: The survey found that women did not have the same leadership opportunities as men and ranked it right in the middle of other industries' equal opportunity standings. The TechCrunch article wrapped up by saying that it's important to remember that job satisfaction is a sliding scale. Tech may provide more satisfaction for many, but that's only in relation to other industries, which aren't looking too bright. (See Equal Pay Day: Time to Get Paychecks in Check.)

  • In a similar vein, we spend so much time and energy fighting for diversity in tech and equal rights, we sometimes forget that not everyone considers it such an important issue. NBC News explained the results of a study by Stack Overflow, an online programmer community, which surveyed 11,455 programmers in the US to get their take on the importance of diversity in their workplaces. The consensus? They couldn't care less. While 61.7% of women (all 15% of everyone surveyed) thought diversity was important, only 26.7% of men agreed. While this study is more of a slice of the tech community than an overall consensus, it's interesting (and depressing) to see just how hard women have to fight to even be valued. You can see the full breakdown below. (See Skillsoft Puts Women in Action to Improve Culture and Tech Leaders: Diversity Critical to Product Dev.)

  • Philadelphia's first all-women hackathon for students, FemmeHacks, aims to create a safe, welcoming and fun space for girls who want to attend a hackathon and not be the only woman in the room. Started by Andrea Baric when she was a freshman at Drexel University, the event encourages young women to pursue STEM as a career choice with the goal of making the process as easy for them as possible. Started just two years ago, the event already has 200 attendees and is quickly growing, Technical.ly reports. The event tends more to health- and wellness-inspired bonuses, such as made-to-order juices, which is in sharp contrast to what Baric describes as the "Red Bull stupor" that occurs at most male-dominated hackathons. And it seems to be working: "Our 198 hackers represented 27 high schools, 10 colleges/universities and 92 percent of them felt inspired to keep pursuing tech or CS as a career after FemmeHacks. That's what it's all about." (See WiCipedia: Diversity Awareness & Schooling Brogrammers and Why Being a Person in Tech Comes First .)

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

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    ErynLeavens
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    ErynLeavens,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    4/7/2017 | 1:17:21 PM
    Washington
    The color for Washington State is wrong, by the way. Should be light green.
    ErynLeavens
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    ErynLeavens,
    User Rank: Light Sabre
    4/7/2017 | 12:50:54 PM
    Re: Diversity and collaborative teams
    Kelsey, for the MoveHub survey, the criteria were mostly health and safety based. For example, Hawaii has a rate of only 6% uninsured women, and the lowest rate of women killed by men. Here's the full list of criteria: "gender pay gap, political representation in the state legislature, equality in education, accessibility to health insurance, reproductive rights and the number of incidents of violence against women at the hands of men." Interesting stuff and not all that surprising really, though Hawaii is an unexpected first choice!

    I'm not sure about the diversity survey. I would think it's just a neverending cycle. Diversity isn't important to these men so they don't hire women so they never see how valuable they are so diversity stays unimportant to them. Yikes!
    Kelsey Ziser
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    Kelsey Ziser,
    User Rank: Blogger
    4/7/2017 | 9:21:49 AM
    Diversity and collaborative teams
    What kind of criteria did movehub use to rank the states in order of best places for women to live?

    That is discouraging to see that diversity in the workplace was of less value to men in the survey. I wonder if there's any correlation between valuing diversity and also valuing constructive criticism and collaborative teams in the workplace. Does it correlate at all to how much you value the input of your colleagues?
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