Women In Comms

WiCipedia: #MeToo Hits the Valley & WiC Goes to London

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: 02 offers senior-level returnships; meet a 'future me'; and 'Don't make money for a**holes.'

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  • We've all learned a lot of lessons -- good and bad -- from the role women have played in tech in the past few years. A few weeks ago we profiled an article in Forbes titled "Who Do I Want To Make Money For?" Well, they're at it again. This week, Forbes published another article titled "Don't Make Money For Bad Men," and its meaning could not be any clearer. At the Marie Claire Power Trip summit in San Francisco, prominent women in tech convened to talk about diversity, inclusion and more. In a panel, 23AndMe's Anne Wojcicki, Uber's Bozoma Saint John and Cowboy Ventures' Aileen Lee spoke candidly about the challenges they face as women and what we can all do about it. Lee closed the panel with an unforgettable line, the article reports: "To applause and cheers from the women gathered in San Francisco's W Hotel, she unveiled a new VC mantra in the wake of a spate of sexual harassment claims: 'Don't make money for a**holes.' " (See WiCipedia: Twitter Threats, Diversity Hires & Oracle in Hot Seat.)

    Women Who Rule
    23AndMe's Anne Wojcicki, Uber's Bozoma Saint John and Cowboy Ventures' Aileen Lee own the stage.
    23AndMe's Anne Wojcicki, Uber's Bozoma Saint John and Cowboy Ventures' Aileen Lee
    own the stage.

  • 02 is the latest company to jump on the returnship bandwagon, Diginomica explains. The UK mobile phone provider started the program last year and aims to increase its number of senior-level female employees. 02 has partnered with Women Returners Professional Network for increased access to women looking to restart their careers. Hiring managers made some eye-opening realizations during the process: "They've [managers] found they don't need to be completely fixated on recent experience. If you've been out of work for 10 years and you're competing for jobs where others have more immediate experience, you're probably not going to be top of the pile for a line manager. So it's been about opening people's eyes to this kind of audience and the value they can bring. In other words, that immediate experience isn't necessarily the be-all and end-all." (See A Women in Comms Glossary.)

  • As a young girl interested in STEM, it's so important for role models to be visible and available as resources, and too often, that's not the case. Inforum reports that at uCodeGirl -- a Fargo, ND nonprofit that aims to empower girls in tech -- middle-school girls are paired up with "future me" women who show them what their career might look like in a few decades. "Betty Gronneberg, founder and CEO of uCode Girl, says they have 42 mentor/mentee pairs. 'I'm overwhelmed by the generosity of women in the community who are sharing their time and talents,' Gronneberg says. 'So many of them just said, 'Yes! Sign me up!' " Feedback from the girls involved in the program has been overwhelmingly positive. (See BT, Ericsson, O2 & Vodafone Mentor Girls in STEM.)

  • This has been a long couple of weeks of sexual harassment scandals, and the parallels between tech and Hollywood are too obvious to overlook. An article in NY Mag describes the latest harassment case in tech -- the first after the Harvey Weinstein scandals which seem to have culturally shifted how Western society is approaching sexual harassment in industry, most likely compliments of the eye-opening #metoo hashtag. Tech bigshot Robert Scoble has been accused by multiple women of assault and harassment, and if we have learned anything from this recent onslaught of scandals, it's that more will come forward in the days to come. Business Insider reports that Scoble has since resigned from his position as partner of the VR/AR startup Transformation Group. Serious consequences seem to be aplenty for those who cross the line these days. (See WiC Panel: The Upside of Sexism Scandals.)

  • Women in Comms has a very exciting event coming up in just a few short days, and we'd love to see you there. WiC's upcoming luncheon will be focusing on why male allies matter -- and we have to say, the timing could not be better. Hosted by Light Reading's Carol Wilson at The Royal Garden Hotel in London on Wednesday, November 1, this is sure to be an engaging and eye-opening event not to be missed. You can read all about the free event and register here. (See People in Comms, This WiC Event Is For You!)

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

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