& cplSiteName &

WiCipedia: AI's Dark Side, Diversity's Baby Steps & the Power/Privilege Dynamic

Eryn Leavens

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Allies in privilege and power; automation gone awry; no pats on the back; and more.

  • Career Contessa addressed power and privilege at work this week in both an article and a podcast. The topic of privilege often seems to get lost in the rose-tinted glasses of tech, and even with minority workers struggling for equal pay and treatment, you've gotta admit the tech industry has got it pretty good. The article addresses all of the daily habits that most women in tech do with ease and take for granted, like getting to work safely and having access to a bathroom or nursing station. Since few of us in tech need to tackle these fundamental issues on a regular basis, the article stressed the need for people in places of power to become allies to those who aren't as privileged. (See WiCipedia: Male Allies, Co-Working Spaces & Automation.)

    Are You Riding the Privilege Train?
    Better look out for those who are struggling as well.
(Source: Pixabay)
    Better look out for those who are struggling as well.
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • While the tech industry is making small strides towards diversity, Digital Strategist Luvvie Ajayi says we should not be rewarding it for baby steps. In a Silicon Republic article, Luvvie says about the industry as a whole, "We can't really give them a pat on the back for the most basic things because that's what they're supposed to do." Luvvie explains that her time in the industry has shown her that companies are referring to white women when they say "diversity," and that's not enough change for a celebration: "Diversity just means reflecting the world as it is, so it's not just about women, it's about colour, black people, it's about trans people, it's about Muslims," she expands. (See WiCipedia: Ageism, Diversity Training & Tackling Algorithms.)

  • Despite all of the new campaigns to get girls involved in STEM early on, boys are still being encouraged to enter the industry at a much higher rate. Bustle explains that "48 percent of girls aged 16 to 18 have discounted a career in technology altogether compared to 26 percent of boys and 45 percent of boys had been advised to consider a career in the field compared to only 20 percent of girls." Considering these are the highest-ever numbers for girls in STEM, they're still alarmingly low, and it's caused some to take drastic measures. Innovation Origins takes the example of The Technical University of Eindhoven, which has vowed to only hire women for science jobs in the next year and a half. Euro Commissioner of Transport (and former managing director of Telekom Slovenia) Violeta Bulc said, "I sincerely believe in quotas. So I do believe that we need not lower standards, but that we need to encourage women to apply for the jobs. The way we did it in the European Commission is that we set targets. Women should be represented in like 40 percent of the top jobs in the Commission. And within four years, we got that." (See WiCipedia: A Female-Only Island, Gender Quotas & Twitter's Oprah.)

  • The number of woman-owned companies is at an all-time high, according to Forbes, yet online businesses are lagging behind. Between 2007 and 2018, female-owned businesses grew by 58%, and "some 2,000 new women-owned businesses are started every day." However, Melbourne-based Flippa, which provides a platform for buying and selling online businesses, reports that only 3% of the businesses that use the service are owned by women, and only 6% of the sales come from women. What gives? "At this time it would appear men are more likely to start digital businesses than women and ultimately this feeds the buy/sell community," said Flippa Founder Blake Hutchison to Forbes. "We want to highlight female business owners who are a part of the next critical small business movement -- digital small business." (See WiCipedia: New Networking Rules, Canada's Pay Gap & Investing in Female Founders.)

  • It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that automation has a dark side. In the most depressing and shocking news of the week, The Verge reported that a new AI app has been invented that will take a photo of a clothed woman and make it nude. The app, called DeepNude, was created by a dumb dumb called "Alberto," who said he got the idea from x-ray glasses in comic books and didn't think it could possibly harm anyone. Yet in the age of revenge porn, all women are targets for fake images, even at work by a vengeful coworker. While legislation is currently being moved through the system to put restrictions on harmful technology like this, it will be slow to progress. There has never been a more important time for women to join the AI industry and put it back on course. If AI is inevitable, we need to make sure that it's used for good and is consensual. (See WiCipedia: Fembots Create Gender Divide & Snap Tackles Culture Issues and WiCipedia: Tinkerbell Effect, Photoshop F-Ups & Discrimination Retribution.)

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

    (0)  | 
    Comment  | 
    Print  | 
  • Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
    More Blogs from WiCipedia
    This week in our WiC roundup: Gen Z is skeptical of the future of tech; growing the number of women in aviation; women don't leave tech industry because of the actual work; and more.
    This week in our WiC roundup: Lawsuits may be tech's 'wake-up call'; coming out as trans in tech; Melinda Gates dedicates cash for a cause; and more.
    This week in our WiC roundup: Tech jobs at non-tech companies; speaking up at work; STEM jobs might not require tech-specific college degrees, and more.
    This week in our WiC roundup: Board diversification demands go worldwide; Apple event makes some headway on diversity efforts; AnitaB.org moves the gender equality needle, and more.
    This week in our WiC roundup: Female conference-goers can maximize experience with engagement; girls are the future of security tech; more women needed in health tech industry; and more.
    Featured Video
    Upcoming Live Events
    November 5, 2019, London, England
    November 7, 2019, London, UK
    November 14, 2019, Maritim Hotel, Berlin
    December 3-5, 2019, Vienna, Austria
    December 3, 2019, New York, New York
    March 16-18, 2020, Embassy Suites, Denver, Colorado
    May 18-20, 2020, Irving Convention Center, Dallas, TX
    All Upcoming Live Events