This week in our WiCipedia roundup: A roundup of the best initiatives for women in tech; women rank their companies; South LA on the rise; and more.
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We've all seen those dating profiles that say, "Looking for someone to get me off of here!" (Just me?) Elisha Tan is looking for the same thing, but with her company. Tan, founder of TechLadies (not to be confused with Tech Ladies), started the non-profit "in 2016 with one goal in mind: 'for it to cease to exist,'" Billionaire.com relays in an interview with her. What Tan means, of course, is that her company has a goal of leveling the gender gap in tech for women in Asia, and she hopes that in the next decade, this won't be an issue she needs to solve anymore. Through a multifaceted approach, Tan provides opportunities and resources for women to succeed in the male-dominated world of tech in Singapore. She says "that it is not technology that discriminates, but people. One part of what TechLadies does is also to enable men to be allies of women in the tech industry." (See Tech Leaders: Gender Diversity Could Add Billions to Economy and WiCipedia: Male Allies, Co-Working Spaces & Automation.)
Over in the telecom world,
Vodafone India has embarked on a new campaign entitled #WorthMore, The Economic Times writes. The campaign hinges on the idea that selfies, those photos of oneself rampant on social media, have a "negative impact on the self confidence and self esteem of people especially youngsters who are active on social media. The campaign aims to make youngsters understand that though selfies are enjoyable yet it should not be used to measure one's self worth." While the idea is empowering to young girls, at first glance the hashtag seems to imply that women should be paid more, though the campaign never alludes to that interpretation. Vodafone New Zealand , on the other hand, has recently launched its own campaign "to accelerate social ventures that use technology to empower women worldwide," says Telecompaper. Applications are currently being accepted for a six-week accelerator program in Berlin here. (See Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up and WiCipedia: Vodafone Rules, A Day Without a Woman & Reclaiming Ambition.)
South LA isn't exactly the picture of a tech hub, at least not yet. Forbes reports that one tech-savvy lady is trying to change the game for this neighborhood that is often in the papers for shootings and robberies, not the latest tech innovation. Cassie Betts, former fashion designer and founder of MISLA (Made In South LA), aims to bring "economic stimulus" to a neighborhood in need of reinvention. Betts states that the current political climate drove her to create MISLA in order to help minority residents gain employable tech skills right in their own backyard with the goal of decreasing poverty in South LA. Tech is something that has always been a passion for Betts though, as is evident when she describes moving on from her childhood spent building robots and coding in the 90s: "That is my biggest regret. I'd probably be the black, female version of Mark Zuckerberg had I stuck with coding!" (See WiCipedia: The Barbie & Unicorn Edition.)
A new report from Comparably ranks not how employers treat female employees directly, as we so often discuss, but instead how female employees view their employers. Mashable summarizes the results, which offer the surprising conclusion that Silicon Valley, arguably the tech capital of the world, doesn't even rank as a home to any on the list of top companies. Instead, lesser-known companies such as Zillow, Slack and Cornerstone On Demand (a cloud-computing company) earned top marks among women. CEOs were also ranked, and once again, the big names --
Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), Facebook , Uber, etc. -- were nowhere to be found, though all of the CEOs who made the list are male. What do you think this says about the mega-companies in the Valley? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. (See Silicon Valley Writer Foresees End of Bro Culture and WiCipedia: How to Make Companies Work for Women.)
Re: Smaller Is Better I think the big companies were hyper-focused on growth and nothing else. That is how they got to where they are today, but also why diversity and inclusion is now an afterthought -- and a big problem. I think what Dan Lyon's said about a new wave of startups having to fix the tech industry's gender problem makes some sense, becuase they can prioritize it from day one and avoid the issues the big guys ran into.
Smaller Is Better I thought the Comparably survey was really interesting. These under the radar companies are killing it while the big, flashy companies still have so much to do. I'd be really interested to hear what Google et al. would say about this...