This week in our Women in Comms roundup: tech companies lobby for diversity; Clinton crusades for techies; #nowomanever makes waves; and more.
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Though it sometimes seems like tech is a dog-eat-dog world and you're on your own out there, once in a while companies band together for the greater good. Thirty-two tech companies have united and signed a pledge committing themselves to furthering diversity in their workforces, reports USA Today. The Tech Inclusion Pledge was sent to the White House last week and includes signatures from CEOs of major companies, such as Medium, Lyft, Pinterest and Zynga. According to eWeek, the pledge was front and center at last week's Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Palo Alto, Calif., an event hosted by President Obama. (See WiCipedia: Faulty Feminism, Worthy Women & Peculiar Perks and More Women in Tech Is Critically Important.)
Let's step outside the C-suite for a moment and talk about every woman, not just startup founders and coding gurus. There's a new hashtag in town -- #nowomanever -- and it's shedding a humorous light on an issue all women have dealt with at some point or another: street harassment. Women all over the world are tweeting annoying, invasive and sometimes threatening things that men have said or done to them while they were in public places and mockingly hashtagging the post #nowomanever. Putting a silly spin on this serious matter seems to be the best plan of attack, because this is an abuse that #nowomanever, whether she's head of a company or unemployed, should have to endure. (See WiCipedia: Victory in a 'Culture of Victimology', Tales From the Valley: Bias, Sexism & Worse and WiCipedia: Millennials & the 'Angry Man' Movement.)
In the tech world, there's no bigger name than Google, and this week that big name is supporting women in tech. Black Girls Code, the non-profit organization dedicated to... you guessed it, teaching young black girls to code, will now be operating out of a $2.8 million section of Google's New York office, Atlanta Blackstar reports. The move will give both organizations a boost: For Black Girls Code, the opportunity presents room to expand its mission of empowering minorities through tech skills. For Google, the relationship provides a breeding ground for future talent, which it desperately needs to increase the 31% of women who work at Google, only 2% of whom are African American. (See WiCipedia: The Barbie & Unicorn Edition, 40% of Minority Tech Engineers Report Experiencing Bias and WiCipedia: From Virtual Reality to Virtually No Black Women .)
We're all aware that the number of women who work in tech isn't up to par, and that the overall number of women in the industry may actually be on the decline. The silver lining, however, is that year-over-year, more women are rising to the top. Computer Weekly reported this week that women now make up 7% of the heads of IT departments. While that may not sound like much, it's actually double the amount from 2015. The Mortimer Spinks and Computer Weekly Women in Technology Survey 2016 interviewed 4,000 tech professionals between April and May of this year. Interestingly, most of the women worked in government or non-profit organizations, as opposed to the private sector, proving that women are more successful when they are doing work that they feel makes a difference.
(See Tech CEOs: Gender Diversity Not Top Priority, She's the CEO & She's Sensational and Women Leaders Can Increase Profitability – Peterson Institute.)
Hillary Clinton has become the tech frontrunner in the 2016 presidential election. In her Initiative on Technology & Innovation Factsheet, it's stated that "Hillary will put a special emphasis on minority and women advancement in the fields of research, technology, and engineering." She also vows to increase diversity hires, raise startup investments for minority founders and defer student loans for entrepreneurs. Hillary, you've got our vote! (See WiCipedia: Woman Cards & Bitch Switches and Clinton Tech Plan Draws Sharp Contrast to Trump's Thinking.)
— Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading