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WiCipedia: Careers After Kids, Int'l Women's Day & Minority Founders

Eryn Leavens

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: A new podcast addresses women in product tech; attendance at a conference for black women in STEM skyrockets; women leave work behind after having kids; and more.

  • On March 8 (today!), we celebrate International Women's Day (IWD), which was started in 1909 by the Socialist Party of America. This year's theme is #BalanceforBetter, reports the official IWD website. In addition to wearing purple (the historical color of the day), events are held all over the world by interest groups, supporting companies, and individuals. You can check out a list of available events here and see some particularly awesome IWD videos here. (See WiCipedia: Vodafone Rules, A Day Without a Woman & Reclaiming Ambition and Happy Women's Day: How Are You Being Bold for Change?)

    One of Our Faves

    (Source: International Women's Day)

  • A recent study from RateMyInvestor and DiversityVC found that the majority of startups that receive VC funding are "still overwhelmingly white, male, Ivy League-educated and based in Silicon Valley," Crunchbase reports. While slight progress has been made, the article stressed the need for men to make change, since they're largely the ones in charge: "A lot of the pressure is on women to fix this very deep-rooted problem, and that's not going to work. We alone as women cannot fix this industry's problem, where frankly the gatekeepers are dominated by men," said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. "We've had diversity pledges and a ton of media coverage, but what we're seeing is there's a lot of talk but very little action." (See WiCipedia: Doubling Down on Diversity & Google's Payoff Scandal and WiCipedia: Diversity Awareness & Schooling Brogrammers.)

  • A new podcast from Advancing Women in Product (AWIP) caught our attention this week. Masters in Product "will showcase the career journey of women and other underrepresented groups in the tech industry, and serve as a resource for career development," according to AP News. The pod will be hosted by Kirtana Rajan, engineering program manager at Apple, and David Cheng, director of content at AWIP and vice president at DCM. While focusing specifically on women in product tech, it also plans to cast a broader net on minorities in tech at large and their impact. The Masters of Product podcast can be found on all podcast platforms. (See Advancing Women in Product Launches New Chapters.)

  • The Roadmap to Billions Conference, put on by Black Women Tech Talk, took place last week in NYC, Rolling Out explains. In the conference's first year, the founders expected 30 registrants -- and got 300. "We knew then a community like ours was desperately needed," one of the three founders, Lauren Washington, said. Now in its third year, the conference drew more than 1,000 investors, tech evangelists and company founders to its latest conference. When asked about the importance of women having a space to network, Washington said, "You need to have people around you who understand your experience [and] can provide insight, advice or inspiration." (See WiCipedia: The Barbie & Unicorn Edition.)

  • What happens when women in science have children? They leave the industry. The Chicago Business Journal explains that 43% of women in science either entirely leave the industry or opt for part-time work instead, compared to 23% of men in science (which also seems high). Researchers said that this info "demonstrates that STEM work can be 'culturally less tolerant and supportive of caregiving responsibilities than other occupations,' causing parents to feel 'squeezed out' and pulled into full-time work in non-STEM fields," the article states. Only 4% of child-free STEM workers report leaving the industry for family-related reasons. (See WiCipedia: 'Persona Non Grata' Tech Moms & the Refugee STEM Pilot and WiCipedia: Trump's Family Leave Fail & Hostility at Apple.)

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

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