This week in our WiCipedia roundup: How sexual harassment holds women back; California tech boards prepare for a shakedown; Bumble redefines tech company values; and more.
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Many of us were glued to the news last week, carefully following the Brett Kavanaugh investigation. Since his confirmation to the Supreme Court on Saturday, not much has changed. Mid-scandal, Huffington Post published an article asking how sexual harassment keeps women down -- from politics to the boardroom and beyond. They came to the conclusion that in ignoring harassment claims, women were systematically shut out of the upper career echelons, and several prominent research studies have backed up this premise:
"Harvard Business does poll its graduates to see how their careers progress. And its survey has even drilled down into gender differences. Yet only recently have the Harvard survey's authors realized that they need to ask about sexual harassment. 'It wasn't on our radar,' said Colleen Ammerman, director of Harvard Business School's Gender Initiative, who worked on the study. Considering the omission in light of Me Too, 'we were shocked at ourselves,' she said. 'It's not something we really thought of.'" (See WiC Panel: Combatting Sexual Harassment in Denver and Bohling: Have the Conversation to End Harassment .)
A Wake-Up Call to All
"Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. All the Republican members of that committee are male," says Huffington Post in its coverage of the event.
We've also been paying close attention to California's new board gender diversity law, which says that in the next three years, all companies headquartered in California will have to make some major moves to reshape the gender dynamics of their board of directors. More specifically, by the end of next year, boards must have at least one female board member, and by the end of 2021, "companies with five board members will need at least two female directors, and companies with six or more members will need at least three women," CIO Dive explains. The bill was signed last week by California Governor Jerry Brown, and observant consumers are wondering how this change -- which comes with some serious financial consequences if not followed -- will affect California's big tech sector. Check out the full article to see where major companies currently stand, and how far they have to go. (See SBA Leader: It's Time to Get Women on Board .)
There are certain small pockets of industry where women seem to be dominating, and healthcare tech is one of them. The Daily Herald says that women hold a slightly higher percentage of executive positions within the health sector, which is -- despite new technological advances -- an industry in which women have worked since the beginning of time. Experts attribute this success to two skills that people working in healthcare need -- empathy and critical thinking skills -- which women more likely possess than men. "Women often migrate to fields that develop those critical thinking skills, and if those skills can be combined with tech skills, women can do well," said Stephanie Simmons, vice president of people and culture at Solutionreach, a patient relationship management software platform. "There is no longer male and female careers. Everyone can be in any career," Jenifer Gordon, director of data quality and education at Klas, a healthcare research body, continued. (See WiCipedia: Gendered Job Descriptions, Glass Cliffs & Gaslighting.)
A recent executive awards program "dropped the ball" when it came to representing women in its list of nominees. The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council gala initially announced a mostly male line-up, which prompted outrage from the community. The prestigious awards program reevaluated its finalists list after hearing complaints, The Boston Globe noted, and the committee added women to all of the executive categories. "I feel super supported as a woman in tech and a woman in tech in Boston," Monique Bonner of Akamai -- and winner of the top marketing exec category -- said. "But I do think there are times when women in business and women in tech don't think to throw their hat in where there are places to promote your individual and team achievements." (See Announcing...WiC's 2018 Leading Lights Winners.)
Bumble has always been the outlier in the online dating sector. It was the first site where women had to message first, which happened to eliminate a lot of dumb men from the game. Yet Bumble isn't done innovating, Austin's Silicon Hills News reports. Its new goal? End misogyny. "We're doing that through a platform of connections but also building a brand, not just a tech company, but a brand that stands for empowerment, accountability, kindness, equality," Sarah Jones Simmer, chief operating officer of Bumble, said. We think every tech company should approach their business with these values. (See WiCipedia: Dongles, SXSW & Marital Status Bias.)
Scott and Jamie are joined by special guest Mary Clark -- CMO of Synchronoss -- this week. Playing to some of Mary's many strengths, they focus on the relationship between operators and their customers, especially in the areas of product innovation and customer experience. Mary offers insights into how this stuff gets discussed at the top table and the challenges ...
QOS Networks works with enterprise organizations with the challenge of dispersed locations across the nation or the globe. With specialties around delivering and designing SD-WAN and network virtualization services, QOS helps companies have intelligence at their network edge.
With 'the talent' all on holiday we're left with Jamie and Ray for this week's installment. The dynamic duo both had a chat with a senior Ericsson bod about its cunning US 5G investment plans, and Jamie updates us on what Samsung is up to -- namely its AI efforts, 5G and a seemingly pointless Bixby. Lastly, Ray ponders the vacant Cisco position in its service ...
Cisco's top service provider executive is moving quickly to create value for carrier class software in a hardware-based business and helping her customers reach unheard of levels of automation in their networks. Watch this most recent conversation with Yvette Kanouff to find just how well Cisco's service provider business fits in with the rest of the company's ...
Technology can be learned, but critical thinking, decision making and verbal communication are the career-making skills that are transferable and crucial in a digital transformation, says Jennifer Kyriakakis, Matrixx Software's co-founder and VP of marketing.
Parallel Wireless is focused on making networks more flexible under the guidance of Co-Founder and VP of Development Kaitki Agarwal, who shares her thoughts on the industry's most game-changing technologies – past, present and future – as well as offering advice for other female founders with a great idea.
Heidi Westbrook, Fujitsu's director of ICP and North American Carrier Sales, shares the secrets to advancing in comms with a work/life balance in tact, including networking, self-advocacy, unapologetically pursuing the next step and more.
Service providers are refreshing their IMS and looking for real cloud native IMS functions, according to Micaela Giuhat, Metaswitch's VP of product management, Cloud Native Core, who shares her thoughts on everything from container-based approach to VNFs to her experiences and advice as a leading woman in comms.
At the Big Communications Event (BCE) 2018 event in Austin, Melissa Arnoldi, president of Technology and Operations at AT&T, spoke about AT&T's path to 5G and the important role software plays. 5G will eventually have a significant impact on how businesses work and how they engage with their customers.
Executive Producer Janet Leahy, President of Arrow Solutions Kathy Boelter, CEO of Women of Wall Street Karen Ashworth Macfarlane and the Founder and CEO of Corporate Cowgirl Up Wendy Bohling join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas in Denver to discuss ways to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, help women advance and level the playing field.