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WiCipedia: Diverse Boards Are the Future & UK Gov't Deals With Online Abuse

Eryn Leavens

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Silicon Valley is out of touch; board diversity makes headway; how to be heard in meetings; and more.

  • While tech often attempts to tackle real-world problems, sometimes it seems incredibly out of touch with everyday life. ABC7 News reports that the Technovation conference can't be accused of that. Instead, it put roughly 50 girls from around the world to work to solve real problems in their communities using tech. "It's always very different from what Silicon Valley thinks is relevant and critical," Technovation Founder and CEO Tara Chklovski explained of the participants' innovations. "The task uncovered topics like opioid addiction, pollution, water and women's safety, among other issues." A panel of judges and investors chose the winning teams, who won up to $15,000 in scholarships. (See Meet the Woman Who Can Make You a Millionaire Inventor.)

    Join Women in Comms for a FREE breakfast workshop at Light Reading's annual Network Virtualization & SDN Americas event in Dallas, September 17-19. Register now to hear from expert panelists on "5G – a Bigger, Better Network – but Will It Be a Boon or Barrier to Women in Comms?"

  • Ever been talked over in a meeting by a dude? (Literally every woman nods yes.) CNBC profiled YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who gave some sage advice for what to do in this all-too-common circumstance. "She says when people talk over her or ignore her ideas in a meeting, she calls them out, on the spot." Wojcicki continued, "Or I'll find a way to get people to really listen. What I find is, you can't say comments in a timid, unsure way -- no one's going to listen to you and no one's going to take you seriously. You have to be able to state your opinion in a way that is confident." Sounds like speaking up is truly the only way to be heard. (See WiCipedia: 'Perceived Gender Bias' & Google/YouTube CEOs on Diversity.)

    Damn the Man, Save the Empire!
    (Source: Pixabay)
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • NPR says that the UK is attempting to silence online harassers with large fines and pleas of corporate responsibility, especially from social media outlets, after a rash of violent and offensive threats to female lawmakers in the country. These actions are the government's response to the death of Member of Parliament Jo Cox in 2016, who was killed on the street by a white supremacist who opposed Cox's policies and gender. Lisa Cameron, also a member of the British Parliament, says online attacks are common and terrifying -- even when they don't lead to in-person interactions. "The sludge of the Internet began to attack her -- and not just for her policy stances. Her inbox, Facebook and Twitter accounts filled with insults about her appearance, rape fantasies, pictures of decapitated bodies, threats to her family, and anti-Semitic slurs (Cameron is Jewish)," NPR writes about Cameron's experience online. (See WiCipedia: Gender Editors, Twitter Reform & How to Be Decent.)

  • With California's board gender diversity law on the horizon, all-male boards will soon be a thing of the past. Women's Agenda explains that the S&P 500 no longer has any remaining all-male boards as the last one was recently broken up, which "means all 500 of America's largest publicly listed companies finally have a woman on their boards." While other countries have not quite caught up (Australia still has all-male boards, for example) and others are far ahead (certain European countries require 40% female board members), we think these are all steps in the right direction. (See WiCipedia: All-Female Boards, Google 'Utterly Unprepared' & Insecure Men and Mentor Spotlight: Glo Gordon Shines a Light on Boardroom Diversity.)

  • Monday, August 26 marks Women's Equality Day, when the US commemorates the women's right to vote passing in 1920. Looking for some ways to celebrate? Check out this list of ideas.

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

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