This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Women in Comms steals the show in Denver; moms in tech hog the headlines; women are talked over in meetings (duh); and more!
Last week was Light Reading's Big 5G Event, and Women in Comms held a special breakfast panel during the conference. Moderated by Kendall Bancroft of Rogers Communications, the panel of established women in comms discussed STEM's role in the future career success of girls and women. Specifically, the panelists noted that critical thinking and data analytics skills are no longer optional for the jobs of the future. Our very own Kelsey Ziser covered the panel, and writes, "'The way jobs are evolving, I can't think of a job function for which data and analytics doesn't separate amazing from not amazing people,' Angela LaFosse, marketing director of Business Mobility & Internet of Things for Bell Mobility, said [at the panel]. 'We have access to more information so it's implied we use that information to be better at what we do.' Math and analytical skills are no longer optional, but will be a requirement to excel because these technical skills are 'a function of all jobs,' she explained." (See STEM Is Root of Success for Women in Comms.)
Women in Comms Panel at the Big 5G Event
(L to R) Women in Telecommunications workshop panelists included: Kim Gibbons, Chief Marketing Officer, NetNumber; Angela La Fosse, Marketing Director, Business Mobility & Internet of Things at Bell Mobility; Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Director, Strategy Analytics; Shirin Esfandiari, Product Marketing Director at Oracle Communications; Julia Robin, SVP, Wavelengths, Zayo; and moderator Kendall Bancroft, Sr. Director Small Business Sales, Indirect Channels at Rogers Communications.
Moms in tech have been much talked about on the Internets this week. A Career Contessa article homed in on the experience of one mom's foray back to work after having a baby. In "What I Wish Someone Told Me About Returning to a Tech Job After Having a Baby," Diane Chang chronicles her experience of going from the corporate to startup world, and leaving work for a year (which turned into six years) to have her second child. While Chang may not have had the advice network she wishes she had, she didn't want to leave other moms returning to work high and dry. She offers advice for on-ramping back into a full-time job, including finding a mentor, brushing up on marketing skills and continuing education as guideposts for the long road ahead. (See WiCipedia: The AI Diversity Struggle, Companies Aren't Prioritizing Equality & New-Mom Decisions and WiCipedia: Moms at Work, Ageism in Tech & Girls in Boys' Clubs.)
Delaying motherhood is not a new topic in the world of working women, but it's getting much more publicity than in the past. There are no hushed tones at "hormone lunches," for example, which The San Francisco Chronicle says are becoming more popular at startups due to companies like Modern Fertility, which teaches something akin to "a sex-ed class for grown-ups." Progressive tech companies like Reddit host these lunches for female employees, and the interested parties are "bringing the discussion about family planning out of the gynecologist's office and into the workplace," says the SF Chronicle. "The more we talk about that, the better it is for everybody," a Modern Fertility employee said. (See WiCipedia: Gen Z Changemakers, MotherCoders & Keeping Women in Tech.)
But wait, there's more. CNBC reports that millennials are turning to egg freezing in droves as an option to delay motherhood, and their employers are starting to pay for it. Egg freezing is expensive (about $15,000 to $20,000 per cycle, and often more than one treatment is needed) -- a daunting cost for an individual, even a well-paid techie. While most companies don't currently offer this modern benefit, a number of innovative tech companies are starting to offer coverage to employees. For example, Facebook and Pinterest cover up to four rounds of egg freezing. The article states that this is a perk we will start seeing more and more, in addition to some related benefits: "Analysts say covering fertility treatments is one way to retain talent and lower attrition rates as more women climb the corporate ladder. Also on the rise is sperm freezing coverage for male employees concerned about their fertility future." (See Facebook Steps Up Its Paid Leave Policies and WiCipedia: Parental Progress & Parity Payoffs.)
A new study from Hugo, a productivity software company, has confirmed that women are the underdogs in company meetings. HR Dive summarized the report findings and found that at least 25% of women feel that they are talked over by men in meetings, to varying degrees. Frankly, we were surprised that it was only a quarter of women! Ten percent of men surveyed also reported feeling "subdued" in meetings, though they didn't clarify if they felt this way because of male or female co-workers. (See WiCipedia: Datanauts, Dudes & Deals.)