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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Equality, Fashion & Dads

There's no shortage of news and views on Women in Comms around the web each week -- some positive; some less so.

Here at Women in Comms, we cover the stories and discuss them at our Women's Watercooler to the right of the news queue every day. We'll also bring you the highlights and lowlights every Friday in a new feature, WiCipedia.

This week in our roundup: Facebook 's leaders set good examples; the "brogammer" fashion debate; Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s Africa outreach; and more.


We want to hear from you! Discuss a story, bring up a topic for discussion or just let off some steam at our Women's Watercooler. Start your own discussion board here on Women in Comms.


  • Gender equality is good for your business, marriage and children. That was Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's message at The World Economic Forum that took place last week in Davos, Switzerland. For children, she said, "They do better emotionally, they have stronger relationships with their parents, they do better in school, and they do better professionally," according to the The Washington Post. Sandberg has been an advocate of helping women pursue their ambitions through LeanIn.org, an organization formed after her book by the same name. But one thing she is not a fan of is quotas. She told the WEF audience that they can't be relied on because they don't move "the things they're not applied to." (See Quotas Wrong Way to Boost WiC – Panel.)

  • In more news from Facebook's leaders, Mashable took a look at CEO Mark Zuckerberg's paternity leave and dubbed him, "the kind of dad America needs right now." Zuckerberg publicly declared he'd take two full months of paternity leave after the birth of his daughter and, in that time, has posted many pictures to his social network showing him to be a doting, hands-on father. In a country where most fathers barely take a week or two off when their child is born or adopted, Zuckerberg's commitment stands out and sends a positive message about the importance of parental leave, for both parents. (See Netflix Ups the Ante on Parental Leave .)

  • "Hoodie culture," which is now a thing also thanks to Zuck, could be good for women, according to Fortune, which claims this laidback dress could help break down some barriers that have held women back. The author's argument, in response to a Quartz column suggesting the Valley's "male-oriented dress code excludes women," is that a dress code (or lack of one) that emphasizes creativity and non-conformity opens the doors for women to dress however they like makes them feel confident and happy. (See A Vast Valley: Tech's Inexcusable Gender Gap.)

  • Intel is helping women in Africa connect to the Internet, many for the first time. As part of its Intel She Will Connect program, it has introduced "My Digital Journey," a web app and online game to teach young women how to leverage the Internet and its resources. (See Intel Hired 43% Women, Minorities in 2015.)

  • What's it like to be a female in the tech industry? It's like being given the power of invisibility, according to Leila Janah, the CEO and founder of social venture Sama and skincare line Laxmi. She writes in Business Insider that even when she is a speaker, she is often ignored or assumed to be the significant other of a male colleague and she often sees wives dismissed with just that title. She urges men to "introduce the women in your life as full human beings with interesting stories, talents, and ambitions, rather than accessories."

  • After last week's blizzard in DC, the Senate looked a little different on Tuesday. Everyone there was a woman. No men showed up. Why? Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski suggested, "Perhaps it speaks to the hardiness of women, that put on your boots and put your hat on and get out and slog through the mess that’s out there.”

    — Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading

  • thebulk 2/2/2016 | 1:03:47 AM
    Re: thoughts on the roundup Haha that last option sounds like a good one ;-)
    Sarah Thomas 2/1/2016 | 12:50:31 PM
    Re: thoughts on the roundup I usually try to assert myself and get back in front of him or at least alert the speaker I'd like to talk to him next. Or else I go butt in front of Mitch and talk to whomever he waiting for instead. 
    thebulk 1/31/2016 | 2:26:09 PM
    Re: thoughts on the roundup @Sarah, So when they do step in front of you and cut you off how do you deal with it? a quick kick in the butt and elbow to the ribs to make your point? Or am I the only one who does that? 
    Mitch Wagner 1/29/2016 | 12:37:23 PM
    Re: thoughts on the roundup Sarah, I get those kinds of interruptions too. 

    And sometimes, as a journalist, I'm the guy doing the interrupting. Deadline pressure.... 
    Sarah Thomas 1/29/2016 | 10:30:25 AM
    thoughts on the roundup As always, I agree with Sheryl Sandberg's thoughts, and I really liked the article on Zuckerberg. Regardless of his motivations/wealth that enables him, it's great to see positive examples of hands-on dads and those taking full advantage of paternity leave policies. It needs to happen more.

    I also could relate to Leila Janah's sentiments on feeling invisible in this industry. Several times, I have been waiting to speak to a presenter after a keynote or panel -- keeping a respectable, but obvious distance between myself and who he is speaking to currently -- and a man will walk right up in front of me and interrupt to get his attention first. I know it's not on purpose, but it can be infuriating when it happens. Something for us all to be aware of.
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