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WiCipedia: Female Founders Find Funding & Automotive Careers for Women

Eryn Leavens

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: The New York Times' first female CIO; female founders get funding; women are needed in connected car jobs; and more.

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  • The New York Times broke ground last week when it appointed its first female CIO. In an article by CTO Nick Rockwell, The New York Times announced that it has promoted Cindy Taibi to the position of CIO as well as SVP of The Gray Lady. Taibi has worked in a number of roles at the paper over her 37 years there. Now that's what we call loyalty! Rockwell explains that as the role of technology has shifted in our current culture, so too has the crucial need for a CIO who can take on the "responsibility and scope" of the massive position. (See WiCipedia: Gender Editors, Twitter Reform & How to Be Decent.)

    Breaking Ground
    The New York Times has promoted Cindy Taibi to the position of CIO and SVP.
    The New York Times has promoted Cindy Taibi to the position of CIO and SVP.

  • The lack of female keynoters at tech conferences has been a point of contention as of late, and some organizers are taking matters into their own hands to change that dynamic. After the recent RSA conference, which included only a few women in a long list of male presenters, Our Security Advocates (OURSA) hit back with its own female-only security conference, which drew 250 attendees to San Francisco, Yahoo reports. Most topics involved discussion around security and diversity, for instance, "the intersection of technology and advocacy for high-risk populations, led by a panel of activists, programmers and researchers from diverse backgrounds." Melanie Ensign, head of privacy and security communications at Uber and also the conference's media coordinator, says, "You couldn't have that conversation with just a group of white men." She continued, "We hope that other conferences will try a little bit harder to give women and others a chance to participate. Our hope is that a year from now, we don't feel like we need this event." (See WiCipedia: Seeking Female Keynoters & Recruitment Fails Women.)

  • With female entrepreneurs raising only 3% of VC funding and losing out on the rest to male founders (about $1.5 billion out of $50.8 billion, according to Moneyish), focus on female-started companies is as important as ever. New York-based Female Founders Fund (F3), led by Anu Duggal and Sutian Dong, has a mission to provide early-stage fund investing in female-led companies, many of which are also intended for female consumers. Yet F3 isn't just about the money. Duggal told Moneyish, "My view was that we were going to start to see more and more women start to build really interesting technology companies, and there was an opportunity to build a fund that was really at the center of that ecosystem -- providing not just capital, but access to more than that through a community, through events, and just through a broader network of other like-minded women who were doing similar things." The addition of the community aspect here makes perfect sense to us as women. Head on over to Moneyish to see Dong and Duggal's tips on how to raise funding as a female founder. (See WiCipedia: A Female-Only Island, Gender Quotas & Twitter's Oprah.)

  • The automotive industry as we know it is changing rapidly with the addition of connected cars, and it's imperative that women get behind the wheel. Automotive News writes that the current challege is to recruit college-aged women into an industry that is so overwhelmingly dominated by men, and has been since the auto industry's inception. One woman who works in autos told the publication, "'It's not weird after a while, because you get used to it. But then when you stop and think, you're like, 'This is not normal,' referring to the lack of female colleagues throughout her career." The article goes on to explain that as the smart car industry continues to grow, so too will opportunities for women to get involved. (See What Drives Intel's Connected Car GM .)

  • In that vein, Uber has released its latest diversity report, seven months after gaining new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. In its second annual report, it announced that only 18% of its employees in tech are women, which is a slightly lower percentage than the industry average. Uber's percentage of non-Caucasian employees fares even worse, with a mere 2.8% of US employees self-reporting as African American. Bloomberg explains that "[Dara] has preached a message of inclusion and diversity, but the data show that change to the demographics has been slow," as the numbers have barely shifted in the past seven months. About his plan for the ride-sharing company, Khosrowshahi said, "My focus at Uber isn't going to get a sugar high. It's to develop the great women we already have at Uber and to make them be great senior women at Uber." (See Uber Does Housekeeping Amongst CEO Strategizing.)

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

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