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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Gaming the System, Bros Not Wanted & Be the Next Jane Bond

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Federal IT jobs for women; Super Bowl ads get less sexist; bye bye brogrammers; and more.


Women in Comms will be hosting its first networking breakfast and panel discussion on Wednesday, March 22, in Denver, Colo., ahead of day two of the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies conference. Register here and join us!


  • Does the current presidential administration have you down and fighting harder than ever to be treated equally as a woman? You aren't alone, and there's a group of female government technology leaders who say it's more important than ever to be a woman in tech. MeriTalk reports that Joyce Hunter, former deputy chief information officer for policy and planning at the Department of Agriculture, said that despite derogatory comments made about women by President Trump, now is the time for women to assert themselves and not get discouraged: "Failure to confront is permission to continue. You have to confront it head-on. There are always people who will try to bully their way through life. It's important for us to continue to support young women. Given the tenor of the administration, we have to be even more vocal." (See WiCipedia: Election Aftermath, Telecom Advances & Wunderkinds and WiCipedia: Icelandic Inequality, Diminishing WiT & Presidential Impact.)

  • Super Bowl Sunday isn't generally a pro-woman event, unless you consider commercials of girls in bikinis empowering. GoDaddy is taking a new approach this year, and though it may be subtle (there's only one brief female sighting in the actual ad) it's a baby step in the right direction. Fortune describes the ad as an inside joke about personifying the Internet as a disheveled young man, who -- blink and you'll definitely miss it -- has a Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing button attached to his backpack. GoDaddy has a reputation for sexist and insulting Super Bowl ads, and this relatively ungendered commercial is certainly a shift in image. "GoDaddy says the button and other internet culture shoutouts are intended to zoom by. They're designed as 'easter eggs' -- or semi-hidden references that will encourage viewers to watch the spot again and again to spot as many as possible." GoDaddy CMO Barb Rechterman says, "Having that variety of iconic imagery and Internet memes is important. We want viewers of all ages, whether they're male or female, to have something they can relate to." You can watch the full commercial below. (See GoDaddy Looks to Cloud to Shake Sleazy Image.)

  • In our brogrammer culture, it's refreshing to hear about companies that are breaking the mold. Youth Ki Awaaz reports that ThoughtWorks, a self-proclaimed disruptive and revolutionary software company with offices in 14 countries, has an unusual policy on employees' children: bring them to work! The company's first "ThoughtChild," a senior quality analyst's baby, came to the India office with his mom every day for two years after a five-month maternity leave. "It is this culture of supportiveness and collaborativeness, that enabled [the employee] to stick around at her job." Goodway Group, a third-generation, family-owned programmatic media company, also eliminated "bro culture" and replaced it with "work-life integration" and very little emphasis on gender, The Drum explains. "If you hire the person with the right culture and values and inspire them, gender and all the other things don't matter. You can have all the venture money in the world and if you don't have some diversity, you're headed for a problem," says Jay Friedman, chief operating officer of Goodway Group. Even better news, this 75% female company is currently hiring. (See WiCipedia: How to Make Companies Work for Women.)

  • Though nearly half of all gamers are women, there are very few women who work in video game development, especially at the executive level. Lyndsay Pearson, executive producer of The Sims 4 game, is a major exception. In a recent article on iDigitalTimes, Pearson talks about her experience working in gaming as a woman and her path to the tech world. Despite the near equal split in game users, stereotypes that women don't play or aren't good at video games are rampant in the industry. "It takes a long time to shake those stereotypes," Pearson told iDigitalTimes. "That's a very fundamental thing. In general, the industry just needs to have a better understanding that women play all sorts of games... If you build the game to be inclusive of all these different types of people, they are going to come and want to work on it too. That's another way to make sure that you're continuing to expand your horizons, expand your game experience, and ultimately expand your audience." And what company wouldn't want a bigger audience? (See WiCipedia: Facebook's LGBT Stats, Broettes & 'Tiny Lady Hands'.)

  • Looking for a tech job with a little pizzazz? Look no further than MI6. Computer Business Review reports that at The Women in IT Awards, MI6 Chief Sir Alex Younger made a speech about women's involvement in tech and the need for more women to enter the intelligence industry. He dispelled the image of alpha-male James Bond types while saying that diversity in the agency was key: "The more different people you have in the room, in these high-pressure circumstances in which we operate, the better the decisions. So, success for me is a deeper, broader range of technological skills in MI6 and more diversity, in particular more women. My message is a simple one: we need the best talent from the widest range of backgrounds to counter the threats facing this country and to seize the opportunities presented by modern Technology."

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

  • kq4ym 2/15/2017 | 2:59:48 PM
    Re: Yes, I watched the commercial three times to get all this But then, GoDaddy got our attention to talk about it here and lots of other places in the last few weeks. Getting the message out that "We want viewers of all ages, whether they're male or female, to have something they can relate to," can't be a bad thing to tell the world about it's philosophy and at the same time drum up a little business for themselves as well.
    Kelsey Ziser 2/6/2017 | 2:16:47 PM
    Re: Yes, I watched the commercial three times to get all this I thought the GoDaddy ad was both underwhelming and overwhelming...was a little too much going on and I didn't find it that funny or get a lot out of it. The Audi commercial is certainly getting a lot of attention, I thought that commercial was such a clever way to address the pay disparity between men and women. Now THAT was a commerical that I felt inclined to watch more than once.
    Mitch Wagner 2/4/2017 | 3:48:45 PM
    Re: Yes, I watched the commercial three times to get all this It's not pro-woman, but as you say it's not offensive either. It just is. 

    And thats maybe its problem. It's a mediocre ad. It's not something I would stop fast-forwarding the DVR to watch if it came up in my normal recreational TV watching. 
    ErynLeavens 2/3/2017 | 4:20:05 PM
    Re: Yes, I watched the commercial three times to get all this No idea about Chewbacca, but I did mention the topiary lady, though not by title. I don't think this ad is necessary pro-woman, but like you said, at least it isn't offensive in its omittance.
    Mitch Wagner 2/3/2017 | 4:15:37 PM
    Yes, I watched the commercial three times to get all this While the main character of the GoDaddy commercial is a dude, there are one, maybe two, women in the commercial as well, neither of them in any way objectionable or degrading to women.

    One of the people trimming the topiary is a woman.

    Also, the person in the passenger seat of the car wearing the mask is a nod to the Chewbacca mask lady. I'm guessing there were copyright/trademark issues that prevented use of an actual Chewbacca mask. So we should assume the passenger in the car is a woman too.
    ErynLeavens 2/3/2017 | 12:54:33 PM
    M16 If anyone applies with M16, please report back and let us know all about it! ; )
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