This week in our WiCipedia roundup: The best cities for women in tech in 2018; biotech, AI and cryptocurrency need women on the ground floor; MWC lacks women; and more.
Join Women in Comms for an important morning of networking and discussion at our annual WiC networking breakfast event in Denver on March 22. Let's put an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. There's still time to register for this free event!
Smart Asset recently rated the best cities for women in tech in 2018, and the results come as something of a surprise yet again. Using four key metrics, including the gender pay gap, income costs after housing, percentage of tech jobs currently held by women and tech job growth over a three-year period, the results confirmed that California is not the place to be. In fact, only one California city, Fremont, even made the top 15, though we're guessing this came down to housing costs. Washington DC claimed the top spot, with Kansas City and Baltimore trailing behind. See below for the full list of cities to flock to if you're a woman in tech. (See WiCipedia: From New Zealand to the Silicon Prairie & Beyond and WiCipedia: Best Cities for WiT, Born to Code & Dancing Backwards.)
Head East, Not West
It's no secret that artificial intelligence (AI) is the way forward, from healthcare to financial services, and of course tech. That's why it's so important for women and minorities to get in on the ground floor, an article on Medium reports. It's not just about securing high-paying jobs with massive growth potential for women in tech -- though that too is important. It's about ensuring that the way that AI is implemented in our society carves out a space for everyone, not just the men who are inventing it, and avoids the "AI Divide." The article, sponsored by The Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, explains: "Researchers continue to discover how facial recognition systems can reinforce structural biases based on how such systems fail at reading skin-type and gender; scholars are reinforcing the ways in which data discrimination may further oppress often marginalized and underrepresented groups; and it has been demonstrated that automated systems may reinforce inequality and bias in oftentimes unintentional or less visible ways." (See Why We Need Diversity Before AI Takes Over and Skilled Women Can Fuel Tech Growth.)
Biotech and blockchain are two other emerging and crucial industries that need to include women, yet the pushback has been massive. A New York Times article explains that the "blockchain bros" aren't even hiding their misogyny; they're displaying it in plain (web)site, which has led to major dissent from minorities who would like to see the percentage of women in crytocurrency rise above the current 4% to 6% mark. The author writes, "That imbalance matters because the early days of an industry are often when the fortunes are made -- and those big winners then choose whom to invest in and what to build next, launching a cascade of consequences." One early female investor made a particularly good point: "Women always question if they're qualified, but look at these clowns around us." Likewise, an article in Biz Journals explains that biotech, especially in Silicon Valley, is experiencing the same exclusion issues, where many boards don't have any women holding seats. One female founder explains, "I never go anymore to meetings with a male investor without another male. There was one that after a meeting invited me to a Jacuzzi. There was one that forced me to kiss him in the middle of a meeting." (See WiCipedia: Cryptocurrency & a Sexism Code Word .)
Mobile World Congress (MWC) has dominated Light Reading's airwaves this past week, yet women in tech have been sorely missing from the headlines. In a WRAL Tech Wire article, the author explains that while MWC is chock full of new tech innovations, the "real issues" are conspicuously lacking. With a lack of female keynoters and speakers in general, the article also states that the event focuses almost entirely on the positive, eschewing negative government changes for the industry and beyond. The author writes, "Effectively conference organizers have opted out of the opportunity to use the event as a burning platform for addressing the industry's greatest challenges." (See MWC 2018: Facing the Millennial Challenge.)
Our very own Alison Diana of sister site Broadband World News is moderating a Women of Wireless Workshop on Tuesday, March 6 at 8:30 a.m. in Orlando. This workshop will be happening during the IWCE expo, along with a stellar group of women from all facets of wireless technology. Register today with code D7 to save 50% off your registration. You can attend the whole day of sessions on Tuesday for only $325, plus you get free Exhibit Hall admission to see over 400 exhibitors on Wednesday and Thursday. This is a not-to-be-missed event and it's right around the corner! Find out more here and follow on social media with #IWCE2018.
— Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading