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WiCipedia: Herstory, Apple Diversity Stagnates & Queen Bees

Eryn Leavens
11/17/2017
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This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Apple's diversity efforts fall flat; Uber under fire again for not protecting passengers; women in tech in China break glass ceiling; and more.


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  • It seems as though women in tech in China are leagues ahead of their female counterparts in North America, and they've gotten there without much fanfare. An article in The Atlantic about women in C-suite China was adapted from the book A Uterus Is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman's Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy by Sarah Lacy. Lacy writes that in the US, only 54% of companies have women working at the top level; in China, that number rises to 80%. Same with boards: In the US and UK, the percentage of company boards with women is at 34% and 39%, respectively; yet in China, it's 61%. There are a lot of reasons why this is the case, yet one stood out to us strongest: "These ... stats taken together show the rebuttal of the 'queen bee' myth in action: When enough senior women are empowered in an organization, they overwhelmingly support other women. It's the good kind of entitlement. The kind white men have in America." (See Women in Tech Leadership Declining – Survey and From Ass Kickings in China to Kicking Ass in the Valley.)

    Just a Little Light Reading
    We'll definitely be adding this book to our list! (Source: Amazon)
    We'll definitely be adding this book to our list!
    (Source: Amazon)

  • Uber is under fire again for its treatment of female passengers and drivers. CNET reports that Uber has been hit with a new lawsuit alleging "female riders ... have experienced rape, sexual assault or gender-motivated harassment at the hands of their Uber drivers." This is no small accusation, and probably not what Uber needs in the wake of its gender discrimination scandal; yet, it's not unexpected given the current political climate. Jeanne M. Christensen, a partner at law firm Wigdor LLP, which is representing the plantiffs, said, "Uber must make drastic changes to prevent another female rider from harm. As alleged, the recent #MeToo campaign has exposed the heinous acts that female riders [and drivers] have been forced to endure during Uber rides." (See WiCipedia: #MeToo Hits the Valley & WiC Goes to London and Uber Drains the Swamp, but Is It Too Deep?)

    Still Got a Ways to Go, It Seems
    Uber has a new internal slogan: 'We do the right thing. Period.' It seems like they might still be working out the kinks though. (Source: CNET)
    Uber has a new internal slogan: "We do the right thing. Period."
    It seems like they might still be working out the kinks though.
    (Source: CNET)

  • Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) has stated in the recent past that it's on a mission to further diversify its staff, yet progress appears to be stalled. Recode explains that although the company has hired more diverse applicants -- based on both race and gender -- the overall demographic breakdown has remained mostly the same since 2016. Apple has increased the percentage of women in leadership roles, and has further stated that change takes time, especially in a company of 130,000. This has equated to a 2% increase in women at the company over the past three years. Sure doesn't sound like much, does it? (See A Vast Valley: Tech's Inexcusable Gender Gap and Apple Votes Down Diversity Proposal.)

    Apple's Work Here Is Clearly Not Done
    (Source: Recode)
    (Source: Recode)

  • Female venture capitalists (VCs) may seem like a rare breed, but a group of ten VCs are holding "office hours" for 40 female entrepreneurs at an event in San Francisco. TechCrunch says that the event will be the first of several, and each meet-up will have a different theme for the full spectrum of female founders. One of the VCs who will be at the event spoke about how the idea for office hours came about: "This is our little community to help each other out. Over the past few months, we've been talking about how we can help women in tech. We felt like one thing that could move the needle the most was just helping more women build world-changing companies. It's been done before and it can be done again, so how do we accelerate that?" If you're interested in applying to be seen at office hours, check out the details here. (See WiCipedia: Queen of Code, Female VCs & STEM Expectations.)

  • Here's an event this editor can get behind: a "Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon" focused on updating the Wikipedia (not to be confused with WiCipedia) pages of women in tech. The Cap Times says this event will be hosted by Hilary Stohs-Krause, a woman in tech herself, at the Madison, Wis., Public Library, this Saturday, November 18. Stohs-Krause has hosted a similar event before, and finds that information about women who have made an impact on tech just isn't common knowledge -- or even available -- like it is for their male counterparts: "I gave a conference talk about the history of women in computing. And doing that research was exhausting. It just wasn't accessible." Stohs-Krause also aims to teach edit-a-thon participants how to easily update Wikipedia pages so they have more control over what's out there. After all, it's called herstory for a reason. (See WiCipedia: Badasses, F Bombs & Deodorant.)

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

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