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WiCipedia: 'Ladyboss,' Femtech & Diversity at Slack

Eryn Leavens
5/5/2017

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: A new music video puts the lady in boss; products by and for women raise moola; Slack releases a lackluster diversity report; and more.


Women in Comms' biggest event of 2017 is coming up in one week on Monday, May 15, ahead of the Big Communications Event in Austin, Texas. Register here to join us for a networking luncheon with top-notch keynoters and panel discussions!


  • Here to answer the age-old question "How much boob is too much boob?" is Rachel Bloom, star of the TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. "Ladyboss" is a parody music video about being a woman at work and making it work, hosted by Vanity Fair. It delves into heavy-hitting topics like unsolicited opinions from men and being seen as a boss without being called a bitch. "Ladyboss" is similar in (hilarious) tone to Kristen Bell's recent "Pinksourcing" video, with a message that all women who work, especially in an office, can relate to. Revel in the entire video below. (See WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition.)

  • A new study from the Kapor Center for Social Impact and Harris Poll analyzes why people who work in tech leave their jobs. The study made some major findings, such as that "unfairness or mistreatment" played the biggest role in why workers said "adios," and that bullying and being passed over for promotions also had a part. While one in ten women experience "unwanted sexual attention" (we've actually seen much higher numbers for harassment), under-represented minorities took the biggest hit and were most likely to "experience workplace humiliation." Sounds like a good reason to leave to us! (See Tales From the Valley: Bias, Sexism & Worse.)

  • We often hear the argument that there aren't enough women in tech to be able to hire more women in tech. Think again. Melanie Ehrenkranz of Mic has published a list of "1,000 tech and science speakers who aren't men," compiled via recommendations on Twitter. This incredible list is bound to make you smile and feel proud of all of the women who are doing amazing things in the world. Check out the list of 1,023 women (at the time of writing this article), and also another reason why we need more women in tech below. (See WiCipedia: Supergirls, No More Excuses & Media Monitoring and The Cable Show That Wasn't.)

    Men Talk Too Much
    Screw the stereotype. (Source: Mic)
    Screw the stereotype.
    (Source: Mic)

  • Slack is the latest tech company to release a diversity report, and while the results are a bit lacking, they're in line with peer tech companies. Fortune analyzed the results and while the author admitted that momentum towards a more diverse workforce for the online team collaboration site has been stagnant, there is hope. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield has received "high praise" from current and former employees, their diversity reporting has gone through a recent overhaul and the company has received the stamp of approval from people of color who have worked there. Still, "Of its hundreds of employees, relatively few are people of color and, while it has a very strong showing for women in technical and management roles, few women hold leadership roles." (See Tech Leaders: Diversity Critical to Product Dev.)

  • So what will it take for women to get more involved in tech? Products designed for them. Well + Good reports that 2017 may just be "the year of femtech." In other words, products uniquely designed for women to use, mostly in the sex and health realms. Sure, there are men designing these products as well, but, "In a lot of cases, they're being developed by people who will actually use them." From high-tech sex toys to pelvic-floor strengtheners to fertility-tracking wearables, femtech is creating products that women will actually use, and in the process, making funding for female founders a reality. (See Women Who Tech Gives $85K to Female-Led VR & AI Startups, WiCipedia: Badasses, F Bombs & Deodorant, Nexleaf Founder Applies Tech to Social Justice and Flatiron, Birchbox Offer Scholarships for Female Devs.)

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

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    Mitch Wagner
    Mitch Wagner
    5/5/2017 | 2:19:11 PM
    Re: Smart appliances for women
    That's my point, Eryn. The idea that there should be one category of laptops for men and another for women is ridiculous – particularly if the women's laptop is dumbed-down. 

    I do know some women who have feminine stickers and such on their laptops, and that's fine. But under those stickers, it's the same laptop as the men use. 

     

     

     

     
    ErynLeavens
    ErynLeavens
    5/5/2017 | 1:56:06 PM
    Re: Year of Femtech
    Me too, Kelsey! Thanks for the "Ladyboss" recommendation. This genre of gender/tech parody seems to be taking off and is so funny and much needed.
    ErynLeavens
    ErynLeavens
    5/5/2017 | 1:53:22 PM
    Re: Smart appliances for women
    I'm not sure I get the correlation. Laptops are gender-neutral in that both men and women use them the same way, regardless of how they look on the outside, whereas a product that is mostly used by women might benefit from being designed by a woman.
    Mitch Wagner
    Mitch Wagner
    5/5/2017 | 1:45:01 PM
    Smart appliances for women
    The smart vibrator reports data on usage back to the company that makes it, because that's not a bit creepy. Also, it got hacked. 

    A few years ago, some company introduced a ridiculous laptop for women. I think it was pink and sparkly and ran dumbed-down software for recipes and such. 

    I asked a woman friend what she is looking for in a laptop. She said, "Plenty of RAM, a comfortable keyboard, and it should run Linux." She's a coder, heads up a couple of open source projects. 
    Kelsey Ziser
    Kelsey Ziser
    5/5/2017 | 9:17:52 AM
    Year of Femtech
    Love the femtech ideas -- I'm sure a lot of women would be interested in the fertility wearable. I wonder if it's more accurate that period-tracking apps?

    The Lady Boss video is spot-on ("Not now, Derrick!"), capturing that inner struggle women face over holding their ground and feeling like there's this unattainable middle ground between "too nice" and the b-word. 
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