This week in our WiCipedia roundup: how men can become allies; automation may steal your job; women hotly recruited to tech boards; and more.
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WeWork may have spurred the recent rise in co-working spaces, but the Wing is the newest no-boys-allowed option on the map. Bloomberg reports that the Wing, located in New York City, is a throwback to the popular women's clubs of the 1950s, where women could go unaccompanied for "self-improvement and social reform." While the Wing does provide a co-working space, it also provides plenty of luxuries, such as beauty services and lattes in undeniably posh and feminine surroundings. And the Wing isn't alone; several other spaces dedicated solely to successful working women (with membership fees to match) are popping up around the US with many notable members in fashion, tech and music taking notice. "Women are craving community, connection, and confidence, and that's what we're going to give them," says Stacy Taubman, founder of Rise Collaborative, a similar type of workspace slated to open in St. Louis later this month. (See WiCipedia: Should Men Be Included? & Olympians Face Discrimination.)
Getting women on company boards was a hot topic in 2016, as "only 15 percent of board seats were filled by women" in Silicon Valley, according to The New York Times. That may all be changing in 2017. The article attributes the sudden increase in companies recruiting females to intense public pressure on mostly male tech boards, resulting in fierce competition for the most recognizable names in the game. "Boards are looking at diversity across multiple dimensions, such as gender, ethnicity, age and unique skill sets. If you can bring a number of these different attributes and perspectives to the boardroom, you'll be in high demand," according to David Chun, chief executive of Equilar. This is definitely a step in the right direction compared to the days when having an all-white, all-male board was the norm. (See SBA Leader: It's Time to Get Women on Board and Tech CEOs: Gender Diversity Not Top Priority.)
If you're a man and think that women's success in tech is purely a female problem, think again. TechCrunch suggests that male allies are more important than ever, but that the word "ally" is actually a verb. "The title 'ally' is earned. Being an ally is an action, not a noun. If you're on the sideline thinking about how sensitive and aware you are, you're not an ally. You have to take action, and drive impact. And really, you're not a male ally until women in tech identify you as one," says Jennifer Manry, vice president of Enterprise End User Computing and Access Management at Capital One and a leader in the Male Allies program there. While this may be a tall order for men to get involved in an issue that doesn't directly affect them, check out Capital One's video below for tips on how male allies can take a stand to diversify the tech space. (See Mentor Monday: OPNFV's Kirksey Brings Men Into WiC and Should Men Attend Women's Conferences? )
Automation is the future of many industries, and the fear of jobs being taken away from actual humans is great. It turns out that this affects women more than men though. The Next Web says that while some new STEM jobs will be created in the near future, it's not nearly enough to make up for the jobs that are being replaced by automation, especially for women. "Unfortunately, STEM fields will still only create one job for every four it loses -- and that's the best-case scenario, for men. For women, the numbers are far more worrisome; they stand to gain only one job for every 20 lost." While this is not good news for women who would like to keep their jobs, it's an incentive to gain new skills and compete with the coming robot nation. (See How to Speak Knowledgeably About the AI Threat and WiCipedia: How to Make Companies Work for Women.)
You've heard time and time again how important it is to have a mentor if you're a woman in tech, but what if you don't have access to a mentor? We've got the next best thing: advice. Forbes compiled nuggets of advice from 11 successful female entrepreneurs, engineers, venture capitalists and scientists, and while they are all unique and inspiring quotes, they often hit the same notes. Here's the Women in Comms CliffsNotes: Explore, grow, follow your passion, learn, be confident and take initiative, and you just may find your own success story. (See Mentor Monday: Meet the First 65 and Marcus: Own Your Ambition; Stay the Course.)
This week in our WiC roundup: The best cities for women in tech in 2020 are revealed; women share their salaries to compare where they stand; a new 'unconscious bias educational tour experience' educates on the move; and more.