Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Moms as Breadwinners & Black Panther a Win for WiT

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Motherhood is on the rise; Damore gets shut down; Hollywood gets something right; and more.

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  • A Victorian house in Boston is being remodeled into "[G]Code House: A 14-person residence that will house and support young women of color as they learn coding skills and take on internships and eventually, jobs, in tech," Fast Company explains. Tech and business incubator SkyLab Boston Co-founders Brigitte Wallace and Carolle Nau identified a need for the space when they visited a homeless shelter for girls in order to teach them how to code. That experience gave them the incentive to set up a space where young women of color could learn tech skills while "providing them [with] a secure, stable place to live and from which they could build out a career and resources." The area where the house is located in Roxbury, a historically black neighborhood, is rapidly gentrifying, and the goal is to establish the house as a community asset. The house is still far from ready, but the goal is to open with 14 girls who come from disadvantaged environments or shelters. They'll live there for two years while completing an internship and starting a career, paying only nominal rent in the second half of their stay, some of which will be given back to the girls upon graduation. (See WiCipedia: Best Initiatives for Women & Highest-Ranked Companies and WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies.)

    The Grand Plan
    The preliminary plans for the [G]Code House are pretty inspiring.  (Source: Fast Company)
    The preliminary plans for the [G]Code House are pretty inspiring.
    (Source: Fast Company)

  • There's been a lot of pressure on women in the past few years to focus on their careers instead of family, at least in the tech world. A new Pew study shows that motherhood is on the rise though, explains an article in The Federalist. The study found that while women are indeed waiting longer to have children -- the average age is now 26 -- the vast majority of women across all demographics are mothers; of women aged 40 to 44, 86% are mothers. These numbers match those in the early 90s, after which there was a decrease. One writer in Forbes stated that technology is helping this change: "Technology's evolution allows modern women the empowerment of joining tradition with innovation. Millennial women can raise their babies and work at home, proving that women's purpose does not lie in one or the other. SAHMs are breadwinners, too." (See WiCipedia: 'Persona Non Grata' Tech Moms & the Refugee STEM Pilot and WiCipedia: LL Awards, Tech Mom Returnships & How The Post Gets the Ladies.)

    By the Numbers

  • Black Panther has taken the box office by storm this week, amassing nearly $500 million, which puts it on track to be one of the highest-grossing movies ever, Collider reports. Yet beyond the stunning visuals and entertainment value, it's also highly politically and socially relevant. It's also pertinent to what's going on culturally with women in tech. Refinery29 explains that main character Shuri, a "gadget savvy genius," is setting the stage for young girls who may see the movie and realize that a profession in STEM is possible: "Shuri ... is so crucial for setting a new precedent for blockbusters to come. The timing is critical: As discussions about the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley continue, it's more important than ever for young black women to see a character like Shuri, and want to become her in real life." (See WiCipedia: Gender Editors, Twitter Reform & How to Be Decent.)

  • James Damore, the ex- Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) engineer who was fired for lamenting the goal of diversity at the tech company, has been shut down by the Federal Labor Board for a complaint he filed against Google. CNET reports that a lawyer with the US National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency that oversees employment practices, wrote, "Employers have a strong interest in promoting diversity and encouraging employees across diverse demographic groups to thrive in their workplaces. Employers must be permitted to 'nip in the bud' the kinds of employee conduct that could lead to a 'hostile workplace.'" Damore has since revoked the complaint to focus on a lawsuit against Google. (See Google Fires Engineer Over Gender Manifesto.)

  • Meanwhile, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand just announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will soon be getting more involved in class-action suits. Historically mum on the topic -- despite receiving 700 cases per year -- the DOJ is planning to step up its involvement. Brand, who spoke at last year's Women in Tech, Law, & Policy Global Summit in Washington, stated that the DOJ is "already in a better position to review settlements ... [and to] Be on the lookout in the coming days for the first example," Yahoo Finance quotes. (See WiCipedia: Edtech Wins, Bitcoin Bros & Looking Towards 2018.)

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

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