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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Pink Tax & Zuckerberg's Power of Three Rule

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: VMware and Stanford collab; just hire more women already; Randi Zuckerberg's new book; and more.


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  • Women in Comms partner VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) has announced a collaboration with Stanford University to create the VMware Women's Leadership Innovation Lab. In a press release, VMware announced that it is aiming to create with Stanford a "collaborative effort to advance women into leadership and positions of power and significance," and will contribute $15 million to the Lab. This is VMware's second monetary contribution to a program for women and girls in collaboration with Stanford, though by far the largest investment. (See VMware Invests in Stanford's Women's Leadership Lab.)

  • In a recent TED Talk, Pakistani TED Fellow Nighat Dad discusses "how Pakistani women are taking back the Internet" from their online harassers. Dad is the creator of Pakistan's first cyber harassment helpline, the Digital Rights Foundation, which monitors women's experiences online and with cyber bullying and harassment. She says of her work, "From lobbying for free and safe internet to convincing young women that access to the safe internet is their fundamental, basic, human right, I'm trying to play my part in igniting the spark to address the questions that have bothered me all these years." Watch the full video of Dad's inspiring talk below. (See WiCipedia: Middle Eastern Progress & Founders Fight Exclusion.)

    Nighat Dad on a Threat-Free Internet for Women

  • We've been hearing a lot about the Pink Tax lately, that extra sum of money that women pay for products that are intended only for women, particularly personal care items. An article in Glamour earlier this month took a hard look at some of the companies that are doing something about this discrepancy, and the introduction of campaigns such as AxThePinkTax and RethinkPink. The numbers aren't a minor cost either. The article states, "The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs published a study in 2015, finding that on average, products for women or girls cost 7 percent more than comparable products for men and boys. This isn't the first time a study has been done on the Pink Tax, either. The state of California did a study back in 1994 and estimated that women spend $1,350 (that's roughly $2,304 in today's dollars) over the course of a year on the Pink Tax." The article stresses that as more women become CEOs of customer-facing companies, the more prices will adjust to reflect the demographics in charge. (See WiCipedia: Feminist Fight Club, FinTech Femmes & Feminine Freebies.)

  • What's one way for companies to become more gender balanced? Well, they could just hire more women and stop wondering how to hire more women. A Mercury News article states that based on a Reuters study, major tech companies are still 15 years away from gender parity even if 51% of new employees are female. So what's the solution? We have a feeling the James Damores of the tech world aren't going to like it: "Set a truly bold goal of six in 10 new hires being women, keeping all else constant, and all three companies [Apple, Facebook and Google] would achieve parity within six years," Reuters said. (See WiCipedia: Girls Code, Valley Shame & GE's Big Plan and SBA Leader: It's Time to Get Women on Board .)

  • So how realistic is this? Not very. So we (err, Forbes) got some back-up tips about how to succeed as a woman in tech from Randi Zuckerberg, just in case the hiring plan doesn't pan out. Zuckerberg's brand-new book, Pick Three: You Can Have It All (Just Not Every Day) lays it all out; that is, how and when to prioritize work, family, friends, fitness and sleep. Zuckerberg preaches the power of three for these priorities. Want more than three? Don't work in tech (just kidding!). Zuckerberg offers some workarounds, like hiring a personal trainer to maintain that fitness checkmark. She also writes, "The key is to give yourself time -- whether coping with illness in the family, or working a night shift, the reason Pick Three exists is to give yourself permission to be lopsided at that moment in your life. In four months or four years, things will change." (See AT&T's Chow: Work-Life Balance Is Bogus.)

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

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