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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Podcasts, Charity Tech & Micro-Aggressions

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: A guide to podcasts by and for women; college women in STEM experience gender exclusion; harassment in tech is the norm in Oz/NZ; and more.


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  • Podcasts are the entertainment du jour, and finding awesome podcasts by and for women is always exciting. Salon compiled a list of nine podcasts by and for women in business and tech, and the offerings are worth browsing, as there's really something for every woman. If you're a black female entrepreneur, check out Side Hustle Pro, and if you're a mom who's tackling the business world, listen to Brilliant Business Moms. If you want to figure out your finances, learn how to overcome challenges or just listen to interviews with kick-ass and cutting-edge women, tune in. (See WiCipedia: 50 to Watch & the 'Sheryl Sandberg of Mexico' and Tech Leaders: Gender Diversity Could Add Billions to Economy.)

    Podcasting Is the New Black
    (Source: Salon)
    (Source: Salon)

  • We've been hearing non-stop about the sexism that women in tech face, and it turns out it starts early. USA Today reports that young women in college who are studying STEM experience harassment both in classes and during internships at an alarming rate. One computer science major at Tufts said this about her experience of harassment: "It makes me scared for people like me -- fresh out of college, going into the workplace and not feeling that they can be themselves for a lot of reasons, but also because it affects productivity. I see myself not being able to contribute in meetings because of all of this, whether it's being worried about sexism or being harassed in the workplace." Other students mentioned "micro-aggressions," such as being assigned less desirable projects than male counterparts. Yet it's not just men perpetrating bad behavior; an article in The Atlantic states that women bullying other women in the workplace is yet another major issue to contend with. (See Ovum: Women Poised to Close Tech Skills Gap, Google Fires Engineer Over Gender Manifesto and WiCipedia: The Cool Tech Girl & Rallycross Racing.)

  • Charity tech is not a subsector that we hear much about, but it's going strong, and it's dominated by women. An interview with several women in tech on UK-site Third Sector, which focuses on non-profit news, says that "68 per cent of the total third sector workforce is female." While this is in stark contrast to the surrounding tech world, and the industry is indeed more welcoming to women, it's not as if the charity tech bubble got off scot-free. Interim IT director at Scope, Avril Chester, said that she found "the not-for-profit sector to be one of the most engaging and accepting sectors for women in technology." Yet she also stated, "Sadly you will in your career face barriers and, though their frequency is getting less, don't expect plain sailing... Just because the environment you are in is short-sighted and not ready for your talents, try not to take it personally. Focus on what you are good at and your confidence will grow naturally." (See WiCipedia: Faulty Feminism, Worthy Women & Peculiar Perks.)

  • LearnVest analyzed two studies and found that -- surprise, surprise -- working moms have it harder than working dads. In an article titled "If Men Did More Housework, Women Could Get Ahead at the Office," the author summarized that while 16% of working dads find it difficult to advance in their careers because of their home life, a whopping 51% of working moms encounter hurdles. This disparity is generally due to the time and energy expected of women vs. men when raising a family and taking care of a home. The article continues, "This, in turn, contributes to the wage gap: A 10% reduction in a woman's personal time reduces her participation in jobs that require longer working hours by 14 percentage points -- and bumps up the gender wage gap by 11 percentage points, the NBER [study] found." So guys, time to clean the house and get dinner on the table, before the breadwinner comes home. (See WiCipedia: 'Persona Non Grata' Tech Moms & the Refugee STEM Pilot, WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies and WiCipedia: LL Awards, Tech Mom Returnships & How The Post Gets the Ladies.)

  • The recent explosion in tech-related sexual harassment cases isn't solely relegated to Silicon Valley; The land down under has also been taking a hit. An article in The Sydney Morning Herald titled "Blow jobs for investment: Sexual harassment claims spiral in tech industry" graphically chronicles the experiences of Australian female entrepreneurs encountering men who expect sexual favors in exchange for funding. Entrepreneur Atlanta Daniel says "there is a culture of ignoring sexual harassment [in tech]. I'm burnt out on apologies. I want actions." And over in New Zealand, a new national campaign has been launched to make tech more accessible to girls at a young age, TVNZ reports. Tech is very genderized in the Land of Sheep. As NZ Tech national director Andrea Hancox put it, "Technology is kind of like a boys topic, 'why would girls be interested?' It's really that simple." (See WiCipedia: Pinkification of Tech & Australia's Diversity Endeavor and WiCipedia: From New Zealand to the Silicon Prairie & Beyond.)

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

  • ErynLeavens 8/14/2017 | 1:10:07 PM
    Re: The Invisible Workload for Women Agreed about the LearnVest article, Kelsey. Definitely something that we've just culturally accepted and don't think about much because it's just so commonplace for women to have more home responsibilities. Reminds me of that story (no idea where it's from) about a mom who gets horribly sick and keeps taking care of everything at home and work, and a dad who gets a slight cold and takes to bed for a week and needs to be waited on hand and foot. Different cultural expectations, and really messed up.
    Kelsey Ziser 8/11/2017 | 5:32:35 PM
    The Invisible Workload for Women Thanks for the podcast suggestions, the finance ones sound interesting! 

    Also good point on women bullying women -- that's a big frustration of mine and something I've spent a lot of time wondering about. Where does that desire to undercut other women come from? How can we knock it off? Another woman's success should be celebrated, not seen as a threat to one's own success.

    LearnVest stats are interesting but not too surprising. I read this article on Time the other day on The Invisible Workload that Drags Women Down. One woman explains how she's the primary "worrier, organizer, rememberer and attention-payer" and notices when they're low on coffee, toothpaste, snacks, worries that their child meets developmental milestones, remembers to send relatives birthday cards, etc. So it's not just doing the bulk of the work at home but also being the chief "rememberer." Takes a mental toll, too.
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