Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Rad Projects, Femtech Entering Heyday & CES Confirms Diversity Changes

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Bumble gets mixed up with the wrong crowd; a new coding book for young girls makes tech fun; femtech gets its day in the sun; and more.

  • A new coding book for girls is about to hit the shelves, and if it doesn't convince kids that coding can be fun we aren't sure what will. Technical.ly explains that author Miriam Peskowitz, who previously penned The Daring Book for Girls, is now releasing Code Like a Girl: Rad Tech Projects and Practical Tips. The book, which is set for release on August 13, takes a curious look into various coding programs and also lays out specific projects that girls can try to explore the craft. "I wanted it to be a really welcoming, easy to slide into tone," Peskowitz told Technical.ly Philly. "It's important to feel like [technology] is theirs, too." (See WiCipedia: BT Improves Ratio, Silicon Valley Realities & Girl Power.)

    Who Can Turn Down a Rad Project?!
    (Source: Technical.ly)
    (Source: Technical.ly)

  • In a weird twist of news, female-focused dating site Bumble is now in the hotseat over its affiliation with mega Euro dating site Badoo and its not so female-friendly reputation. Forbes exposed Badoo's founder, Andrey Andreev, and office culture as "clearly toxic, especially for women, including internal engineering updates named after porn stars and a widely circulated video of one employee receiving oral sex from a prostitute." Badoo is one of the largest dating sites in the world and has between a 59% and 79% stake in Bumble, which has a very clear mission of elevating women and not putting up with brogrammers and the like. Badoo also recently acquired Huggle, another dating site with an all-female team. We're definitely interested to see how this uncovering will play out. (See WiCipedia: Beyond Brotopia, Huggle's All-Female Team & Diversity Ratings and WiCipedia: Companies With Values Should Be the Norm.)

  • Tech conferences of yore have been overwhelmingly male-dominated, especially for vendors -- both MWC and CES came under fire for restrictions on female-focused companies vending products and an unwelcoming atmosphere for women attendees this year. Yet CES seems to be addressing its inequalities with new policies surrounding the yearly tech fest. The Daily Journal talked about the changes CES execs are making to include more women and minorities into the conference programming, as well as including categories of products that were banned in previous years, like sex tech. With two women newly at the executive level at parent company Consumer Technology Association (CTA) -- Karen Chupka, now executive vice president at CES, and Tiffany Moore, now senior vice president of political and industry affairs at CTA -- hopefully more long-overdue changes will be afoot. (See WiCipedia: Risk Taking, Imposter Syndrome & CES Double Standards and WiCipedia: 'You Are Either Sexually Objectified or the Housewife' – MWC19.)

  • Speaking of newfound tech products for women, Elvie, maker of new-mom products like their smart breast pump and pelvic floor trainer, have officially raised the most money ever for a female-founded company -- $42 million. The company has encountered no short supply of stigma since it opened its doors in 2013, but they soldiered on because the product was in such high demand by new moms, a demographic that hasn't historically had much in the way of tech tools, though there are ironically plenty of tech tools available for babies. "Health in general is taboo, whether it's menstruation, pregnancy, or even death," CEO Tania Boler said. "There are so many issues of womanhood that can be improved by technology ... Five years ago, tech completely neglected the life stages a woman goes though." The Next Web reports that by 2025, femtech will be a market to be reckoned with and worth up to $50 billion. Open-minded investors, take heed. (See WiCipedia: 'Ladyboss,' Femtech & Diversity at Slack.)

  • In a seemingly never-ending battle for equality, Uber announced that it has set new diversity and inclusion goals for completion by 2022, HR Dive reports. While the plan is wide-ranging, one of the major goals is increasing tech leadership among women, which currently stands at a measly sub-2%. The company also committed to assessing the percentage of women of color and other minorities in more senior positions. Uber explained, "We're aiming sky-high because we know from experience that reducing and eliminating inequity is hard to do if all you shoot for is incremental change." The company's full plan for the changes can be found here. (See WiCipedia: Uber Hires New Diversity Exec & AI Comes for Jobs.)

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

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