This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Girl Scouts as "digital leaders;" a hilarious new TV show about women in tech; how scandals affect the tech landscape; and more.
A new study from the Girl Scout Research Institute shows that while more boys (84%) than girls (77%) are confident in their tech abilities, girls are actually the ones with the skills. Both sexes have fairly high usage and comprehension (compared to previous generations), yet they use the tools at their disposal in different ways. While the majority of boys are focused on playing online games for fun, girls are more focused on educational resources. Not surprisingly, slightly more girls than boys fit the Girl Scouts' definition of a "digital leader," or someone who aims to "improve their own lives and the world through their digital experiences and use of technology," Biz Journals explains. This ties in nicely with the Scouts' recent cybersecurity patch that Girl Scouts can earn, in partnership with Hewlett Packard Enterprise. (See WiCipedia: New Networking Rules, Canada's Pay Gap & Investing in Female Founders.)
Can You Ever Have Enough Badges?!
(Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise)
Clearly girls aren't behind in tech skills when they're young, so what's with the gender disparity in STEM careers? Forbes says that while women are better at "soft skills" -- communicating, creativity and emotional IQ, for example -- it's not skills but cultural and gender stereotypes that are keeping women out of more technical industries. Not to mention lack of flexibility, family responsibilities and lack of mentorship. "We still have to marry the relationship between workforce and wages with the socialization process that leads to women choosing the occupations that they do in greater numbers than men," said Nicole Smith, chief economist at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. "Technology has resulted in the influx of women in the labor force. What we haven't seen is women moving toward specific occupations that pay better." (See Matrixx Founder: Divergent Career Paths Lead to the Top.)
If you're pining for part two of Kristen Bell's hilarious Pinksourcing video, look no further than Resting Pitch Face. CNET reports that the brand-new YouTube comedy focuses on the stories of women who work in STEM. From mansplaining to unisex first names to being told not to dress inappropriately because, as a male character puts it, "You could be growing a baby under there and we'd never know," Resting Pitch Face checks every box for documenting women's experiences in tech in this strange and groundbreaking day and age. Check out the first episode below. (See WiCipedia: The Women Helping Women Edition and WiCipedia: 'It Takes One Misstep to Fall Off Your Pedestal'.)
The tech industry is no stranger to scandals, yet it turns out that misconduct doesn't have the deleterious effect one would assume. Tech Republic reports that an Indeed study of 1,000 people found that scandals do not affect how current or potential workers feel about working at particular companies. The study ran the gamut of potential upsets, from data breaches to sexual impropriety. Only 6% of those surveyed said they would be put off by a company scandal, and 34% would be more interested working in the field. Can you say drama queens?! Men and younger candidates were more drawn to the flame than women and older workers, predictably. (See WiCipedia: Companies With Values Should Be the Norm.)
Despite being fully entrenched in the past year's #metoo movement, some companies just aren't getting the message when it comes to workplace equality. Case in point: Hong Kong Telecom (HKT). The Drum explains that the telco recently came under fire for offering discounted vacuum machine and blender Valentine's Day deals to women working at HSBC in London and Hong Kong. Men got deals too -- but they were for tech products, not home goods. HKT has since issued an apology and said, "We have heard the feedback and offer our heartfelt apologies for any offence caused.
We firmly believe in gender equality in both the workplace and in life, and we are committed to ensuring that we, and our business partners, exercise prudence, respect and inclusion for all." (See WiCipedia: Diversity in Product Dev & Israeli Entrepreneurs Protest Sexism and WiCipedia: Hardwiring Sexism, Brogrammer Culture & Wall Street Fearmongering.)
This week in our WiC roundup: Women are more likely to be promoted, kindof; Oracle faces a potentially major payout to female plaintiffs; universities keep pushing for STEM diversity even with classes moved online; and more.