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WiCipedia: Risk Taking, Imposter Syndrome & CES Double Standards

Eryn Leavens

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Imposter syndrome knows no gender; risk taking has many caveats; Oracle accused of 'systematic discrimination'; and more.

  • There seems to be no shortage of newfound organizations for women and girls looking to get into the tech industry, but that doesn't mean we don't still love hearing about them. She Leads was founded by Avni Barman, a student at the University of Southern California, who, upon starting an internship at LinkedIn Corp. , realized that she was the only woman on her team. USC News explains that Barman immediately knew that she needed to find a way to encourage and support other girls in tech. "People tend to recruit people who look like them," she said. "My hypothesis is if we are able to create female founders, we are able to create more company cultures led by women and naturally help our diversity statistics." She Leads currently hosts events and attends tech conferences with the goal of exposing young women to the industry and empowering them to pursue their career goals and dreams. (See WiCipedia: Alternative College & Male Separatism and WiCipedia: #MeToo Hits the Valley & WiC Goes to London.)

    Girl Power
    USC senior Avni Barman (right) started She Leads as a way to expand opportunities for girls who are interested in tech.
(Source: USC News)
    USC senior Avni Barman (right) started She Leads as a way to expand opportunities for girls who are interested in tech.
    (Source: USC News)

  • Great risks can lead to great rewards -- if you're willing to take them. KPMG's "Women's Leadership Study" found that depending where women are in their career journey dictates how much risk they are willing to take, HR Dive explains. The study found that women who are further along in their careers are less likely to veer off their chosen path, with 45% of women who only have five years or less of experience open to change, compared to 37% of women with more than 15 years of work history under their belts. Additionally, while 69% of women in general are willing to take small risks, only 43% are willing to take larger risks. Most interesting was the statistic that 57% of women of color are open to taking a chance, while only 38% of Caucasian women would consider taking the plunge. Money was the biggest motivation for risk across the board. (See Matrixx Founder: Divergent Career Paths Lead to the Top.)

  • Imposter syndrome -- the feeling of not being "enough" for a job or role -- is an issue for both men and women equally, reports Dice. While in our current tech landscape, one might think that this syndrome would mostly plague women, who are often made to feel as though they don't belong, a study by Interviewing.io found that "male and female engineers maintain similarly accurate views of their skills," though they may have different views on the "requirements for success, such as risk-taking." Luckily, the study found that imposter syndrome (in contrast to risk taking) disappears somewhat the more years someone works in a particular field. (See AT&T Exec: It's Time to Stop Fearing Tech and A Women in Comms Glossary.)

  • It was discovered this week that Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) has been accused of "systematic discrimination" by the US Department of Labor, CNET reports. The company shorted women and people of color $400 million "by starting them at low-level jobs and low initial pay" and "channeling" them into lower-echelon roles at the mega-company. The lawsuit originated in 2014, yet Oracle was accused of "destroy[ing] records relating to its hiring process," which slowed it down a bit. Oracle has stated that the claim is false, and Oracle's General Counsel Dorian Daley recently stated, "We are in compliance with our regulatory obligations, committed to equality, and proud of our employees." The company ironically has a female CEO, Safra Catz. (See Oracle Cloud Sputters, as CEO High-Fives Herself Over Earnings.)

  • Despite CES's success getting more female keynoters at this year's conference, one gender-equality issue keeps making headlines. Bustle reports that a female-founded sex toy company was rejected from exhibiting at the conference one month after being named an honoree in the CES 2019 Innovation Awards Robotics and Drone category. CES stated that pleasure tech company Lora DiCarlo's product, Osé, did not meet its stringent standards and was deemed "immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA's image." Yet CES is no stranger to this scandalous industry, as company Founder Lora Haddock stated: "It's also important to note that a literal sex doll for men launched on the floor at CES in 2018 and a VR porn company exhibits there every year, allowing men to watch pornography in public as consumers walk by. Clearly CTA has no issue allowing explicit male sexuality and pleasure to be ostentatiously on display." Double standards, anyone? (see WiCipedia: Private Groups Tackle Membership Guidelines & the New Richest Woman in Tech and WiCipedia: Bots Gone Wild at CES & Another Google Lawsuit.)

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

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