Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Small Talk, Inflated Egos & the Motherboard of Cakes

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Gendered child-rearing can affect perception; small talk pays off; Andela creates opportunities for African developers; and more.

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  • We know that when children are raised differently because of gender stereotypes it can impact how they envision their future career potential, but at what age does the feeling of inequality set in? Earlier than you might think, it turns out. A new study found that by age six, girls are aware of gender differences and feel as though boys are smarter, Mashable outlines. The results came as a surprise to co-author Lin Bian, who said, "It's possible that in the long run, the stereotypes will push young women away from the jobs that are perceived as requiring brilliance, like being a scientist or an engineer." The study doesn't only affect girls though. "It's not that girls are underestimating their own gender -- it's that boys are overestimating themselves." (See STEMing the Decline: Scientists Appeal to the Next Generation.)

  • If your company is short on qualified employees, you may just want to look to Africa. Andela connects the best of the best of African developers to major companies. A Capital Campus contributor and Andela fellow writes about the process of becoming part of Andela, which accepts less than 1% of applicants, and how Andela can help female developers earn a shot at a rewarding career, even though they're thousands of miles away from the companies that are hiring. CNN reported that both Google and Mark Zuckerberg have invested in the elite program, which "has a company-wide goal that 35% of its software developers are women, according to Christina Sass, one of Andela's four cofounders." (See WiCipedia: How to Make Companies Work for Women.)

  • Looking to bring a bit of tech know-how into the kitchen? Check out Rosanna Pansino's Nerdy Nummies Cookbook for inspiration. Pansino's website describes the cookbook as a mixture of "geek culture and baking," and says, "Her fondness for video games, science fiction, math, comics, and lots of other things considered 'nerdy' have inspired every recipe in this book." Recipes range from the "Periodic Table of Cupcakes" to the "Motherboard Cake," shown below in an instructional video. This may just be the secret to getting kids interested in STEM after all! (See Why Diversity of Geeks in Tech Matters.)

  • It turns out that small talk may be more important to your career than just a way to pass time at the water cooler. A study about "chit chat" found that while men are rewarded financially by engaging in talk about the weather and sports, such small talk is expected from women, and not reflected in their salaries. This is particularly relevant to negotiating during job interviews. Career Contessa reports: "Why the disparity? Differing stereotypes and expectations, the researchers say. Men are stereotyped as less communicative and sociable, so they profit more when they show communal behavior. Women are expected to be more sociable in general, so they just don't get the brownie points." The site advises that while such banter may not pay off for women like it does for men, women can hone their negotiating skills and research beforehand to lessen the gap. (See WiCipedia: Gendered Job Descriptions, Glass Cliffs & Gaslighting.)

  • Mary Tyler Moore passed away this week at the age of 80. A much-loved and revered actress, Moore paved the way for actresses to be leading ladies and for all women to live how they want to, regardless of societal expectations. The Daily Beast explains that while Moore didn't ever call herself a "feminist" and though she was never very political -- even in her heyday in the 1970s -- "She is a feminist, even if she ... did not describe [herself] as such." On The Mary Tyler Moore Show, she played one of the first single working women on TV. "Mary Tyler Moore was a working woman whose story lines were not always about dating and men. They were about work friendships and relationships," Tina Fey, an actress who has been inspired by Moore, has said. Moore also fought for equal pay both on and off screen, and served as an inspiration for countless other trailblazing women throughout her long and brave career. (See WiC Leading Lights Finalists: Hedy Lamarr Award for Female Tech Pioneer of the Year and Actress Kristen 'Twilight' Stewart Co-Authors AI Paper.)

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

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