Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Tinkerbell Effect, Photoshop F-Ups & Discrimination Retribution

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: The women-in-tech dictionary gets a new addition; tactics for discriminatory situations; new uses for Photoshop; and more.

  • A Photoshop scandal has rocked the tech world this week. The Washington Post explains that a gathering in Italy at the villa of fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli caused some to pull out their microscopes to figure out if the two female attendees -- who were definitely present -- were actually in the photo or were Photoshopped in as an afterthought. Turns out, the latter was true, though organizers adamantly stated that there was no ill intent. Ultimately though, the author states, it comes down to this: The same photography trickery would not have been done for any of the 13 men in the photo; in fact, Jeff Bezos was missing from another group photo and there was no manipulation of his absent image. Instead, it looks like organizers realized, "Uh oh -- if we don't do something, it's going to look as though we invited zero women." (See Hey Men of Silicon Valley, Stop Being Creepy!)

  • A new word has entered the women-in-tech lexicon: Tinkerbell. Reported by UK feminist lifestyle site Stylist, Martha Lane Fox, who works in tech and politics in the UK, says she was first called the moniker during a company meeting. "There was a bank of men, me and my boss. I was allowed to say one thing in the presentation. They all clapped and said 'Tinkerbell! She speaks, she speaks.' I had no idea that was how they were seeing me." Lane Fox is currently working to enhance UK government regulations for diversification of the tech industry so that the Tinkerbell effect doesn't strike more women. (See A Women in Comms Glossary.)

  • While the goal is equality for all, good intentions aren't exactly stopping discrimination in its tracks. So what's your recourse when prejudice finds you? Dice compiled a short list of actions to take when fighting the good fight, from speaking out to knowing your rights to understanding what resolution you might want out of the situation. Ultimately, different strokes work for different folks. While speaking up against a negative manager might be beneficial for one person, that same resolution might be too triggering or confrontational for someone else who might benefit more from harnessing their network and moving on to greener pastures. If you're in a tough spot and aren't sure how to get out, give this article a read for some clarity. (See Women of Wall Street CEO Offers Discrimination Solutions.)

  • Five years ago, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that women shouldn't worry about getting raises because they "should instead rely on 'good karma' and trust that the system will eventually reward their work," Geekwire recounts. These words of ignorance were said on stage at Harvey Mudd College in front of an audience attending to learn about women in computing. Now, this "karma gaffe" is seen as a huge lesson in diversity and inclusion, especially for Microsoft as it served as a wake-up call. Post apology, Nadella went on to reform the company's policies on equality, and also his own personal stance. These days, the CEO explains, "If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask." (See Equal Pay Day: Time to Get Paychecks in Check.)

  • The New York Times has a new resource titled The Working Woman's Handbook, and let us just say it's essentially a one-stop shop for all of the issues that plague modern women. From salary negotiations to "office landmines" to burn out, they seem to have hit all of the key buzzwords of women in tech and beyond. The NYT isn't one to shy away from the tough topics of our times, so if you're looking for a deep dive into sexual harassment or impostor syndrome, consider this your go-to guide. (See WiC Rewind: Cultural Reflections From Denver.)

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

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