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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Uber's Charity Drive & Boys Buck Bro Culture

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Uber crashes towards redemption; preventing boys from becoming bros; Women's Equality Day; and more.


Join Women in Comms for its upcoming networking breakfast in Denver, Colorado, on September 28, where we'll be tackling the question "What's the matter with the tech industry?"


  • Still reeling from ongoing media scandals, Uber is trying to redeem itself with good deeds. The company is granting $1.2 million to Girls Who Code, and has pledged $3 million in diversity-related donations over a three-year period, TechCrunch reports. Not everyone is buying the altruistic presentation though. GantNews explains that many don't think women in tech organizations should accept money from a company that historically hasn't prioritized women. Several non-profits, including Black Girls Code, Girl Develop It and the Anita Borg Institute, have turned down funding or partnerships with Uber. Others have said that Uber's efforts are misguided, and that the company should "help the women who Uber hurt first. There are hundreds of 'em." (See Uber Does Housekeeping Amongst CEO Strategizing, Uber Investor Sues to Kick Kalanick Off Board and Uber's New Boss? Expedia CEO Is Chosen One.)

  • An article in The New York Times profiles how boys can avoid being exposed to bro culture at an early age. This ensures that the next generation will hopefully be able to avoid Uber-esque scandals down the road. The author provides tips for adults such as reframing language, especially from male role models, and keeping an eye on how early social media usage and sports team involvement impacts gender perception. Meanwhile, male students at several grad schools have started up male ally groups for their female counterparts, Forbes reports. These groups, such as the "Manbassadors" at UC Berkeley, share info about unconscious bias and wage gaps and stage bro culture interventions to try to reset the gender balance in their environments. We totally support these rad feminists. (See WiCipedia: The Cool Tech Girl & Rallycross Racing and WiCipedia: Male Allies, Co-Working Spaces & Automation.)

    This Is What a Feminist Looks Like
    (Source: Forbes)
    (Source: Forbes)

  • A new survey on tech and startup culture by Women Who Tech has rounded up some interesting findings from 750 women and 200 men who all work in tech. The survey covers the experiences of women avoiding talking about certain topics, such as their families, at the office, and some less-than-appropriate locales for work meetings, among many other topics that differentiate women's experiences from men's. These stereotypes we keep hearing about are not outlandish, extreme examples of the circumstances that some women find themselves in when working in the tech industry; rather, they appear to be a blueprint for life in tech as a woman. See below for a sneak peek and head on over to Women Who Tech for the full rundown. (See Hey Men of Silicon Valley, Stop Being Creepy!)

    How Would You Categorize Your Harassment?
    (Source: Women Who Tech)
    (Source: Women Who Tech)

  • There seem to be a bunch of new holidays springing up around working women, and Women's Equality Day snuck by without much fanfare this past weekend. Levo explains that the day is actually a historic commemoration of the women's right to vote in 1920, though because this did not include other racial minorities, it's more like White Women's Equality Day. Levo has a couple tips about how to acknowledge the voting rights, though one of them rings the truest: "Acknowledge how far we've come; remember how far we have to go." Forbes has a few more, but these ones involve robots. (See Equal Pay Day: Time to Get Paychecks in Check and Happy Women's Day: How Are You Being Bold for Change?)

  • Some companies are better than others about gender diversity, and Evite has quietly snuck to the front of the pack. In an open letter on Medium, CEO Victor Cho candidly explains his personal history with tech, and his company's accomplishments in creating a diverse employee base. Cho writes, "Females now make up: 60% of our total employees, 63% of our managers, 57% of Directors and above, and 40% of our technology and product employees. We have built a truly balanced tribe that has bucked the overall market trend and puts us well beyond the top 10% of diverse companies as reported by Diversity, Inc." Interestingly, the online invitation company doesn't use the typical minority quotas to round out its ranks, though diversity is a frequent topic between managers and teams, just not in the same ways as other tech companies. Cho's (very visually mapped out) hiring plan is less about diversity and more about finding the right candidate for the job, and companies currently in the hot seat might benefit from taking a look. (See Does Facebook Have a Code for Gender Bias?, AT&T AI Director on Diversity in Data Mining and Google Ordered to Turn Over Some Pay Details.)

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

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