This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Coding school teaches kids to help others with tech; '90s TV reigns supreme even in the everything-automated age; computer science programs may have more accountability soon; and more.
An impressively comprehensive article in Wired this week compiled the history of Google's complicated and brazen culture. It wasn't until recently that Google was lumped into the rest of the wrongdoing tech companies of the Valley with their inequality lawsuits and harassment cases, but post Google walkout, things have changed. Wired interviewed 47 Google employees, both current and former, to find out how #MeToo culture and a Trump presidency affected employees -- both right wing and far left. They also address the retaliation that female employees faced after staging their own walkout, and how executives and HR handled the inevitable sexual harassment and discrimination cases that eventually rose to the surface. This one is definitely worth a read. (See WiCipedia: All-Female Boards, Google 'Utterly Unprepared' & Insecure Men.)
The iconic Ms. Magazine tackled "the Scully effect" this week, which they describe as the phenomenon of "The character of Agent Dana Scully in the X-Files [having] inspired 63 percent of the women in science surveyed by [The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media] to pursue their work in the male-dominated STEM fields." This topic was discussed at the AT&T SHAPE 2019 conference earlier this summer, with the takeaway being that children need visible media characters to inspire their career and greater life choices. Turns out TV isn't such a brain suck after all! (See WiCipedia: Valley of the Boom & Women in Comms Live.)
Nonprofit Girls Who Code and Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) are teaming up to change the requirements of schools that receive federal funding for computer science programs, Politico reported. The new legislation would make it mandatory for students' basic information -- such as gender, race, economic standing and other demographic info -- to be reported to the Dept. of Education for equality research. "With that transparency, it becomes more clear who's signing up for classes that lay the groundwork for careers in technology -- and whether federal grant programs are making a difference," the article states. Rosen, who was a coder in her pre-politics life, said, "The legislation I am developing with Girls Who Code will help us find and close existing gaps in disparities, while ensuring we are being good stewards of taxpayer dollars." (See Vodafone Launches Global Girls' Coding Program.)
Using tech for good is a skill that's helpful to teach early on, and that's just what Bio-Med Tech Girls is doing in Charlottesville, Va. CBS explained that a collaboration between the University of Virginia Department of Biomedical Engineering, St. Anne's Belfield School Summer Spark and Charlottesville Women in Tech is hosting a week-long camp for girls to learn how to code, with an emphasis on creating tech for disabled kids. "Earlier in the week, they were given different profiles of children who have severe hemiplegia, Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis, cerebral palsy and paralysis. The girls broke into teams to take on the challenge to solve a real-world issue by creating a video game and controller for each disabled child." This is definitely the direction we like to see tech heading. (See WiCipedia: Podcasts, Charity Tech & Micro-Aggressions.)