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WiCipedia: Glass Ceiling Justice, Tech on TV & the Dark Ages of AdvertisingWiCipedia: Glass Ceiling Justice, Tech on TV & the Dark Ages of Advertising

This week in our WiC roundup: Women take companies to court in droves over unfair pay; TV isn't done with tech parodies; is the glass ceiling getting lower?; and more.

Eryn Leavens

December 13, 2019

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: Glass Ceiling Justice, Tech on TV & the Dark Ages of Advertising

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Women are taking companies to court in droves over unfair pay; TV isn't done with tech parodies; is the glass ceiling getting lower?; and more.

  • A new survey from Ivanti found that roughly half of women think that the tech pay gap is still an issue. A press release summarized the findings of the more than 800-woman survey, and "found the majority of women who work in the technology industry are still experiencing inequality when it comes to salary and career progression." The numbers are going up, not down (as expected); while 31% of respondents stated that tech's glass ceiling was a challenge, last year only 24% of respondents said the same. Not to mention that the amount of women in IT roles hasn't even budged in the past decade. (See WiC Panel: Societal Pressure Drives Diversity & Inclusion.)

And there are consequences for those injustices. Tech companies and big firms in other industries alike are feeling the heat when it comes to female employees suing for unfair treatment. Vox explains that hitting the glass ceiling is still alive and well if you're a woman at work, and profiled one woman in particular, Allison Gamba, who took Goldman Sachs to court with others in a class-action lawsuit over sexist treatment. When Gamba was overdue for a promotion, she asked her manager if he had nominated her for an open position, to which he replied, "I would have been a laughing stock if I had nominated you." Gamba told Vox, "I just knew I wasn't going to get promoted anymore. My head was up against the glass ceiling." Despite the lawsuit being drawn up in 2013, it's just now making its way to court, and it's not alone. Disney, Nike, Twitter, Home Depot, Google, Microsoft -- the list goes on -- are either also in the throes of lawsuits or have one (or more) coming their way soon. (See WiCipedia: Tech's Litigation 'Wake-Up Call' & Gates Donates $1B for Gender Equality.) Figure 1: Is the Glass Ceiling Getting Lower? (Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay) Silicon Valley, the TV show that mocked tech culture and then some, has come to a close, yet this certainly isn't the end of TV that ridicules our strange tech reality. Here to fill the void is a new web series called Tech Bettys, which has already won awards and acclaim. "TECH BETTYS is the brainchild of Mary McGloin and Amanda Van Nostrand and their collective experience working in male dominated tech startups IRL. Inspired by actual events and people of parallel wackiness; you'll see everything you've heard about startup culture is likely true," the press release states. The series is currently being shown in venues in San Francisco, despite profiling not the illustrious Silicon Valley, but New York's slightly more under-the-radar Silicon Alley. (See WiCipedia: Valley of the Boom & Women in Comms Live.) Despite the #MeToo movement and backlash about not enough women in tech and equal pay scandals, the industry just can't seem to quit falling into the trap of sexist advertising. In an article titled "Yay! Tech has got its sexism back," ZDNet picks apart the recent tech innovation ads that leave us to believe that companies still haven't learned their lesson. Peloton's most recent TV commercial, which depicts a man giving his wife one of the very expensive high-tech indoor bikes, was widely criticized as being a sexist portrayal of gift giving that interwove body shaming and societal norms, and resulted in a $942 million loss. Yikes! It also resulted in some very funny Twitter retorts. Additionally -- and I swear I'm not making this up -- a new cellphone called the Escobar Fold 1 debuted with "models who seem to be lamenting the demise of the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show." Hey tech, the 1950s called and it wants its advertising back. (See WiCipedia: Supergirls, No More Excuses & Media Monitoring.) — Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading

About the Author(s)

Eryn Leavens

Special Features & Copy Editor

Eryn Leavens, who joined Light Reading in January 2015, attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before earning her BA in creative writing and studio arts from Hampshire College in Amherst, Mass. She also completed UC Berkeley Extension's Professional Sequence in Editing.

She stumbled into tech copy editing after red-penning her way through several Bay Area book publishers, including Chronicle Books, Counterpoint Press/Soft Skull Press and Seal Press. She spends her free time lifting heavy things, growing her own food, animal wrangling and throwing bowls on the pottery wheel. She lives in Alameda, Calif., with two cats and two greyhounds.

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