5 Things We Love for Women in Comms Now

In honor of Valentine's Day, WiC is highlighting five of the sites, companies, products, commercials and more related to women at work that we're digging this month.

Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms

February 14, 2017

6 Min Read
5 Things We Love for Women in Comms Now

In honor of Valentine's Day today -- and to take a break from all the negative and disconcerting goings-on dominating headlines -- Women in Comms is taking a step back to reflect on a few things we think are great this month.

It's easy to get caught up in all the bad news for women dominating headlines lately, whether it's politics or the wage gap, but that shouldn't take away from the fact that women have a lot going for them in the world of work, yes, even in the tech/comms/STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) industries. Diversity and inclusion is becoming a bigger focus for all progressive companies; new technology evolutions are providing promise for women; and a lot is being done to ensure that young girls have the exposure, confidence and education to enter the tech industry and change the dynamics for good. (See 'Women Who Code' CEO Paints Better Tech Pic.)

Here are just five things that caught are our eye this month that we think represent positive momentum for women. We hope you'll add your own additions to the comments section below, and be sure to check out The 8 Best Moments for WiC in 2016 for more of the good from 2016 and The 8 Biggest Turkeys of WiC in 2016 for some of the not-so good.

Women in Comms' first networking breakfast and panel of 2017 is coming up on Wednesday, March 22, in Denver, Colorado, ahead of day two of the Cable Next-Gen Strategies conference. Register here to join us for what will be a great morning!

  • Werk, your way: For any employee today, but especially working mothers, a flexible workplace is often as important, if not more so, than the salary and benefits offered. Finding a company that both offers flexibility and enables their employees to actually take advantage, however, can be challenging. That is where Werk comes into play. With the tagline "flexibility is the future of feminism," Werk is a new job marketplace that matches women up with flexible job opportunities where Werk has already negotiated flexible benefits like working from home, not traveling and setting your own hours. We're not talking about those multi-level marketing schemes that target new moms either, but employers such as Samsung Corp. , Facebook and Uber. As it stands now, the new site is primarily looking for highly educated women for leadership roles. Employers pay $500 for a 90-day listing, and job seekers pay $50 for a year's access to the site. (See Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits.)

    • Internet of Mysterious Things: Since it's well-documented that interest in STEM-related careers falls off amongst girls at a very young age, due to stereotypes, lack of exposure and, sadly, lack of confidence, we're a big fan of anything that makes these fields more exciting, interesting and accessible to girls. One such thing came to our attention via Kickstarter: the nearly funded Internet of Mysterious Things (IoMT), a "living NFC-enabled" children's book about the Internet of Things. Developed by software engineer and inventor Lisa Seacat DeLuca, the book aims to answer children's most pressing question -- "why? -- about how everyday technology works. It combines cool tech -- IoT, near-field communications (NFC) and Amazon Alexa compatibility -- with a fun story and, DeLuca says, also reminds kids to look up from their phones once in a while too. (See STEMing the Decline: Scientists Appeal to the Next Generation.)

    • STEM jobs, no waiting: There may be a shortage of women applying for STEM jobs, but the good news is those who do are able to land them with very little lag time, at least in Asia-Pac. According to a new study by Mastercard, female STEM graduates take less than six months to land their first job. Upon graduation, 84% of the more than 2,200 female STEM graduates said they took less than half a year to get a job, and 63% reported being very satisfied with the options available to them. Most took jobs in computer and IT or healthcare and medical fields. The survey respondents also shared what attracted them to STEM careers, with the challenge, ability to learn something new and job security topping the list. The study further supports what we've been saying here at WiC -- it's a great time to be a woman in STEM, but more needs to be done to attract women to the field starting at a young age. (See More Women in Tech Is Critically Important.)

    • The data science opportunity: While the gender imbalance is exacerbated in the tech industry, technology also has a lot of potential to help even the playing field for women. Data science is emerging as one area where women are making their mark and seeing more opportunity. Women now make up 40% of graduates with degrees in statistics at a time when big data and analytics requirements are opening up more jobs than ever in the tech world, but also at any company looking to better leverage data for decision making. Stanford recently held its now Women in Data Science conference bringing together thousands of women already in the industry from 114 companies and 31 universities attending live at Stanford, with another 78 satellite events taking place across 26 countries. With an impressive line-up of female speakers, the conference focused on the technical aspects of data science, but was also encouraging both for the current workforce of women, and for the future. (See Artificial Intelligence Expert Weighs In for WiC.)

      — Sarah Thomas, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Director, Women in Comms

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About the Author(s)

Sarah Thomas

Director, Women in Comms

Sarah Thomas's love affair with communications began in 2003 when she bought her first cellphone, a pink RAZR, which she duly "bedazzled" with the help of superglue and her dad.

She joined the editorial staff at Light Reading in 2010 and has been covering mobile technologies ever since. Sarah got her start covering telecom in 2007 at Telephony, later Connected Planet, may it rest in peace. Her non-telecom work experience includes a brief foray into public relations at Fleishman-Hillard (her cussin' upset the clients) and a hodge-podge of internships, including spells at Ingram's (Kansas City's business magazine), American Spa magazine (where she was Chief Hot-Tub Correspondent), and the tweens' quiz bible, QuizFest, in NYC.

As Editorial Operations Director, a role she took on in January 2015, Sarah is responsible for the day-to-day management of the non-news content elements on Light Reading.

Sarah received her Bachelor's in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She lives in Chicago with her 3DTV, her iPad and a drawer full of smartphone cords.

Away from the world of telecom journalism, Sarah likes to dabble in monster truck racing, becoming part of Team Bigfoot in 2009.

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