WiCipedia: Black Tech Fest 20 is the place to be

This week in our WiC roundup: Black Tech Fest 20 is right around the corner; ADP is named the top large company for women in tech; women lack confidence, not skill; and more.

Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor

October 9, 2020

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: Black Tech Fest 20 is the place to be

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Black Tech Fest 20 is right around the corner; ADP is named the top large company for women in tech; women lack confidence, not skills; and more.

  • We've all gotten used to the new virtual-conference standard, and for many of us, the change is more boon than bane. You can attend conferences from your own home, a wider range of speakers is able to present in panels and workshops from afar and you don't even have to wear uncomfortable shoes. Yet if you feel like many conferences in general still miss the mark, we've got one that we highly recommend. Black Tech Fest 20 (BTF20), co-hosted by Informa Tech (parent company of Light Reading) and Colorintech, is happening virtually next week from October 13-15 and is not to be missed. BTF20 will dive into the hard-hitting issues that Black founders and tech workers deal with on a daily basis, from algorithmic bias to a lack of VC funding and so much more. Major names from big tech and VC companies will be presenting, and a celebration of accomplishments and tech breakthroughs will conclude the conference. To register and learn more, visit the BTF20 website. Figure 1: Coming up next week - don't miss out! (Source: Black Tech Fest 20) (Source: Black Tech Fest 20)

    • A new report from Phys.org finds that women and men have equal mathematical skillsets, but unequal confidence levels when it comes to computing performance. The field study was done with mid-level business professionals who were assigned a range of tasks on different platforms (laptop, tablet or smartphone) in different positions (walking, standing or sitting). Men and women by and large performed very similarly on the tasks, though strangely, in one situation (sitting while using a tablet) men performed slightly better. However, despite their similar outcomes, men and women rated their performance differently. On a scale of one to five, female participants gave themselves a 3.5 score and male participants gave themselves a 3.88 score, showing that the confidence levels of women were slightly lower overall. While not exactly a surprise, it does give both employers and employees something to think about. (See WiCipedia: Fake it till you make it – the confidence edition.)

    • If you're a woman and looking for a tech job, you may want to consult AnitaB.org's latest list of top companies for female technologists. A press release states that the yearly list, which is divided by small and large companies, is the only "benchmarking tool" that rates companies specifically for tech employees. This year, ADP, the payroll and HR service that many employers use, takes the top ranking in the large company category. Aisha Thomas-Petit, chief diversity, inclusion and corporate social responsibility officer for ADP, said of the company's practices, "Representation is critical, especially in the world of technology where you're at the crux of innovation. As we design new technology to change the world of work, ADP remains steadfast in driving better representation of women." The company uses several different programs to ensure that girls and women are given every opportunity to succeed, and that female employees are treated equally to their male counterparts. (See AnitaB.org names ADP the top large company for women technologists.)

    • Getting women into jobs in tech is one thing; keeping them in the industry is another. VentureBeat summarized a joint report from Accenture and Girls Who Code about inclusivity in tech, which found that more than 50% of women over the age of 35 leave the tech industry. While the reasons for this are complex, overall, the reason that women leave tech jobs smack-dab in the middle of their careers is largely bound up with the feeling that they are not working in an inclusive environment. For example, the study found that only about half of women feel their company empowers women, and a measly 21% think that "it's easy for women to thrive in tech-related jobs." That number plummets to just 8% for women of color. Why would anyone want to stay in an industry that actively works against them if they have other options?

      — Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading. Follow us on Twitter @LR_WiC and contact Eryn directly at [email protected].

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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