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WiCipedia: Breaking through barriers and smashing inequality

This week in our WiC roundup: Female founders raise initial capital faster; wage gap politics; new campaign urges women to dismiss boundaries; and more.

Eryn Leavens

October 30, 2020

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: Breaking through barriers and smashing inequality

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Female founders raise initial capital faster; wage gap politics; new campaign urges women to dismiss barriers; and more.

  • A new digital campaign in the UK encourages women to bypass expectations and career boundaries and "do it anyway." FE News explains that the campaign is the brainchild of Tech Talent Charter, and aims to get women into tech roles and smash the gender inequality numbers in the industry, even without formal training. The campaign stresses that retraining programs may be the answer, as a staggering "45% of women in other roles would be interested in retraining into a tech role but 32% did not believe they had the right qualifications," one study shows. (See WiCipedia: Coming back stronger post-COVID.) Figure 1: The Tech Talent Charter campaign works hand-in-hand with the company's network of resources for women in tech. (Source: Tech Talent Charter) The Tech Talent Charter campaign works hand-in-hand with the company's network of resources for women in tech.
    (Source: Tech Talent Charter)

    • Telenor Group's Executive Management meeting was a bit more interesting this week with the addition of three young women who "took over" the call, explained a press release. The three guests – Oda Ertzei from Norway, Reneka Ahmed Antu from Bangladesh and Shoon Lae Yi Phyo from Myanmar – were there to share "their first-person perspectives on the representation of women in the technology sector to Telenor's top executive management." After the call, the girls were connected to their local Telenor offices to share their thoughts further. "At Telenor, we strive to develop services that work for everybody," commented Sigve Brekke, president and CEO of Telenor Group. "To succeed with that, we need a range of perspectives and insights among our own people. This morning, I had the pleasure of speaking to three young girls to gain their perspectives on technology in their countries and globally. Lots of positive energy, but also clear evidence that we still have work to do to remove the hurdles that keep great talent from wanting to join our industry." (See Telenor changes management team adding 43% women.)

    • A new study out of the UK found that while female entrepreneurs face more barriers than their male counterparts when raising capital, they are able to raise the first £1 million faster than men. Business Cloud summarized the report findings of 1,000 university grads who went on to found tech companies and raise funds. Both male and female founders started their companies in roughly the same amount of time after graduating, yet women secured initial funds more quickly. "However that's where the good news ends," states the article. While there wasn't much intel on why women were able to raise the first investments faster than men, there are many reasons – namely unconscious bias, leaving the industry for family obligations and men being given a leg up in startup competitions – that explained why the female founders weren't able to continue acquiring funds at the same rate. (See WiCipedia: Founders battle anti-racism, fight for equal-opportunity funding.)

    • A new study found that women in tech are slowly closing the gender wage gap, and overall have it better than women in any other industry. ComputerWorld explained that while women in tech make 17.5% less than their male counterparts, that number has improved almost 5% since just 2018. Female engineers only make 6.4% less than male engineers, the smallest gap of any industry. Outside of the tech industry, women make 20% less than men. Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) techies, however, are not on such an upward trajectory, with a wage gap of 30% between Black employees and White employees and nearly 25% between Latinx employees and White employees. Strangely, in this year of racial reckoning, the wage gap for BIPOC employees compared to White employees actually rose. (See WiCipedia: The ever-rising glass ceiling.)

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

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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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