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WiCipedia: Following Women on Twitter... and on StageWiCipedia: Following Women on Twitter... and on Stage

This week in our WiC roundup: male techies don't follow women on Twitter; Trump stalks Hillary on stage; mansplaining gets defined; and more.

Eryn Leavens

October 14, 2016

5 Min Read
WiCipedia: Following Women on Twitter... and on Stage

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: male techies don't follow women on Twitter; Trump stalks Hillary on stage; mansplaining gets defined; and more.

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  • Vice's Motherboard brought to our attention this week that Tesla's Elon Musk does not follow women on Twitter, like, at all. His excuse was that he uses Twitter for news sources, none of which happen to be female. (Interestingly, Musk follows Ryan Reynolds and Weird Al Yankovic, according to Fusion.) The Guardian and Fusion dug deeper into the follower fiasco, and found that tech leaders in general (both male and female) eschew following females on the social networking site. The post includes a gendered breakdown of the following habits of several top leaders in tech, along with a starter guide to finding inspiring women on Twitter. (See WiCipedia: Victory in a 'Culture of Victimology'.)

    • While we try not to get too political here at Women in Comms, it's hard to ignore all the media attention on the 2016 election this season, which is now just a few weeks away. Much of that attention has been focused on women -- in the workplace, in the home and in public spaces. This past Sunday's second presidential town hall debate had journalists and newscasters alike frenzied over Donald Trump's leaked statements but also his predatory stance and general lack of boundaries and decorum on stage during the debate. See below for a few of the most on-the-mark tweets of the evening. (See WiCipedia: Trumpisms, Marriage Penalties & Back-to-School Inspo.)

    • One of our favorite new words, mansplaining, has also reached peak Twitter status this week. Computer scientist and professor Jen Golbeck expressed anger directed at programming language Java this week, and promptly received a patronizing response from a man that said, "learn it and you'll never want to use anything else ;)." Mashable covered the Twitter storm and Golbeck's responses to the assumption that she's a coding novice, presumably because she's a woman. She redirected the conversation "to a deeper problem with sexism women in tech face today: how men automatically assume their inexperience or incompetence, sexually harass them and give them a general sense of a patronizing 'pat on the head' as you would a child for a job well done." A man empathized with Golbeck in the tweet reply below, and in the process may have just provided the first dictionary definition for the word "mansplain." (See WiCipedia: Facebook's LGBT Stats, Broettes & 'Tiny Lady Hands'.)

    • Manuals for women in tech -- the getting through the day kind -- have been all the rage lately. Lately we've talked about books for women eyeing the corner office, including Lean In and Feminist Fight Club, and the benefits and disadvantages of holding women-only events. Last week, the Dreamforce16 conference in San Francisco paid close attention to gender and diversity in the tech industry, focusing several sessions on women in STEM, race and equality. Diginomica reports that Dreamforce16 stitched together its own "survival guide for women in tech." From dealing with a lack of restrooms for women to learning how to network over "cigars and scotch," female founders and tech-savvy employees shared their experiences of discrimination and tips and tricks to get recognized for skills instead of gender. In a panel of four women talking about gender, the message was clear: If we tell girls from the get go that they're smart instead of pretty, that they can be engineers instead of princesses, we may be able to reshape the way women are seen in STEM industries, and then we wouldn't need a guidebook to being the minority at all. (See WiCipedia: Feminist Fight Club, FinTech Femmes & Feminine Freebies.)

    • All too often we hear about women being discriminated against for jobs and promotions because of gender discrimination, especially in tech. Yahoo has the opposite situation on its hands this week. Reuters reports that a lawsuit was recently filed stating that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer illegally laid off male employees, especially from the upper echelons. The lawsuit specifically targets a newly implemented quarterly review process, calling it "arbitrary and discriminatory." "The lawsuit claims former Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savitt 'intentionally hired and promoted women because of their gender,' noting that 14 of about 16 senior level editorial employees hired by her were women." While we definitely want to take any claims seriously, this almost feels like an April Fool's Day prank. Maybe Yahoo should be added to the recent Anita Borg Institute's list of the best companies for women in tech? Just kidding! Discrimination against any group of people does not create a healthy workplace for anyone. (See WiCipedia: Datanauts, Dudes & Deals.)

      — 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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