This week in our WiC roundup: Women get short shrift when it comes to promotions; workplace harassment is as pervasive as ever; telecom steps into the 21st century; and more.

Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor

October 15, 2021

3 Min Read
WiCipedia: The 'broken rungs' of women's careers

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Women get short shrift when it comes to promotions; workplace harassment is as pervasive as ever; telecom steps into the 21st century; and more.

  • Have you heard of "broken rungs" before? A new study reports that this term, which signifies the scarcity of women in senior roles, is on the rise. BizJournals summarized the report findings, which came from Yale Insights and other studious sources, and explained that women just aren't being promoted at the rate of their male counterparts, across all industries, regardless of job performance. With women in tech specifically explaining that "their first promotion was most pivotal to their career," this is a setback that can affect an entire career and is one of the key issues of the pay gap issue, even more so for women of color. There is a path forward, however. The article suggests, "What can companies do to repair these 'broken rungs' for women? Researchers suggested organizations use algorithms to search their internal data for gaps like those observed in the study, or think beyond evaluations, taking note of other metrics that relate to leadership potential." (See WiCipedia: Working more to earn less.) Figure 1: Does this staircase remind you of your career progression? (Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

    • Workplace harassment is as pervasive an issue as ever, even with all the attention on the #MeToo movement and gender equality. Particularly in tech, where "bro culture" rules the roost at so many Silicon Valley companies, the unjust experiences of women and minorities are way too common. Forbes explains that reports show half of women experience sexual harassment in the workplace, with that number increasing to two thirds for LGBTQI+ workers. While there are many reasons this abuse is still so common, the article calls on allies to put a halt to it. Check out the full article for the ways in which male allies can do their part to put a stop to workplace harassment. (See WiCipedia: What makes a good company for female employees?)

    • Several new platforms for tech education, specifically for women, have broken ground lately, and some of them have even scored major funding. TechCrunch reports that Entity Academy, which coaches women on both hard and soft tech job skills, has just raised $100 million, which will be used for tuition. The bootcamp-style program is geared toward women aged 19 to 40, the majority of whom seek financial assistance for the program. With traditional schooling failing female students in terms of pursuing tech careers, this alternative access to education, particularly with online access, is more crucial than ever. (See WiCipedia: What's it like being the only girl in STEM class?)

    • Over in the telecom world, Yahoo reports that Qualcomm is highlighting its efforts to build a diverse and equal opportunity company. While it doesn't appear as though any new initiatives were announced, the company is continuing on with its 2020 goals of "promoting gender equity in technology" and "continuously building a pipeline of diverse talent." Likewise, Vodafone has announced its #ChangeTheFace Alliance with Deloitte, Digital Boost, Ericsson, Facebook, Founders4Schools, Girl Effect, IBM, Nokia, PwC, Samsung, UN Women and Vodafone, which aims to diversify the tech scene. While telecom might have a reputation of being an old white man's industry, these companies are working to shake things up, and we hope they succeed. (See WiCipedia: The lack of women in tech is bigger than a 'pipeline problem'.)

      — 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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