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WiCipedia: The ever-rising glass ceiling

This week in our WiC roundup: The salary gap in tech hasn't left the building; the glass ceiling keeps getting higher; refugees gain machine learning skills in Bulgaria; and more.

Eryn Leavens

April 24, 2020

3 Min Read
WiCipedia: The ever-rising glass ceiling

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: The salary gap in tech hasn't left the building; the glass ceiling keeps getting higher; refugees gain machine learning skills in Bulgaria; and more.

  • While salary inequality between men and women in tech has been in the headlines for several years now, two studies found that the gender pay gap isn't closing anytime soon; in fact, in some areas it's increasing. An article in IEEE Spectrum summarized the findings, and discovered that while the gap slightly narrowed in 2018, it's now widened back to match the 2017 numbers, and 63% of women who are applying for the same job at the same company as men receive lower salary offers. The difference in salary adds up to about 3% on average, which is 1% less than just a few years ago, so at least that number is shrinking. While 84% of women believe there is a pay gap in tech, only 64% of men acknowledge that they might be getting paid more than their equally qualified counterparts. (See WiCipedia: 2020's best cities for women in tech.)

    • Along the same lines, TechCentral reports that 27% of women in tech perceive the glass ceiling as more unbreakable than ever. Equal pay and benefits, as well as a clear career progression outline, were most frequently requested, with flexible work options and an "all-inclusive workplace" not far behind. More than half of surveyed women did not feel they were taken seriously because of their gender, though this percentage was on the decline. However, more than 60% of respondents held the opinion that gender stereotypes were to blame for the continuation of inequality, and stated that male bosses perpetuated the problem by favoring male employees. (See WiCipedia: Ivanka Trump's CES Keynote & Male Bosses Promote Men More.) Figure 1: It just keeps getting higher and higher (Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

    • Over in the UK, the stats are even worse, especially for venture capitalism. Crunchbase explained that only 15% of UK investors are female, and that funding for female-founded companies has actually gone down by .4% in the past three years. Most notably, half of women in tech in Europe report experiencing gender-related discrimination in the past year. While there's no doubt that many are working to equalize the VC and tech systems that reign, it's no easy task and it will take longer than we would like. (See WiCipedia: Global female income hits all-time high, continues to rise.)

    • While we often associate artificial intelligence with Silicon Valley, over in Bulgaria a group called Humans in the Loop is using machine learning to supply refugees with digital skills they can bring to the table in their new countries. ZDNET profiled the group, which works with refugees from conflict zones, and has so far trained roughly 2,000 people in digital skills, specifically in machine learning, so they can find work. The skills translate into jobs that are often a particularly good fit for women who need to work from home to balance familial obligations. The jobs often focus on facial recognition software and photo labeling, and training also includes learning English and other computer skills. (See WiCipedia: The AI Diversity Struggle, Companies Aren't Prioritizing Equality & New-Mom Decisions.)

      — Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading

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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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