WiCipedia: Theranos's Fall From Grace & Men Underpaid at Google

This week in our WiC roundup: Google announces that it underpaid men, not women; female founders fall harder when dethroned; Saudi Arabia espouses equality and gender balance; and more.

Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor

March 22, 2019

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: Theranos's Fall From Grace & Men Underpaid at Google

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Google announces that it underpaid men, not women; female founders fall harder when dethroned; Saudi Arabia espouses equality and gender balance; and more.

  • We've seen before how when a woman at the top of her industry messes up, they fall hard -- much harder than their male counterparts. Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, is the latest to become an example of this inequality. Quartz profiled a recently released HBO film titled The Inventor, which explores Holmes's rapid rise to the top when founding her company at the tender age of 19 as a Stanford dropout, to Theranos's recent scandal and shutdown following the realization that the technology not only didn't work but was also falsified. While the article clearly states that the business downturn was not due to sexism, "there's a particular kind of way that powerful women fall, a revelry and pleasure in it that's less common with male leaders." (See WiCipedia: 'It Takes One Misstep to Fall Off Your Pedestal'.) Figure 1: Fall From the Top (Source: Quartz) (Source: Quartz)

    • A new coding school is combining social justice with tech skills in order to increase diversity, Yes Magazine reports. The ReDI School in Germany has become a prominent coding school, and was born out of the refugee crisis of 2015. With 40% female students, the program is aimed at increasing diversity of all kinds in the tech space, specifically for refugees and migrants. At the time of the program's creation, Germany had a shortage of tech workers, yet an influx of refugees -- some of whom even had tech skills yet no access to laptops. This is what prompted ReDI's motto: "We need to stop talking about refugees and start talking to them." (See WiCipedia: After-School Coding, Salary Probing & Pro-Parenthood Companies and WiCipedia: Alternative College & Male Separatism.)

    • All the way over in Saudi Arabia, the message sounds about the same as here: "I pray that we work together to achieve a balance between both genders in all fields, whether at home or in the workplace," said Princess Moudi bint Khalid, according to The Rahnuma Daily. Khalid spoke at an event that honored International Women's Day, and presented a plan for the Kingdom's Vision 2030 reform plan. The plan emphasizes equality and gender balance, particularly in education, finance and tech. She finished on a note that we think everyone can appreciate: "Take it slow and enjoy every phase of your life. If you're a mom, enjoy your children; if you're a CEO, enjoy your success." (See WiCipedia: Middle Eastern Progress & Founders Fight Exclusion.)

    • In an amusing twist of fate, Google announced that due to ramping up female employees' pay, the company has been underpaying men. The Week explained that "though the company has been accused of bias against women in the past, Google's 2018 analysis found that in these judgments managers actually tilted too far in the other direction." Google ameliorated this by adjusting the pay of those who they deemed underpaid, yet while many assumed that the $9.7 million sum went mostly to female employees' paychecks, Google announced that "men, who make up 69 percent of the company's workforce, got an even higher proportion of the money." Google has refused to release detailed data about employees' pay, so it's difficult to unravel the full story at this time. (See WiCipedia: Taking Names & How to Avoid 'Hurting Men's Feelings' and WiCipedia: Doubling Down on Diversity & Google's Payoff Scandal.)

    • Remember Mitt Romney's "binders full of women"? Yeah, so do we. A few years later, the term has been reclaimed, says The Women Journal. The Boardlist is a virtual binder of sorts, which provides a database of more than 600 women in tech who are available for company board positions. Founder Sukhinder Singh Cassidy explained, "Boardlist is vital to finding and helping locate the best female board ability for private tech organization sheets by utilizing the energy of our own administration group, individual underwriting, and innovation. It's vital on the grounds that today this procedure is irregular, manual, ad-hoc, verbal exchange and we keep on suffering from the recognition that it isn't sufficient from a 'pipeline' of awesome female pioneers." (See WiCipedia: All-Female Boards, Google 'Utterly Unprepared' & Insecure Men.)

      — 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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