This week in our WiC roundup: UK to reach 1 million women in STEM; Gen Z brings change; how to keep women in tech; and more.

Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor

November 23, 2018

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: Gen Z Changemakers, MotherCoders & Keeping Women in Tech

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: UK to reach 1 million women in STEM; Gen Z brings change; how to keep women in tech; and more.

  • It's Thanksgiving week here in the US, and we'd like to look on the bright side, which isn't always easy in the world of women in tech. Yet an article in AV Magazine highlighted the seven best things about the industry for women. The article summarizes the findings from a study by Reboot, a digital marketing agency, and Ivanti, a software company. The study found that women most value making a positive impact, the excitement of the job and doing work that they are passionate about. Check out the image from the study below for the full list. (See Light Reading's 2017 Survey of Women in Comms.) Figure 1: 7 Highlights for Women in Tech (Source: AV Magazine) (Source: AV Magazine)

    • The same things that draw women to careers in tech don't necessarily keep them there, though, explains an article in Forbes. While more women than men enter a new job with hopes of running the joint someday, that ambition rapidly declines for women, yet the rate stays the same as it was on day one for men. So what do women need in order to stay in tech roles? Recognition for their hard work, a commitment to gender diversity and opportunities to advance, says one female exec and professional coach. More than anything, women need to be asked for their input instead of assuming a new program for women in tech will solve all of their individual problems, the author states. (See Netflix's Lesson in Culture Expectation Settings.)

    • Each generation brings change, and Gen Z is no exception. Equities explains that the newest batch of "youngins" entering the workforce is far more equipped than any we've seen before. Quoting a study from Randstad, the article says that Generation Z is "more ambitious, commercially minded and better prepared for today's digitally connected world of work." The study interviewed a number of college women who are studying STEM and preparing for careers in a tech field, and many of them were completely unfazed by working in a male-dominated field. As one student said, "I want to change everyone's premeditated ideas of how the workplace has always been. Diversity brings more ideas to the table. Women and people from diverse backgrounds can bring a wider range of insights." (See Employers Not Inspiring Loyalty in Millennial Women.)

    • The UK is on track to employ more than 1 million women in STEM occupations by 2020. Business Cloud reports that "there are currently over 900,000 women working in STEM and an estimated 200,000 with relevant qualifications will reach working age within the next two years." At last week's WISE 2018 Awards, which celebrates women in STEM in the UK, these stats were announced, with the promise of many large tech companies creating more jobs for women in STEM in the future. WISE Chief Executive Helen Wollaston said, "[UK tech companies] have managed to get more women into engineering and technology, removed barriers preventing women moving up through the ranks and seen the benefits of doing so in terms of improved business performance. The great news is that there are more women than ever before coming onto the labour market with engineering and technology qualifications. If employers manage to recruit just half of these women, the UK will have achieved a major milestone." (See WiC Panel: Societal Pressure Drives Diversity & Inclusion.)

    • Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is working to redeem itself after a harrowing few weeks of walkouts and protests. TechCrunch reports that the company's new partnership is with non-profit MotherCoders, which aims to provide tech training to mothers in the Big Apple, and the city's Women.NYC initiative, which provides resources for working women. Together, the collective will offer a nine-week coding program for moms who are returning back to work or entering the workforce for the first time. While the program is geared towards moms who are also minorities, it does require applicants to have a college degree and to have tried coding before. (See WiCipedia: All-Female Boards, Google 'Utterly Unprepared' & Insecure Men, Forman Pioneers a Path Forward for Women Returning to Work and WiCipedia: LL Awards, Tech Mom Returnships & How The Post Gets the Ladies.)

      — 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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