WiCipedia: No (CIS) Men Allowed & Breaking Into a 'Male' Industry

This week in our WiC roundup: Kaspersky aims to attract women to cybersecurity; how to break into a male-dominated industry; no CIS men allowed at a DC hackathon; and more.

Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor

October 26, 2018

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: No (CIS) Men Allowed & Breaking Into a 'Male' Industry

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Kaspersky aims to attract women to cybersecurity; how to break into a male-dominated industry; no CIS men allowed at a DC hackathon, and more.

  • We've debated the merits of female-only co-working spaces, companies and even islands, and while Women in Comms events have always been open to anyone, we were curious to read about why no CIS men would be allowed to attend a DC hackathon. The Washingtonian explained that at Tech, Rebalanced's sixth-annual, one-day hackathon, "anyone who doesn't identify as a cisgender man is welcome to attend." The event is open to all skill levels and life experiences ... except for CIS men. Formally called Tech Lady Hackathon, the event rebranded to be more inclusive of trans and non-binary people. "There's a lot of informal homo-social bonding in a lot of tech jobs where guys help prop other guys up. I don't have that network," says Tenjarla, a front-end developer at The Atlantic. "My entire identity is not represented in a white tech male space." This event gives those who may not have everyday bonding opportunities at work a place to find non-judgmental and welcoming community. (See Do Women-Only Co-Working Spaces Work for Women?, WiCipedia: Beyond Brotopia, Huggle's All-Female Team & Diversity Ratings and WiCipedia: A Female-Only Island, Gender Quotas & Twitter's Oprah.) Figure 1: No (CIS) Men Allowed (Source: The Washingtonian) (Source: The Washingtonian)

    • Looking to break into a male-dominated industry -- pretty much anything in STEM? Look no further than this article from ten daily, which outlines the steps to take to break into whatever career field your heart desires, via an interview with Michelle Dennis, the head of digital learning and innovation at a tech-focused school for girls in Australia. Dennis advised girls to find a mentor or mentoring group, speak up instead of expecting just to be recognized for good work, get confident and find a community (and if you can't find it, make one!). Regarding harnessing confidence, Dennis states, "I've heard it said that women are just not as naturally as good at technology as men are. This is such a damaging view because this kind of stereotyping prevents girls from pushing past the barriers. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy. If someone tells you that you're not good at something, then you don't want to try." (See Matrixx Founder Creates Her Own Culture , WiC Panel: There's No Shame in Self-Promotion and WiCipedia: Pinkification of Tech & Australia's Diversity Endeavor.)

    • Kaspersky Lab , the cybersecurity giant, is attempting to attract more women to cyber careers with financial support of the Girls in Tech Amplify competition, the signing of the PwC Tech She Can charter along with its own internal women's network, Computer Weekly reports. Cybersecurity has one of the widest gender gaps in the industry with only 11% female employees. The Girls in Tech Amplify program is a competition for girls to compete for venture capitol, and the PwC Tech She Can provides education and mentoring for girls in tech. In the UK, Kaspersky's new program for female employees includes a "mentoring programme, networking events and a speaker series." (See WiCipedia: Companies With Values Should Be the Norm.)

    • It's rare that we hear that bias positively impacts people, yet this Entrepreneur article by payment software company Nvoicepay's CEO, Karla Friede, explains that because most women have experienced so much bias, they are the perfect candidates for careers in tech finance. She expounds, "I think there's an argument to be made that those who have experienced bias -- be they women or any other underrepresented group -- are likely to have developed some distinctive qualities in response. Some of these qualities are particularly valuable in a finance leadership role in a tech company." Another article in Computer Weekly explains that nearly 60% of women believe that they have an edge in tech because of their gender. So while there are still plenty of setbacks, maybe being the minority in the room isn't always such a bad thing. (See IBM's Rometty: 'You Have to Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable'.)

    • In an almost laughable article, CNET reports that yet another big-time Uber employee has left the company after sexual harassment allegations. Uber's head of corporate development, Cameron Poetzscher, resigned earlier this week after it came to light that he "had a history of making sexually suggestive comments to various female colleagues." New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi has been "working to clean up the company's corporate culture" after the past tornado of a year the ride-hailing company has had, but it appears there's always more around the corner for Uber. How can one company possible breed so much misconduct? Something must be in the water cooler. (See WiCipedia: Uber Hires New Diversity Exec & AI Comes for Jobs, Uber's New Boss? Expedia CEO Is Chosen One and Uber Does Housekeeping Amongst CEO Strategizing.)

      — 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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