WiCipedia: Radical Dissidents, Code Like a Girl & Diversity Scorecards

This week in our WiC roundup: 'Concealed figures' in space; Gen Z women make more than men in certain roles; Salesforce uses data to examine equality; and more.

Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor

June 28, 2019

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: Radical Dissidents, Code Like a Girl & Diversity Scorecards

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: 'Concealed figures' in space; Gen Z women make more than men in certain roles; Salesforce uses data to examine equality; and more.

  • Salesforce is one company that isn't taking gender equality reform lightly. Business Insider says that the cloud-computing company is using a scorecard-based data strategy "to track how often they promote and hire women and underrepresented minorities." The scorecards are distributed to more than 500 managers on a monthly basis and the process has been in practice for one year. While 4,000 women were hired to the company at large in the past year, the overall percentage of women has only gone up slightly more than one point in the past two years -- but change doesn't happen overnight. They've also performed salary audits to screen for gender pay gap issues, and raised the salaries of all female employees who were making less than male employees in the same roles. Figure 1: Keeping Score (Source: Pixabay) (Source: Pixabay)

    • The lack of space suits designed for women notwithstanding, space exploration is an important industry for women in STEM. The Women Journal explains that Poppy Northcutt, one of the first women to work at NASA's Mission Control Center, spoke at the Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference in San Francisco this week. She stressed to girls that they should be prepared to be the only woman in the room, while at the same time said they should not be "concealed figures." As for how her years working in a male-dominated industry affected her? "'I turned into a flaring radical ladies' rights dissident,' Northcutt said to cheers and praise from the group of spectators."

    • While the gender pay gap is on track to take decades to close, female college grads currently entering the tech job market are making more than their male counterparts in some positions, Yahoo Finance states. A new study from Comparably notes that in eight top professions, including senior developer, lead engineer and mobile developer, women are making more than men. "Comparably says there were several factors [that] may have contributed to the higher average pay for some recent female grads in tech. Women included in the study -- age 18 to 24 -- would have most likely been hired 'during the recent era of heightened awareness of social and financial inequality.'" (See WiCipedia: Gen Z Redefines Tech & Pay Gap Inequality Rages On.)

    • There's no shortage of advice being spewed into the ether about how to create more diverse workplaces as of late, but we thought this list from Forbes really hit the nail on the head. As companies strive to become more inclusive, creating change at a rapid pace is a challenge that seems to affect many. Forbes suggested five key tips in order to embrace the inevitable (and much welcome) change, including focusing on inclusion, stepping into someone else's shoes, giving diverse candidates a chance, encouraging current diverse employees to step up into larger roles and identifying (and eliminating) unconscious bias. If every company took these tips to heart, just think about the major shift in company culture that could take place! (See WiCipedia: Doubling Down on Diversity & Google's Payoff Scandal.)

    • Vodacom South Africa amped up an initiative this month to help girls between the ages of 14 and 18 break into coding. IT Web says that Vodafone's goal is to teach 500 girls how to code across eight provinces in South Africa during the school break. South Africa has a widening gender gap in STEM careers, Takalani Netshitenzhe, chief officer of corporate affairs at Vodacom, explains, which is why it's more important than ever for girls in SA to have access to the training and resources they need to begin a career. "For Vodacom, teaching girls how to code is the first step towards changing their outlook towards careers in STEM fields," Takalani said. The program, which is titled Code Like a Girl, will focus on "helping to develop [girls'] computational and critical thinking skills and showing them how to create, not simply use, new technologies." (See WiCipedia: Vodafone Rules, A Day Without a Woman & Reclaiming Ambition.)

      — 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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