WiCipedia: Setback to Success & the 'Dad Perspective'

This week in our WiC roundup: Philly Tech Week appeals to minority youth; men bring the 'dad perspective'; the women of WWDC; and more.

Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor

June 9, 2017

4 Min Read
WiCipedia: Setback to Success & the 'Dad Perspective'

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Philly Tech Week appeals to minority youth; men bring the "dad perspective"; the women of WWDC; and more.

Women in Comms' next networking luncheon is coming up on November 1 in London. Join us during the OSS in the Era of SDN & NFV event for a fun afternoon of networking, lunch and discussion. Register and learn more here.

  • Sometimes a setback is just the motivation you need to forge ahead, and this was definitely the case with digitalundivided's Kathryn Finney, Madame Noire says. When Finney was looking for investors, she was told by one potential investor that he didn't "do black women," prompting her to start digitalundivided (DID), "a social enterprise that empowers Black and Latina women entrepreneurs through networking, training and funding opportunities." DID has since raised $25 million in funding, and with no shortage of people who didn't believe in the project along the way. But Finney says minorities in tech have come a long way in just a few short years: "We are making strides -- back when I started in this space, diversity wasn't even a buzzword yet ... Beyond paying lip service to the issue, we need more stakeholders to put their money where their mouth is. Nothing explains the need for diversity in tech better than showing the success of ... diverse companies, especially when funded and when provided support and resources." (See WiCipedia: The Barbie & Unicorn Edition, WiCipedia: Middle Eastern Progress & Founders Fight Exclusion and WiCipedia: From Virtual Reality to Virtually No Black Women .)

    • Philly Tech Week has a new approach to reaching minority youth, Technical.ly reports, and it's not only happening in the classroom. Jumoke Dada, founder of the Tech Women Network, says that girls in Philadelphia are overwhelmingly more focused on owning beauty salons than tech, and that an integration of the two may just be the better route. "While Dada supports their entrepreneurial spirit, she still pushes her girls further. 'Can you build an app that the hair dressers can use to book their system, to get me out faster?'" the article quotes. We appreciate this approach to combining passion with reality. What do you think? (See Why Diversity of Geeks in Tech Matters.)

      Figure 1: Girls in Philadelphia's Geek Squad program. (Source: Technical.ly) Girls in Philadelphia's Geek Squad program.
      (Source: Technical.ly)

    • There are so many different issues surrounding women in tech lately and, understandably, it's difficult to keep track of and comprehend how they overlap and intersect -- and why they're so important to overcome. Bloomberg did a helpful roundup of tech issues for women in a recent article, covering topics such as where the gender gap stems from to who is responsible for creating change. In a rapid-fire approach to Q&A, this article is a great primer if you really want to figure out what's making the industry tick and do something about it. (See A Women in Comms Glossary.)

    • For all the brave and wonderful things that women in tech do for other women in tech, men are an important piece of the puzzle too. Computer Weekly picked apart exactly what men have done -- and still need to do -- to advance women in the field. Men have a number of reasons for wanting to eliminate the gender gap in tech; the main two reasons being that diversity increases sales and the "dad perspective," otherwise known as men wanting their young daughters to have every option for a career that a son would have. "It's not only that I want to see my kids have great opportunities, but I want to see my friends' kids, if they are girls, getting into an industry that pays well, [where] there are lots of opportunities," one male CEO said. (See A Man, a Mission & an Underwater Flashlight and Tech Leaders: Gender Diversity Could Add Billions to Economy.)

    • Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was held in San Jose, Calif. this week, and women were more of a presence than ever (which wasn't a difficult feat). CNBC covered Michelle Obama's speech at the conference, the gist of which was, "If you don't support women, we don't support you." The former First Lady spoke directly to the mostly male audience when she said, "Who are you marketing to? Who do you think is going to use these apps? If women aren't at the table, you're going to miss my dollar. Because you don't really know me." In other WWDC news, retired banker Masako Wakamiya, 82, was the oldest person to attend the conference this year, Fortune reports. Wakamiya told Fortune, "I didn't see any apps for the elderly, so I decided to create my own." Now that's an entrepreneurial spirit! (See Silicon Valley Writer Foresees End of Bro Culture.)

      — 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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