This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Harlem Capital raises cash for minority founders; female speakers claim their worth; more women will join tech in the new year; and more.
The ratio of female to male conference keynoters is ever so slowly ratcheting towards equality, yet that doesn't mean all speakers are paid the same rates or given the same guidance. Enter Carol Cox, founder of Speaking Your Brand, an organization that coaches female speakers so they can be the best they can be. Forbes interviewed Carol to learn about how she advises high-performing women to construct speeches, get jobs, make sure they're paid enough and more. Her message ultimately culminates in cultivating "clarity, conviction and confidence" -- no easy task. If you are a female speaker or would like to book speaking gigs in the new year, we highly recommend this article. (See WiCipedia: Waffles for Brains, MWC Female Keynoters & Tech Decision Makers.)
Is This Thing On?
A new VC fund is in town, and it means business when it comes to raising cash for diversity-minded startups. TechCrunch reports Harlem Capital has already raised slightly more than $40 million since opening its doors in 2015 when the founders were still in business school. Their goal? Over the next 20 years, they aim to invest in 1,000 different minority founders. "We fundamentally believe we are a venture fund with impact, not an impact fund," Managing Partner Henri Pierre-Jacques told TechCrunch. "The way we generate impact is to give women and minority entrepreneurs ownership." Managing Partner Jarrid Tingle added, "You need diversity funds like ourselves to get this market anywhere close to parity." (See WiCipedia: Recruitment Gender Bias, VC Cash Stash & Making Better Decisions.)
In the funniest yet most sobering news of the week, Stuff reported that in New Zealand there are more men named Mark at the helm of companies than there are women in the same roles. One name vs. 50% of the population. Yes, we're serious. Broken down, a survey found eight companies run by men named Mark in NZ, while only five companies were run by women. "Marc," "Marko" and two companies run by the same "Mark" weren't even counted in the tally, making the number of Mark-related names more than double the amount of female-run companies. (See WiCipedia: From New Zealand to the Silicon Prairie & Beyond.)
Computer Weekly summarized a study from travel booking platform Trainline, which predicts that 2020 will be the year of women in tech -- or if that's too far a stretch, at least more women will be joining the ranks. The study found 60% of people believe more women will join the tech industry next year, with 20% of respondents saying they think women will specifically choose technical roles. "You can't expect to cultivate a versatile and agile team, able to react in real time to the ever-changing needs of customers, if you continue to hire the same kind of people, who think the same way." We have high hopes that gender parity will increase for tech companies next year, though the real challenge is keeping them once they've signed on. (See WiCipedia: Why Women Leave Tech, Gen Z Wants to Disconnect & Aviation Equality.)
— Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading