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WiCipedia: Ivanka Trump's CES Keynote & Male Bosses Promote Men More

Eryn Leavens

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: CES picked a controversial keynoter; female founders snagged under 3% of VC funding last year -- an all-time high; is learning to code enough?; and more.

  • CES hasn't exactly been a role model for showcasing female keynoters at tech conferences, and this year, while there are more female keynoters gracing the main stage, some would argue the event's organizers aren't doing any better. Forbes reported that Ivanka Trump would be keynoting CES on January 7: Tech analyst Carolina Milanesi wasn't too thrilled about her attendance, calling it a "token woman appearance" and stating that there are much more accomplished women in tech who could have taken her place. Milanesi also felt the move was political in nature: "Politics and technology have always been intertwined, but in 2019 their connection has been more evident than ever before. So I am not surprised that CTA felt that CES ... needed to foster their relationship with Washington. And given the pressure of having more women on stage, why not pick a woman and kill two birds with one stone?" (Or as this writer prefers, feed two birds with one scone.) CES issued its own retort to Trump's presence at the conference, which can be found on CNBC. The flak continued after Trump's keynote, during which she touted her father's employment policies and record, as The Guardian reported. (See WiCipedia: Risk Taking, Imposter Syndrome & CES Double Standards.)

  • A new study has found that men with male bosses are routinely promoted faster than their female counterparts. The report, titled "The Old Boys' Club: Schmoozing and the Gender Gap," found that men have the upper hand when it comes to the "male-to-male advantage." Meaning that "Men can schmooze, network, and interact with more powerful men in ways that are less accessible to women. This mechanism can create a self-perpetuating cycle: male managers will promote a disproportionate share of male employees, who will continue promoting other men," the study explained. When men have female bosses, they are promoted at a slower pace. The study was based on tens of thousands of worldwide data markers over several years of research. (See WiCipedia: Glass Ceiling Justice, Tech on TV & the Dark Ages of Advertising.)

    Seems Like a Rigged System to Us
    (Source: Pixabay)
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • 2019 was a big year for women gaining venture capital funding. WBUR explains that while we're still a long way from funding equality, an all-time high of $3.3 billion was raised by female-founded tech companies last year. This is less than 3% of all VC money cash that went to startups, to put that number in perspective. In a podcast, Tonya Mosley and Kara Swisher explain the year that was for female fundraisers and how far we still have to go. (See WiCipedia: Flexible Work Priorities, Next-Level VC & Top Women in Tech.)

  • We've heard over and over again that more women are needed in tech, which means that more girls need to learn how to code. Yet Fast Company asks: What good are skills without positive intention? In an article titled "We won't solve tech's diversity problem by teaching more people to code," Technovation founder Tara Chklovski tackles the idea of the coding bootcamp and writes, "Instead of focusing on how many students learn to code, we should measure what they do with that knowledge. What good is developing students' knowledge if they aren't able to use it to solve anything relevant to them, or if they aren't motivated to continue learning and practicing once the program is over?" She continues by citing a study that shows that just because people learn how to code doesn't mean they have any idea what to do with that knowledge. (See WiCipedia: Using Tech for Good, the Scully Effect & Google's Clock Is Ticking.)

  • It's been more than two years since Uber seemed to be in every headline over gender discrimination and sexual harassment claims, but the company is still paying for its actions in more ways than one. ABC News explains that Uber has recently set up a $4.4 million fund to pay for damages and compensate those who experienced harassment at the company in the past five years. "This agreement will hopefully empower women in technology to speak up against sexism in the workplace knowing that their voices can yield meaningful change," Ami Sanghvi, an EEOC attorney who advised on the investigation, said in a statement. From a business angle, Uber's worth has plummeted -- it lost more than $1 billion just last quarter and $5 billion the quarter prior. (See WiCipedia: Uber Hires New Diversity Exec & AI Comes for Jobs.)

    — Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading

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