This week in our WiCipedia roundup: When women don't apply to jobs; the new social media scene spreading the tech word (for better or for worse); the skills women need to get hired; and more.
TikTok, the new social media darling on the scene, is being used by women in tech to expose injustices in inequality. Insider profiled Emily Kager, a software engineer who is utilizing the platform to discuss being a woman in tech, often in the form of mocking the male-dominant culture and lack of diversity in the industry. It's not all dark though -- she also encourages more young women to break into tech and talks about the perks of her cushy job. As TikTok is primarily used by the under-25 set (41% of users are between 16 and 24), it's a prime place to reach young people on their own turf and show them both the pros and the cons of the world of tech. (See WiCipedia: CES Recap, Salary Reveals & Outdated Advertising.)
Rumor on the street, or, over at TechCrunch, is that a new minority venture capital fund may be in the process of getting established. Former BET Networks CEO Debra Lee, who left the ViacomCBS company in 2018, mentioned at a conference "that she and others of her powerful friends are talking currently about creating a fund that would support women of color in tech." While Lee didn't hint at any other details beyond that she was open to collaborators, she did give her thoughts on the recent mandate in California that requires companies to have women on their boards. "We've been talking about it for 30 years, and for a company to have a board now with no women or no people of color, they should be truly embarrassed," she stated. Who thinks 2020 will be the year of diverse board and more funding going to minority founders? We sure do. (See WiCipedia: Careers After Kids, Int'l Women's Day & Minority Founders.)
A new study from the Pew Research Center found that women hold the reins in jobs requiring social skills. HR Dive summarized the findings and explained that more women than men are being drawn to positions like education and counseling (i.e., jobs that couldn't be done by a robot), along with analytical positions like accounting. Considering that emerging industries such as "database architects, informatics nurse specialists and video game designers require greater analytical skills," that may be a good sign for women looking to avoid the potential robot (or zombie, depending who you ask) takeover. Since "automation and artificial intelligence could jeopardize the jobs of 40 to 160 million women world-wide," this is an important career move for women in all professions to consider. (See WiCipedia: Tech Falls High in Happiness Index & the Blue Collar-AI Struggle.)
We hear about the "pipeline problem" -- the fundamental lack of minorities coming down the tech highway -- all the time. Many have argued that it's not a lack of interest or skillsets; instead, jobs aren't being made attractive for anyone except white men, and recruiters aren't on the hunt for break-the-mold candidates. Yet what happens when a job description is posted, and women don't apply AT ALL? Smart Company explains that a head engineer job listing for Australian robotic insect farm startup Goterra (yes, really), received over 200 applicants, yet not one of them was from a woman. What gives, if not the creepy company description? Olympia Yarger, founder of Goterra, is making it her mission to find female job applicants, and to also educate her colleagues about unconscious bias and getting women into STEM roles. "This is how we solve these problems -- collectively, together and with each other's ideas," she says. (See Why Diversity of Geeks in Tech Matters.)
— Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading