This week in our WiCipedia roundup: The best cities for women in tech in 2020 are revealed; women share their salaries to compare where they stand; a new "unconscious bias educational tour experience" educates on the move; and more.
It's that time again. SmartAsset has released its updated yearly list of the best cities in the US for women in tech. Compared to last year's list, there are a few notable changes, though one thing remains the same: Silicon Valley is absent from the list of the top 15 best places. This year, Baltimore, Maryland, scores the top spot, and smaller cities in general tended to offer better opportunities for women. Also notable is that the pay gap somehow continues to widen between men and women's salaries in tech – women's earnings decreased 3.8% compared to men's between 2015 and 2018. The data seems unbelievable given the strides made in recent years for gender equality, yet it just goes to show how much work there still is to do. (See WiCipedia: 'You Are Either Sexually Objectified or the Housewife' – MWC19 and WiCipedia: Head East, Young Techie & New Industries Need Women.)
Surprising or predictable?
An anonymous Google spreadsheet is making the rounds among women in tech who want to compare their salaries. Business Insider (subscription required) explains that tech employee Lizzie Kardon created this collaborative list in order to help women make more money. Since the list debuted just a few weeks ago, more than 500 women have added their info to the shareable list. "Kardon's hope is that additional data around salary transparency will help women negotiate higher salaries and help correct the wage gap in the tech sector," the article states, noting that it's particularly helpful when comparing women's salaries to men's salaries with the same job titles. (See WiCipedia: CES Recap, Salary Reveals & Outdated Advertising.)
AnitaB.org is a leader in the fight for gender equality, and its new goal is to put itself out of business. CNBC spoke with CEO Brenda Wilkerson, who explained that the organization's aim is to reach 50/50 gender parity in tech by the year 2025. If they are able to hit those numbers, AnitaB won't be needed anymore. Lofty objectives aside, Wilkerson has been using "aggressive" tactics to ensure that the diversity ratio increases at both major and minor players in the industry, and says that one new hire to run a diversity program simply isn't enough. "[Tech companies] hire this one chief diversity officer, give them no power, and don't include them in the rest of the processes, so it's not going to work. You can hire a bunch of folks but if you don't understand equity, you're not going to keep them," she said. (See WiCipedia: The Whitest Black Candidates & Conferences Take a Political Stand.)
Women in venture capital are on the rise, Fortune explains. We've been hearing about new diversity-focused, female-founded VC funds much more than normal over the past year, and this is why: "The percentage of female decision makers in the venture industry has increased from 9% at the end of 2017, to 13% as of this month." While that's clearly not an equal percentage breakdown, it's notable in the extremely male-dominated industry of venture capital. Just in 2019, 52 women signed on in leadership roles at VC companies, and the percentage of VCs with two or more female partners rose from 7% to 14%. Advocates of diversity in the industry are putting their money where their mouth is too: "More than 1,000 founders signed pledges to reject checks from investors if their teams are all male," Fortune said. (See WiCipedia: Flexible Work Priorities, Next-Level VC & Top Women in Tech.)
A new "unconscious bias educational tour experience" is on the move, touring roughly 100 different locations around the US. CEO Action has designed a mobile tour with the purpose of educating the public about our built-in biases, many of which we don't even recognize ourselves. The tour is a tech-based, multimedia affair that will convene at notable universities and company headquarters to offer an immersive, interactive experience to "check your blind spots," as well as sign a pledge to commit to eliminating unconscious bias and fostering inclusion. The full list of events and locations can be found here. (See WiCipedia: Women in Tech Turn to TikTok to Expose Industry.)
— Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading