Women In Comms

WiCipedia: The buzz on Bumble's billionaire boss

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: There's a new billionaire in town; Clubhouse excludes minorities; the gaming industry makes ghosts of female developers; and more.

  • There's a new billionaire in town, and for once, it's a woman. The Hill reports that dating-app Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd is the youngest woman to take a US company to IPO, making her one of the few self-made female billionaires. How did she do it? Bumble raised its IPO to $2.15 billion last week with a share price of $43. "You don't have to be one type of person to find success in the business world or in the tech industry," ex-Tinder co-founder Wolfe Herd told CNN. "I've truly just always tried to build what I wish existed, what I wish could help make lives better for the women I care about and the people I love, and I think it doesn't always have to follow the same path." (See WiCipedia: How to create a diverse board.)

    The honey bee gets the nectar
    (Source: Pixabay)
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • Since we wrote about Clubhouse just a few weeks ago, we seem to have seen it everywhere we've looked, and not always in a complimentary way. Rolling Stone just came out with an exposé about the audio-only, tech- and business-focused app, which is gaining a reputation for ostracizing minorities. For example, "Black women in tech have said that the rich, white-guy atmosphere is exclusionary. Anti-Semitism has been a problem, with one CEO logging off the app after listening to a room 'that is literally just a bunch of people talking about why it's ok to hate Jews.' One woman complained she was targeted by men after talking about misogyny in a room, she told the New York Times," the article reports. As if white CIS men needed another place to feel safe and be able to vent... (See WiCipedia: The workplace culture that creates 'hackathon queens'.)
  • The video game industry is a particularly male-dominated corner of the tech world, and gaming historians (yep, they exist!) report that women's impacts on the industry are often entirely erased. Polygon interviewed historians and current gaming experts and found that female gamers and developers have indeed made their mark on the industry, but tracking them down is another story. Gaming historian Kate Willaert is working to put an end to the mystery with "a 50-part YouTube series on playable female protagonists." While this sounds like quite the undertaking, just locating the women who worked on specific games has already taken Willaert a decade. We're interested to see how this story will (eventually) unfold. (See WiCipedia: 'Build Up, Never Tear Down'.)

  • In the beginning of cryptocurrency, it seemed like there was a possibility that it might be a more gender-neutral sector of tech and finance, but Hacker Noon reports that it's actually been mostly dominated by men with an even lower than usual representation of women, compared to other tech subsectors. Yet that doesn't mean there's no hope. While crypto may currently have a "bro culture" rep, in just the first quarter of 2020, there was a nearly 45% rise in the number of female crypto investors worldwide, with that number spiking to 80% in some locations. There have also been a bevy of women-only Bitcoin conferences, events and groups popping up, and some posit that the focus for the industry this year will be (or at least should be) growing its diversity. Only time will tell what the future holds for funny money, in so many ways. (See WiCipedia: Crypto, Cannabis & Change.)

  • This past week celebrated the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and to celebrate, The World Economic Forum took a look at the accomplishments of women in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. While only 33% of scientists identify as female, 70% of first responders and healthcare workers are women, making COVID a problem that falls on the shoulders of women more than men in more ways than one. So many brilliant female researchers and scientists have played a role in the battle to end the pandemic. Head on over to this page to reach about a few of them. (See WiCipedia: Coming back stronger post-COVID.)

    — Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, Light Reading. Follow us on Twitter @LR_WiC and contact Eryn directly at [email protected].

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