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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Is Oracle out of the frying pan on equal pay?

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: Women are more likely to be promoted, kind of; Oracle faces a potentially major payout to female plaintiffs; universities keep pushing for STEM diversity even with classes moved online; and more.

  • The biggest news of the women in tech week comes from Oracle, where an evolving equal pay lawsuit has grown to 4,100 female plaintiffs – which could put Oracle in hotter water or "out of the frying pan and into the fire." The Register describes the ordeal, which began in 2017, and claims that the women were paid $13,000 less than their male counterparts per year, adding up to $400 million over the years. While Oracle has previously counterclaimed, the trial is moving forward to interview all of the plaintiffs and likely monetarily settle the case based on past and current similar lawsuits with large tech companies such as Google, Cisco and Intel. Oracle, meanwhile, is putting on its game face and denying the allegations: "This is just a procedural step unrelated to the merits of the case and we look forward to trying those in court," an Oracle rep stated in the article. (See WiCipedia: Twitter Threats, Diversity Hires & Oracle in Hot Seat.)

    What's in the cards for Oracle?
    (Source: Pixabay)
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • An almost unbelievable new study finds that women in tech are more likely to be promoted at work than their male counterparts. The report was based on 7,000 employees over the span of five years; however, it was conducted entirely in India, so it's difficult to say if these findings apply to other countries as well or if they are geographically specific. The research also contained a caveat that revealed the two sexes were judged on different facets – men on performance and women on emotional intelligence. A summary of the report states, "In the findings, the group uncovered that women are more likely than men to be promoted in the workplace simply because they are regarded as more insightful and trustworthy, whereas men may show fewer disparities and an increased chance of promotion solely on performance improvements." (See WiCipedia: Glass Ceiling Justice, Tech on TV & the Dark Ages of Advertising.)

  • Education may have moved online for the foreseeable future, but the efforts to get more young women involved in STEM programs have not slowed down. Northeastern University's Center for Inclusive Computing is providing six universities and colleges with grant funding to boost their computer science programs, with the goal of increasing diversity and encouraging women to join the field. Columbia University, Barnard College, Colorado State University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers University and the University of Minnesota will all receive between $500,000 and $2 million for their individual programs, and the schools will also be provided with "technical advisors" who have experience with the particular goal and how to achieve it. Notably, this is only the first round of funding; Northeastern intends to continue providing grants over the next six years, with the help of funding from Melinda Gates's Pivotal Ventures. (See WiCipedia: Startup School Scholarships, Losing Lena & UK Pay Discrepancies.)

  • The results of Google's latest diversity report are in, and Forbes explains that the results aren't anything to write home about. The seventh-annual report shows "little progress for women and people of color," with roughly .7% growth for applicants of color being hired across the board. That is, unless you're a Latinx technical employee, where growth was only .2%. Gender diversity in hiring stayed about the same, and even dropped in some roles. Despite very modest diversity gains, the company has put its money where its mouth is for philanthropic diversity causes, and continues to aim for transparency in its hiring and workplace goals. (See WiCipedia: Mansplaining makes for a sticky situation.)

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

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