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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Making diversity a priority in job searches

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: How to tell if your future employer is focused on diversity; YouTube's policies leave room for error; women take the lead in cybersecurity practices; and more.

  • If you're looking for a job in tech and want to assess how diversity-focused your potential boss is, check out this list of questions for your new employer from Women Love Tech. There are ten questions in total, though the three main categories to assess are the tone of culture and diversity coming from the top, the percentage of senior leadership that's made up of women and people of color and HR's stance on diversity. While there's a major push for workplace equality lately, not every company is on board. In fact, according to one study, "30% of women say they are facing unequal growth opportunities and only 59% of women say their employers have a program to encourage the promotion/advancement of women." No one wants to get stuck in a job where they don't have the opportunity for growth or gender equality, so do your research before taking the new job plunge. (See WiCipedia: Podcast Recs, Interview No-Nos & Creating a Majority Female Tech Company.)

    Does your workplace check the boxes?
    (Source: Pixabay)
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • YouTube is putting its money where its morals are with blanket policies that are excluding some unintended recipients. Inside Hook explains that the streaming behemoth inadvertently banned a sex tech conference by automatically restricting content having anything to do with sex. The policy is a product of YouTube's automated algorithms, which are relying on AI instead of human moderators because of the COVID-19 content crush. The policy is intended to ban salacious material, but didn't take into account the educational or professional nature of some videos. The article states, "The incident, as Vice noted, is yet another instance of tech companies silencing sex education and sexual speech online and perpetuating a harmful pattern of censorship that routinely threatens sexual expression of all kinds across various internet platforms." (See WiCipedia: 'Zoombombers' create video conferencing nightmare.)

  • It turns out that women have the skills to keep data secure, at least more than men do. Total Telecom summarized a study that showed that when it comes to cybersecurity practices, women make the safer choice more so than men, which isn't to say that it's the overwhelming majority most of the time. In terms of password safety on websites, 57% of women use unique passwords for banking sites and apps, compared to 50% of men. For online shopping, that number goes down to 43% of women and a mere 36% of men. These habits pay off too: While 22% of people in general have experienced some sort of cybersecurity breach, 46% of that group is made up of women and 54% is made up of men. The study was conducted with 700 people in the UK and another 700 people in the US. (See WiCipedia: 'Resting Pitch Face,' Digital Leaders & the Scandal Effect.)

  • Working from home has been touted as a great boon for women, but the perks go way beyond flexibility with scheduling, lower travel costs and availability for familial responsibilities. Quartz explained that when workers have to videoconference on the job, women are at more of an advantage than they would be in an in-person meeting. Videoconferencing is eliminating many of the factors that lead women to experience bias, from body type to body language, as the shrunken screen just doesn't allow for all of these attributes to factor into the discussion. The author writes, "It's these small considerations — what to wear, how high to sit, when to speak up — that women have to make (along with men who don't conform to industry stereotype) to eliminate potential distractions from an otherwise successful meeting. Only now, a lot fewer of those considerations are necessary." The "equalizing effect" of remote working and videoconferencing may have women yearning for quarantine days when they go back to in-person offices. (See WiCipedia: Working from home is bright spot of COVID-19 for many minority workers.)

  • Diversity in AI has always been a struggle, though ZDNet explains that the divide is shrinking. While it's slow going, 91% of AI pros report that the industry is positively benefiting from diversity efforts, and 85% believe that the industry has become increasingly diverse in the past few years. A large majority also felt that the industry had the potential to eliminate bias from its practices, though men were more confident than women (no surprise!) on that front. And according to CNBC, now is a great time for women to snag an AI job. (See WiCipedia: The AI Diversity Struggle, Companies Aren't Prioritizing Equality & New-Mom Decisions.)

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

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