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Women In Comms

WiCipedia: Mansplaining makes for a sticky situation

This week in our WiCipedia roundup: While the world around us is consumed by COVID-19 news, women in tech are still pushing forward without delay. There's no time to pause when there's so much change to make.

  • You'd think with all its negative publicity, "mansplaining" would be a thing of the past, though sadly it's alive and well. A Pocket article addresses the issue and explains that rather than advise women how to deal with the behavior, the onus is on men and companies to squash and ban the habit. Writer Rebecca Solnit, who penned the essay "Men Explain Things to Me," said, "Mansplaining is not a universal flaw of the male gender, just the intersection between overconfidence and cluelessness where some portion of that gender gets stuck." Well, it's about time we all get unstuck, isn't it? (See WiCipedia: Boardroom Diversity, Bombastic Mansplaining & Women of Color.)

    The stepping-in-gum days should be behind us
    (Source: Pixabay)
    (Source: Pixabay)

  • Our sister site, Connecting Africa, reported that Google has committed to training 20,000 women in several African countries this year. Under its "Grow with Google" and "Women Will" initiatives, the company will be touring 20 cities around the continent to create a skills-based network of women in order to increase employment options with the goal of closing the gender gap. "Empowering women in the economy and closing gender gaps are key to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustainable development goals, particularly to achieve gender equality, to promote full and productive employment and decent work for all and reducing inequalities," said Google South Africa Head of Marketing Asha Patel. (See Progress, Opportunities Still Abound in Tech.)

  • We hear a lot about how mentors are so important for women in tech, yet sponsors might still be underutilized. TechCrunch explained that sponsors are "those in leadership positions who go beyond merely offering guidance and advice to more junior colleagues and instead act as advocates by using their leadership skills, power and influence to proactively help build and advance the careers of their 'sponsorees.' " [Ed. note: Pretty sure they mean "sponsees"...] Basically a cheerleader with pull. While mentors are always necessary, sometimes advice and expertise isn't enough to get someone to the next level, which is a much-needed boost that many women in tech are sorely lacking. (See AT&T's Phillips: Career Sponsorship Goes Both Ways and Podcast: Mentors, Sponsors & Tall Poppies.)

  • Black Enterprise recently interviewed Nicole Martinez, a web developer and graphic designer, who talked about her experience of being a black woman in tech. She aims to raise awareness about women of color in the industry, who make up single digits of tech staff. Martinez is pushing for better visibility of women-of-color workers, and is starting a podcast called "Sis, Start Your Business" featuring mostly black women entrepreneurs. "We sometimes have to see it to know that that opportunity is there. We need to get out there and reach out to the younger generation. Inspire them to get into the technical field, if it's something they love. To do this, we must be visible in the media, in schools, and at conferences," she said. (See WiCipedia: Fake it till you make it – the confidence edition.)

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

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