This week in our WiCipedia roundup: SheHacks hosts largest female hackathon in world; the birth of diversity data; wear your geek on your sleeve; and more.
Join Women in Comms for an important morning of networking and discussion at our annual WiC networking breakfast event in Denver on March 22. Let's put an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. There's still time to register for this free event!
You may have wondered when diversity data first came on the scene -- we know we have! Has it always been available or has the recent stream of sexual harassment scandals and pay inequality reports made it more accessible? Luckily, The Atlantic published an article about this very topic. They report that much of the data became available in 2013, when Tracy Chou, an engineer in Silicon Valley, "issued a call to action to the tech community to release real data about diversity. Apple, Facebook, and Google all released their first diversity reports the next year." Chou, founder of Project Include, found that companies felt secure as long as they measured average compared to similar tech companies; they felt no need to go above and beyond: "I was told that we weren't worse than average, and so there was no need for us to put any particular effort toward making the place better for women ... leaders at these tech companies are men. If they can see themselves succeeding and they can see other people like themselves, they don't really find it to be a problem that women aren't there." (See Light Reading's 2017 Survey of Women in Comms and WiCipedia: IVF Woes & Changing an Archetype.)
Looking for some unique yet office-appropriate wear? Meet Svaha. The new company designs "fashion with a hint of geek," specifically for women who work in STEM, and those who want to. The Washington City Paper explains that the clothing is designed for scientists and mathmaticians... in other words -- "those who want to fight off the discomfort that can sometimes arise while working in male-dominated industries, and those simply wanting to show off their passions in an organic way." While we aren't exactly sure how a constellation-adorned dress might fend off harassment, we're all for people displaying their passions however they see fit. Svaha Co-founder Eva Everett said, "What used to infuriate me was that when I would tell people that I'm a scientist, one of the most common responses was, 'You don't look like a scientist.' One thing we wanted to show was that women belong everywhere and we wanted to have clothing that lets people embrace their passions." Co-founder Jaya Iyer also mentioned that she wasn't able to find clothing that appealed to her daughter's interests in STEM, so she designed them herself. (See UK Women Take On Discriminatory Dress Codes and WiCipedia: Short Skirts & Back-Up Plans.)
We've Always Wanted a Glow-in-the-Dark Binary Code Infinity Scarf
There's a lot of pressure for women to step into the light in tech; to claim their space. An article in Glamour titled "Women Have Been 'Stepping Up' Forever -- Now it's Time for Men to Elevate Us," puts the onus on men though. The article explains that women's overall inability to thrive in male-dominated spaces is not a reflection of women not attempting to claim the space, but of men locking us out, using politics and the entertainment industry as examples. "Women cannot be elevated if the men who hold the keys to the gates won't open them," the author writes. (See Time for Women to Demand Equality – Panel, WiCipedia: Following Women on Twitter... and on Stage and Should Men Attend Women's Conferences? )
A new research paper has found that men's lack of social skills may be holding them back, and that women have the advantage. The Register explains that a report titled "The 'End of Men' and Rise of Women in the High-Skilled Labor Market" from The National Bureau of Economic Research highlights findings that opportunities for women have increased in the past few decades due to their communication skills. The paper states, "Using occupation-level data, we find evidence that this relative increase in the demand for female skills is due to an increasing importance of social skills within such occupations. Evidence from both male and female wages is also indicative of an increase in the demand for social skills." Can't say we're surprised! (See WiCipedia: Apple's Diversity Dilemma & Women Have Tech Edge, Study Finds.)
Spiffy scarves Binary code scarf is pretty cool but I looked at the website and I'm not sure how dressing like Miss Frizzle makes you "look like a scientist" in the context I think the creators were going for. The designs are interesting but seems like more of what a science teacher might wear versus an engineer at a conference. Maybe I'm too culturally conditioned?
Glamour article was interesting and I'd have to agree -- women have been stepping up and showing up for years, but if you climb too high you're "unlikeable" and "trying to hard." A male CEO, on the other hand, might be "unlikeable" but people would probably just call him "successful" and leave it at that.
At the Big Communications Event (BCE) 2018 event in Austin, Melissa Arnoldi, president of Technology and Operations at AT&T, spoke about AT&T's path to 5G and the important role software plays. 5G will eventually have a significant impact on how businesses work and how they engage with their customers.
Executive Producer Janet Leahy, President of Arrow Solutions Kathy Boelter, CEO of Women of Wall Street Karen Ashworth Macfarlane and the Founder and CEO of Corporate Cowgirl Up Wendy Bohling join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas in Denver to discuss ways to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, help women advance and level the playing field.
DALLAS -- Automation Everywhere -- Srilakshmi Valisammagari, senior technologist & strategist - SDN/NFV Innovations for Verizon, addresses the operators' efforts to deliver automation to enterprise customers via Verizon Service Designer. Valisammagari says Verizon Service Designer simplifies the process flow -- from service design to implementation to provisioning ...
Blind hiring, raising awareness, encouraging dialogue and ending binding arbitration agreements are a few ways the industry can thwart gender discrimination, says former Wall Street executive Karen MacFarlane, who saw first hand how pervasive it was in the financial industry.
Gender consultant and author Wendy Bohling shares her thoughts on why we need to create an atmosphere of transparency, authenticity and accountability to make sure the #metoo movement doesn't ultimately backfire.
Diversity of thought may be the most important in an industry that depends on innovation, according to Telstra COO and Tesla Board Member Robyn Denholm, who advises women to "just go for it" when it comes to building a career here.
KANSAS CITY -- Light Reading's Mari Silbey interviews New Orleans CIO Kimberly LaGrue about investing in the city's network infrastructure and how broadband will form the foundation for smart city initiatives in the future. The interview takes place during the Smart Cities, Dumb Pipes ...
Female representation on company boards can set the tone for company culture and help companies perform better, but there's still few women on boards, Small Cell Forum CEO Sue Monahan tells Light Reading.
Austin, Texas, is the place to be May 14-16 when Light Reading will host BCE 2018 and dig deep into automation, security, machine learning, the impact of open source, intent-based networking, 'the edge', SD-WAN, IoT and more... oh, and hand out some awards and have the industry's best ...