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Why the tech industry is focusing on diversity
Historically not a diverse industry, the tech sector is making it a priority to hire more women and minorities in tech jobs and leadership roles. Why? The promise of better business results. A study published in Harvard Business Review involving more than 1,800 professionals found that companies with the most diverse workforces were 45 percent more likely than their less diverse counterparts to report growing market share on the previous year and 70 percent more likely to have captured a new market. Similarly, a McKinsey and Company study found that companies ranking in the top quartile for ethnic diversity were 35 percent more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile. Lack of talent or lack of opportunity?
Posted on 13 Feb 2017
Why We Need More Women in Computing
Despite the growing number of technical jobs, there are still very few women in computing. In fact, the number of female undergraduate computer science students dropped from 37 percent in 1984 to 18 percent in 2014. Telle Whitney, President and CEO of the Anita Borg Institute (ABI), explained the reason for this significant drop: ''As computer science departments grew and the field became more prestigious, the industry looked to other engineering disciplines, which consisted of mostly men.'' Telle spoke with Her Magazine to discuss how to address this issue and bring more women into the field of computing. ''We can reverse this gender shift by encouraging educational institutions to support change within their organizations, so that women have the chance to learn about and create technology, ultimately increasing presence and participation of women in computer science.''
Posted on 30 Jan 2017
How These Top Companies Are Getting Inclusion Right
Creating diverse and inclusive workplaces isn't just a ''nice'' thing to do. There is also a well-documented business case for how diversity positively impacts the bottom line. But once you've put the time and effort into building your multitalented, multifaceted A-team, you're not going to keep them if they don't feel valued, understood, and comfortable. That's where inclusion - making employees feel valued, welcome and comfortable being who they are - comes in. A 2016 report on Gallup.com summarized two of the company's studies published in the Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies that illustrate the potential of engagement coupled with diversity. In the first, employees' intentions to leave their employers were higher when the employee and manager were of different races and the employee was not engaged. The other found that companies that had higher-than-average gender diversity and employee engagement also had 46% to 58% better financial performance than companies that were below the median on diversity and engagement.
Posted on 30 Jan 2017
Parents as Partners in Outreach
How do we include parents in our outreach efforts and give them the resources they need to encourage their children to pursue a career in STEM? SWE members volunteer boundless time and energy to local activities, but are we helping those most in need of what we have to offer? What about the families in less affluent areas where there are no engineers or programs in place to introduce them to STEM? How do we reach parents, the strongest influencers of their children's career choices, and give them the resources to encourage their children down the path to a STEM career?
Posted on 19 Jan 2017
What Happened to Women in Computer Science?
Hidden Figures, the just-released movie, highlights the roles of three black female mathematicians (human computers) working at NASA who helped win the Space Race. At one time, computer science was originally a female-dominated area, and computing was considered ''women's work.'' Fast forward to 2017 and women in computer science aren't common. The number of women receiving degrees in this now male-dominated area has declined. Granted, women total 48.5% of Carnegie Mellon's computer science class, but this accomplishment is an exception to the rule. Lana Verschage is the director of Women in Computing at Rochester Institute of Technology. The Women in Computing group is a part of RIT's B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences. Verschage tells GoodCall that the gender gap in computing actually is widening. ''Since 1990, the percentage of female computing professionals has dropped from 35 percent to about 24 percent today, and according to Girls Who Code, if that trend continues, the share of women in the nation's computing workforce will decline to 22 percent by 2025,'' Verschage says. So why are there so few women in computer science and computing fields? GoodCall posed this question to Verschage; Kathleen Fisher, professor and chair of the Computer Science Department in the School of Engineering at Tufts University; and the research scientists and social scientists at the National Center for Women & Information Technology. Wendy DuBow, senior research scientist and the director of evaluation, serves as the NCWIT spokesperson.
Posted on 19 Jan 2017
Facebook Engineering VP Explains Why ''Cognitive Diversity Is The Most Powerful Tool''
As the head of Facebook's secretive new hardware unit, Building 8, Regina Dugan leads a team of engineers who are trying to develop breakthrough technologies, much as she did when she was the first female director of DARPA. She's learned that assembling a diverse group of perspectives is essential to the creative process. ''The ultimate goal is cognitive diversity, and cognitive diversity is correlated with identity diversity. That means it's not just about [getting] women in tech. It's about broad voices, broad representation. But we can't step away from the idea that in the workplace, diversity also looks like identity diversity. You have to get to the place where you aren't made comfortable by the fact that everyone is the same, but rather feel inspired by how different we are. We get better problem-solving that way.'' said Regina .
Posted on 19 Jan 2017
Two determined women take on tech industry sexism in a new Secret ad
For women in tech, sexism is so often encountered that it unfortunately comes to be expected. A new 30-second ad by deodorant company Secret shows just how embedded gender-based bias is in the industry by telling the story of two women pitching their startup to men at the top. The comedic ad, called ''Pitch,'' illuminates the worries and preparation women asserting their tech talents have to go through to prove their value in ''the boys' club.''
Posted on 19 Jan 2017
How Vera Rubin changed science
Vera Rubin didn't plan to be a pioneering female astronomer. Rubin's work fundamentally changed astronomy by confirming the existence of dark matter, the invisible stuff that makes up 27 percent of the universe. The way she worked changed astronomy, too. The field may have been all male when she entered it 70 years ago. But by the time she died at age 88, that was no longer true. That's in large part thanks to Rubin: a brilliant mentor and fierce advocate for women in science.
Posted on 05 Jan 2017

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