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Women, in search of jobs and higher pay, are turning to online certifications
Women are increasingly enrolling in online learning courses and earning STEM certificates during the pandemic, according to the latest Women and Skills Report from Coursera. Women now make up 52% of new registered users on the e-learning platform in 2021, compared with 47% in 2019. In terms of course enrollments overall, women have nearly reached parity, at 49%, compared with making up just 42% of total enrollment in 2019. The narrowing gender gap in online learning comes at a time when women have been disproportionately sidelined at work during the coronavirus outbreak. Despite economic recovery in many job market sectors, millions of women remain unemployed or underemployed due to their overrepresentation in in-person service jobs disrupted by Covid-19, as well as ongoing child care challenges over the last 18 months. Unemployment figures also exclude the 1.6 million women who’ve been pushed to drop out of the workforce altogether since February 2020. But the growing share of women upskilling and reskilling through online learning could be an encouraging sign about the future of women in the workforce, says Betty Vandenbosch, Coursera’s chief content officer.
Posted on 14 Sep 2021
Adventures of Women in Tech: Product Inclusion & Changing Tech; 29th September 2021
Alana Karen wrote the “Adventures of Women in Tech: How We Got Here and Why We Stay” to diversify the stories we hear of women navigating their careers in tech. With a clear message of ‘you belong in tech’, she continues to explore that narrative. You can join her as she speaks in-depth with seven women about the challenges and joys we’ve found in our careers and what’s next both for us and the world around us.
Posted on 14 Sep 2021
Why AI ethics needs to address AI literacy, not just bias
Women in the AI field are making research breakthroughs, spearheading vital ethical discussions, and inspiring the next generation of AI professionals. We created the VentureBeat Women in AI Awards to emphasize the importance of their voices, work, and experience and to shine a light on some of these leaders. In this series, publishing Fridays, we’re diving deeper into conversations with this year’s winners, whom we honored recently at Transform 2021. Check out the interview with the winner of the AI research award. When you hear about AI ethics, it’s mostly about bias. But Noelle Silver, a winner of VentureBeat’s Women in AI responsibility and ethics award, has dedicated herself to an often overlooked part of the responsible AI equation: AI literacy. “That’s my vision, is that we really increase literacy across the board,” she told VentureBeat of her effort to educate everyone from C-suites to teenagers about how to approach AI more thoughtfully. After presenting to one too many boardrooms that could only see the good in AI, Silver started to see this lack of knowledge and ability to ask the important questions as a danger. Now, she’s a consistent champion for public understanding of AI, and has also established several initiatives supporting women and underrepresented communities.
Posted on 30 Aug 2021
Increasing Diversity May Boost Technologist Retention
Increasing diversity can help companies hold onto their valuable technologists, according to a new report by Wiley. Wiley surveyed 2,030 technologists between the ages of 18 and 28, and 50 percent of them said they would potentially leave their current position because their company’s culture “made them feel uncomfortable.” Sixty-eight percent said they felt “uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or neurodevelopmental condition.” Although many companies have invested substantial time and resources in diversity and inclusion, Wiley’s research makes it clear that such efforts are much more than an organizational “nice to have.” Technologists are willing to leave if they feel uncomfortable about organizational progress on the DEI front - and considering their importance to virtually every company’s overall strategy, that means managers and executives must do everything they can to ensure that diversity efforts yield tangible results. What’s the best way to fix the diversity issue confronting the tech industry as a whole? The report suggests that all demographics should be encouraged to consider a STEM career at an early age: “Without this encouragement, they may later lack the STEM-based qualifications required by a lot of entry level roles if they choose to pursue a career in the field.”
Posted on 30 Aug 2021
The Cybersecurity Shortage Is Real, and Women May Be the Solution
The tech industry has been plagued by two chronic human capital problems: a shortage of specialized cybersecurity talent and a vast underrepresentation of women in technology roles. There are about 465,000 open cybersecurity positions in the U.S. today, according to CyberSeek, and 61 percent of organizations surveyed by the IT association ISACA consider their security departments understaffed. About the same percentage of respondents say it takes three months to more than six months to fill an open security job. The cyber talent shortage is rapidly becoming a crisis. Ironically, America’s tech industry started as a majority-female industry. As Mary Ann Sieghart notes in Wired, during the 1950s and ’60s, roughly 90 percent of programmers and systems analysts were women. By the 1990s, however, men held most of those positions. Today, an employer looking to hire a certified cybersecurity professional could be hard-pressed to find one who is female. According to (ISC)², women still hold only 24 percent of cybersecurity roles; ISACA found that 86 percent of cybersecurity teams are mostly made up of men.
Posted on 17 Aug 2021
More women than ever are starting careers in science
Women are more likely to start a research career now than they were 20 years ago, reveals a longitudinal study of the publishing records of millions of researchers around the world. But they are less likely to continue their academic careers than are their male contemporaries, and in general publish fewer papers. Ludo Waltman, a quantitative scientist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his colleagues took a deep dive into the huge Scopus citation and abstract database, hosted by Elsevier. They looked at the publication careers of some six million researchers globally who had authored at least three papers between 1996 and 2018. The team posted its findings on the preprint server arXiv.org1. The authors found that the proportion of women starting a career in science rose over time. In 2000, 33% of researchers starting their publishing career were women; that grew to 40% in recent years (see ‘Gender gap’). Waltman says that although the results are not surprising, it’s important that we now have concrete statistics confirming the trend for many countries and scientific disciplines.
Posted on 17 Aug 2021
NCWIT - News on the Radar: 7/28/21
Here is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar recently and which we think will be of interest to you. The practices or content of the news gathered (while not endorsed or vetted by NCWIT) is meant to spark new conversations and ideas surrounding the current diversity statistics and trends in the tech workforce: Did you know that women’s enrollment in undergraduate STEM programs has held steady during the pandemic?; Did you know that Culturally Responsive-Sustaining CS Education addresses the racial gap in access to computing programs?; Did you know that remote work offers new ways to support LGBTQ people in the workplace?
Posted on 31 Jul 2021
Open source’s diversity problem
It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in tech, especially open source, but their contributions speak for themselves. Tech has long had a diversity problem, but in open source, it’s even worse. U.S. Bureau of Labor data shows that 19.4% of software developers are women, but according to a 2017 GitHub open source survey, 95% of respondents were men and just 3% were women (1% identified as non-binary). The reasons are various, but one key reason may simply be that open source communities can be unfriendly to women developers. According to that same GitHub survey, it’s not that women developers don’t want to contribute to open source projects. Actually, 68% of the women surveyed said they are “very interested” in contributing to open source, but are significantly less likely to do so than men (45% compared to 61%). Even so, we do have a rising number of women open source stars who are contributing to and/or maintaining open source projects.
Posted on 18 Jul 2021
The gender gap in science and technology, in numbers
Women are still under-represented in fields such as computing, engineering, mathematics and physics, finds a UNESCO report. A workforce highly qualified in science and tech disciplines is vital to filling the skills shortage as the Fourth Industrial Revolution gathers pace. Strenuous efforts need to be made to address the gender gap at all levels of academia and the workplace, UNESCO warns. Women remain a significant minority in the scientific fields driving the digital revolution, amid a general skills shortage that’s holding back progress. The UNESCO Science Report 2021 found that women are still under-represented in fields such as computing, digital information technology, engineering, mathematics and physics. The report authors advise that strenuous efforts need to be made at government, academic and corporate levels to address this gender imbalance. The challenge is to attract and then retain women in these subject areas and maintain momentum in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Posted on 18 Jul 2021
News on the Radar: 6/30/21
Here is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar recently and which we think will be of interest to you. The practices or content of the news gathered (while not endorsed or vetted by NCWIT) is meant to spark new conversations and ideas surrounding the current diversity statistics and trends in the tech workforce: Did you know that policy interventions can help improve equity in colleges and universities?; Did you know that many K-12 educators believe current computing curricula do not meet the needs of a diverse student body?; Did you know that diverse teams are good for businesses’ bottom lines?
Posted on 18 Jul 2021

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