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T-Mobile's returnship program aims to get women back into tech
Women make up 47 percent of all employed adults in the U.S., yet as of 2015 they held only 25 percent of computing roles, according to data from the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT). Representation for BIPOC women is even worse, with Asian women representing just 5 percent of the tech workforce while Black and Hispanic women account for 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively. Nearly half of women (48%) cited ''gender discrimination in recruitment'' as one of the major reasons why there aren't more women in STEM, compared to only 29 percent of men, according to a 2018 gender diversity study from Pew Research. Many women who have left tech jobs, either due to gender discrimination they experienced in the workplace or to care for children or family members, face obstacles getting back into the workforce due to bias over gaps on their resumes. To drive greater diversity in their workforces, and to make the most of this market of skilled IT workers who are often overlooked, some companies are embracing ''returnships'' - internships for experienced workers who want to make a career change or get back into an industry they left, leaving gaps on their resume. T-Mobile is one such company offering a returnship program aimed at helping qualified women get back into tech by training them up on the latest skills and offering them valuable hands-on experience for a variety of IT jobs - and it all started with a text message.
Posted on 29 Jul 2020
Let's stop COVID-19 from undoing diversity gains
Any disaster will have its harshest repercussions on people who were already marginalized. It's unsurprising, then, that when it comes to jobs and businesses, the COVID-19 lockdown is impacting women and ethnic minorities more than anyone else. In April, unemployment shot up to 15.5% among women, 2.5% higher than for men. The rate was also higher among African Americans and Latinx people than for white people, with Latinx reaching a record 18.9% unemployment. Women, especially from more disadvantaged backgrounds, are going to be taking the lion’s share of caregiving responsibilities at home during the pandemic, making them more vulnerable to job cuts. At the same time, underrepresented employees in general may feel more marginalized than ever as job security is put on the line. It's been hard to get to where we are on diversity and inclusion. Slowly but surely, diversity and inclusion have become a highly visible element of any company. But as COVID-19 turned up the pressure for businesses around the world, that progress came under threat as D&I initiatives took a back seat.
Posted on 15 Jul 2020
SWE Survey Report: Impact of COVID-19 on Women in Engineering and Technology
The Society of Women Engineers conducted a survey of its members to examine how the pandemic has affected their personal and professional lives. Responses were collected between June 3, 2020, and June 15, 2020. While the survey was open to any member over 18 years of age, this report focuses on the responses received from women and queer/non-binary people who made up 98% of our respondents. Of the 1,791 responses received, 30% were enrolled in college courses and 73% of those students were undergraduates. Of the 1,360 working professionals, the top disciplines represented were mechanical, aerospace, and electrical engineering, respectively, representing 36% of respondents. Across the sample, 25% of respondents were people of color. SWE is a global organization. While U.S. respondents comprised 95% of our sample, we received responses from over 20 other countries, including India, Canada, and Mexico.
Posted on 15 Jul 2020
Women Leaders In AI Offer Advice For Closing The Gender Divide
Although artificial intelligence (AI) continues to be a growing field, only a small percentage of women work in this industry. In fact, according to the World Economic Forum's 2020 Global Gender Gap Report, globally only an estimated 26% of data and AI professionals are female. To learn more about the gender divide in the AI industry, IBM recently teamed up with Morning Consult to survey 3,200 AI professionals across the globe. The survey found that one of the main roadblocks to entry is that young women are often not encouraged to pursue their interest in math and sciences while they're growing up. In fact, the survey found that 46% of men working AI became interested in a career in technology while attending high school while 53% of women working in AI didn’t become interested in technology until college or graduate school.
Posted on 28 Jun 2020
Girls Who Code exec: Tech companies need to support women 'very differently' to close skills gap
Girls Who Code COO Dr. Tarika Barrett has told CNBC that tech companies need to focus more on supporting women beyond the hiring phase, whether that's through pay equity and promotions or more flexible policies for employees who are caregivers. ''For tech companies, the critical thing is to acknowledge where we are with women, with people of color during this pandemic,'' Dr. Barrett said on ''Squawk Alley.'' Despite national conversations about the lack of diversity in tech, Dr. Barrett says that women make up less than 25% of the tech workforce, and for women of color it's only 18%.
Posted on 28 Jun 2020
NASA Names Headquarters After 'Hidden Figure' Mary W. Jackson
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine has announced that the agency’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, the first African American female engineer at NASA. Jackson started her NASA career in the segregated West Area Computing Unit of the agency's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jackson, a mathematician and aerospace engineer, went on to lead programs influencing the hiring and promotion of women in NASA's science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. In 2019, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.
Posted on 28 Jun 2020
1 Million Women in RPA Intiative
Are you a woman aspiring to pursue a career in tech? This might be for you! The 2020 Women In RPA Initiative is a FREE virtual skills development program which aims to train and upskill 1 million women in Robotics Process Automation. Despite decades of progress towards achieving equality in the workplace, women remain significantly under-represented in emerging tech. We want to change this! Inspired by Blue Prism, RPA Nuggets takes the baton to empower women and other underrepresented groups to take risks and realize their full potential in the workplace, particularly in emerging technologies. Applications open to women worldwide.
Posted on 07 Jun 2020
NASA names newest space telescope for pioneering female astronomer
NASA is naming its newest space telescope for pioneering astronomer Nancy Grace Roman - marking the first time in the agency's 62-year history that one of its major, billion-dollar programs has been named for a woman. Roman, who overcame obstacles that women faced in her male-dominated field and at NASA to become the agency’s first female executive and its first chief astronomer, is a ''fitting'' eponym for the project, astronomer Heidi Hammel said. Her championing of space-based observatories gave her the nickname ''Mother of Hubble.'' With the new telescope, NASA is ''taking her child and making it even more powerful, Hammel said. ''It's widening the Hubble vision.''
Posted on 07 Jun 2020
Call For Participation: Women In Machine Learning Un-Workshop 2020 @ ICML
Call for Participation! The 1st WiML Un-Workshop will be co-located with ICML on Monday, July 13th, 2020.
Deadline to submit a breakout session proposal/poster or apply for funding is June 10th, 2020.
Students, postdocs & researchers in all areas of ML who primarily identify as woman and/or nonbinary are encouraged to submit a proposal (1 page PDF) to lead a breakout session on a certain research topic. You can submit starting today. The application form is included in the CFP. WiML registration fee funding is prioritized for accepted breakout session leaders who fulfill certain eligibility criteria (see the CFP) and do not have any other sources of funding.
Posted on 30 May 2020
Registration Now Open: NCWIT Conversations For Change
You can join the first-ever NCWIT Conversations for Change! This online thought leadership series of events will occur throughout May 4-22. Register today for conversations, Q&As, on-demand videos, and more where you can fully immerse yourself in research-based recommendations and peer-to-peer discussions to further your efforts in creating inclusive cultures.
Posted on 12 May 2020

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