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The First Woman to Win Math's Highest Award Dies at 40
Maryam Mirzakhani, the first and only woman to win the prestigious Fields Medal, called the Nobel Prize of math, died on Saturday. Mirzakhani was a professor at Stanford University, which made the announcement, saying she had breast cancer that spread to her bones. She was 40. Mirzakhani won the distinguished award, given every four years, in 2014 for her work on geometry and dynamical systems. Much of her work was highly theoretical, and Stanford's statement said it could read like ''a foreign language'' to those outside the field-''moduli spaces, Teichmuller theory, hyperbolic geometry, Ergodic theory and symplectic geometry.'' In practice, her body of work may change theoretical physicists' understanding of how the universe was formed, as well as quantum field theory. Her Fields Medal marked not only the first time a woman won since the award since its inception in 1936, but also the first time an Iranian had won.
Posted on 17 Jul 2017
For Minority Female Astronomers, a New Research Effort Backs Up Anecdotes of Harassment
Women working in astronomy and planetary sciences have long spoken up about workplace harassment; a new paper now has data to back up those anecdotes. Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets,the paper, ''Double Jeopardy in Astronomy and Planetary Science: Women of Color Face Greater Risks of Gendered and Racial Harassment,'' surveyed 474 astronomers and planetary scientists about their workplace experiences from 2011 to 2015. A standout statistic: Forty percent of women of color who responded said they felt unsafe at work because of their gender or sex, while 28 percent said they had felt unsafe because of their race. Among all the scientists surveyed, women from minority racial and ethnic groups reported the highest rates of harassment, assault, and negative experiences. Although there is no one factor that explains why so many women responded that they have been harassed, two of the paper's co-authors said that some of the problems may stem from aspects specific to the field of astronomy.
Posted on 17 Jul 2017
Ashton Kutcher Illustrates Perfectly Why There's Gender Bias In Tech
Ashton Kutcher certainly means well, but his recent attempt to talk about gender equality at work didn't go quite as the 39-year-old actor and investor likely hoped. Kutcher, who's made a name for himself in the elite, male-dominated world of venture capital investing, announced Thursday on LinkedIn that he and his partner at the VC firm he founded, Sound Ventures, plan to host an ''open dialogue'' on gender equality in the workplace and the tech industry. So far, so good. Unfortunately, Kutcher then added a list of questions that inadvertently illustrate why it's so difficult to achieve gender equality in the workplace.
Posted on 17 Jul 2017
Register for SWE's eXXec Program, August 14 - 17 2017, Vancouver
eXXec is designed for senior-level professional women (15-20 years) who want customized learning solutions to improve their knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) to deliver expected high-performance strategies. To obtain the most out of the program, participants are encouraged to engage with the learning process (multiple pre- and post-learning activities) around unique challenges they are facing in order to identify possible solutions for leading self, people, change, and strategies.
Posted on 08 Jul 2017
Does Diversity Actually Increase Creativity?
Setting aside social, political, and moral reasons for encouraging a more diverse workplace, there is arguably no better incentive for promoting diversity than the premise that diverse teams and organizations are more creative. But is there actually any evidence in support of this idea? And if there is, do the potential gains in creativity produced by diversity come at the expense of interpersonal harmony and team cohesion? Here are seven findings from science.
Posted on 08 Jul 2017
Google's 2017 Diversity Report Shows Progress Hiring Women, Little Change For Minority Workers
Google released its new diversity report today, for the fourth year in a row. The tech giant, whose parent company Alphabet lands at 27 on this year's Fortune 500 list, has voluntarily released demographic data about its workforce each year since 2014 as part of its efforts to create a more inclusive culture - a process that employees say has been ''slow but real.'' The company also announced that Danielle Brown will become Google's new vice president of diversity. Brown previously worked as the chief diversity and inclusion officer at Intel. She left the company very recently, but hadn't yet announced that she'd be joining Google.
Posted on 08 Jul 2017
Tech company video ads still dominated by white males
Consumer tech companies that are serious about attracting more women and people from minority groups into their workforce might want to revisit the video advertisements featured on their websites. Although these ads do not explicitly discourage women and girls, or people of color, from pursuing the fields of computer science, they do little to present technologies as accessible to those who do not fit the dominant white male ideal. This is according to Subriena Persaud of George Mason University in the US, lead author of a study in Springer's journal Gender Issues that analyzed how gender, race and age are portrayed in the videos of nine major consumer technology companies. Six videos advertising products and services (54 videos in total) were obtained from the websites of well-known tech companies. Persaud and her research associates team noted the gender and race of each character featured, and looked at the videos as a whole to see how the characters fit into the story lines and how gender roles are portrayed.
Posted on 08 Jul 2017
Women Forward in Technology Scholarship Program
Are you a woman who is an undergraduate or graduate student enrolled full-time at an accredited university in the US, in a STEM field? If you are, you now have an opportunity to apply for a Women Forward in Technology Scholarship. Distil Networks just led a group of us, including Foundry Group, Techstars, Cooley, Yesware, Help Scout, Cloudability, Kulesa Faul, FullContact, and Anchor Point Foundation, to raise $50,000 to advance female representation in technology. They will be awarding multiple scholarships of $3,000. The first deadline to submit is August 1st, 2017, and winners will be announced on September 1st, 2017. Interested applicants must complete a 1,000-word essay, present educational transcripts and deliver one letter of recommendation via the Women Forward in Technology application site.
Posted on 08 Jul 2017
Male and Female Entrepreneurs Get Asked Different Questions by VCs - and It Affects How Much Funding They Get
There is an enormous gender gap in venture capital funding in the United States. Female entrepreneurs receive only about 2% of all venture funding, despite owning 38% of the businesses in the country. The prevailing hope among academics, policy makers, and practitioners alike has been that this gap will narrow as more women become venture capitalists. However, homophily does not seem to be the only culprit behind the funding gap. Over the past several years, the U.S. has seen an increase in the number of female venture capitalists (from 3% of all VCs in 2014 to an estimated 7% today), but the funding gap has only widened. The new research offers new evidence as to why female entrepreneurs continue to receive less funding than their male counterparts.
Posted on 08 Jul 2017
Research: Boys Say They're More Likely to Pursue STEM Careers Than Girls
Teenage boys say they are more likely to pursue STEM careers than girls, according to research recently published by nonprofit Junior Achievement and professional services firm EY (formerly Ernst & Young). More than one-third (36 percent) of boys surveyed said they would pursue STEM careers in the future, versus only 11 percent of girls. Twenty-six percent of girls said they plan to prepare for careers in the arts, compared to 10 percent of boys. However, 24 percent of girls said they are looking to pursue careers in the medical/dental field, vs. only 6 percent of boys. One can interpret the medical/dental field as being a ''science'' component of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). On behalf of Junior Achievement and EY, market research firm ORC International surveyed 1,000 13-17-year-olds between Feb. 28 and March 5, 2017. Of those surveyed, an impressive 91 percent of boys and girls said they know what kind of job they want after they graduate from high school. However, boys and girls differed on career goals and values associated with dream jobs.
Posted on 23 Jun 2017

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