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Silicon Valley's Tech Entrepreneurs Are Crafting Their Own 'Constitution' on Google Docs
Silicon Valley may be getting a kind of constitution of its own. Speaking before a crowd at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club on April 14, Sam Altman, president of startup accelerator Y Combinator, said he's spoken to hundreds of tech leaders and investors about creating a set of core values that all tech companies can get behind. There's a Google Doc where the big names in Silicon Valley, whom Altman would not reveal, have been drafting a statement that outlines the tech industry's position on a number of social, economic, and political issues. The document does not have a title or known release date.
Posted on 28 Apr 2017
Quality over Quantity: The New Challenge Facing Computer Science Education
Advanced Placement classes and exams, administered by the College Board have long been hailed as equalizers, allowing any high school student to engage in college level coursework and demonstrate content mastery if they so choose. However, the 2016 data on test performance reveals numerous disparities in test participation and performance among students from different backgrounds. HPR writers weigh in on the challenges facing education systems today, and what can be done to improve educational access and equity.
Posted on 28 Apr 2017
Study discovers hidden gender inequities in Seattle startup scene
Uber was a start up just a few years ago. In 2009, two men, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp, founded what would soon become one of the largest taxi services in the world. In recent weeks, they've faced a flood of users deleting their app due to evidence of rampant sexual harassment within the organization. Though all is not lost for Uber if they make serious changes to their company, it's much easier for companies to build in good practices when they're small, before they grow.Three researchers in Seattle recently led a study to find out more about the state of gender equity in their local startup industry. Though not quite as many companies are founded in Seattle as in San Francisco, where Uber is based, it's still one of the largest startup environments in the country. Their findings can be useful for most startup communities around the world looking for solutions to increasing diversity in their communities.
Posted on 16 Apr 2017
Under challenge: Girls' confidence level, not math ability hinders path to science degrees
When it comes to mathematics, girls rate their abilities markedly lower than boys, even when there is no observable difference between the two, according to Florida State University researchers. ''The argument continues to be made that gender differences in the 'hard' sciences is all about ability,'' said Lara Perez-Felkner, assistant professor of higher education and sociology in the College of Education. ''But when we hold mathematics ability test scores constant, effectively taking it out of the equation, we see boys still rate their ability higher, and girls rate their ability lower.'' Perez-Felkner is the lead author of a study published today in the journal Frontiers in Psychology. Doctoral students Samantha Nix and Kirby Thomas are co-authors of the study. The research team found perception gaps are even wider at the upper levels of mathematics ability - among those students with the most talent and potential in these fields. Boys are significantly more confident in challenging mathematics contexts than otherwise identically talented girls. Specifically, boys rated their ability 27 percent higher than girls did.
Posted on 16 Apr 2017
Tech Firms Striving For Diversity Fixate On The Wrong Metric
The issue of diversity and inclusion in tech is what designers call a wicked problem. It's a cluster of systemic and individual biases, compounded by years of denial, complicated by changing socioeconomic forces. Still, that's no excuse - especially since Silicon Valley prides itself on solving impossible problems, and given its exceptional influence in the business community and around the world. Diversity reporting is the tech community's most visible response to the underrepresentation of women and people of color. As the management cliche goes, ''what gets measured gets done.'' So acknowledging the problem is an important first step. After Google released its first diversity report in 2014, companies like Amazon, Pinterest, Facebook, and even my own company Atlassian followed. Since then, initiatives like Open Diversity Data, which tracks the diversity reporting of major tech companies, have called for others to do the same. In fact, new data shows that 30 percent of tech workers want their company to report diversity statistics if they don't already. But while external reporting was a great first step, we need to be more sophisticated about what we're measuring and how.
Posted on 16 Apr 2017
Ten students from High School North and High School South were honored by the New Jersey Affiliate of the National Center for Women & Information Technology at its Aspirations in Computing Award Ceremony. The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) honors young women at the high school level for their computing-related achievements and interests. Recipients are selected for their computing and IT aptitude, leadership ability, academic history, and plans for post-secondary education. The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing offers national and local affiliate competitions to generate support and visibility for women's participation in communities nationwide.
Posted on 16 Apr 2017
A black woman in tech makes $79,000 for every $100,000 a white man makes
It's no secret that the technology field can be brutal to anyone who isn't a white male. New data shows just how those inequalities play out in today's tech workers' paychecks. Nearly two in three women receive lower salary offers than men for the same job at the same company, according to Hired, a job website that focuses on placing people in tech jobs such as software engineer, product manager or data scientist. That's slightly better than last year, when 69 percent of women received lower offers.
Posted on 16 Apr 2017
How Women Leaders in Tech are Promoting Change
Women in technology continue to face obstacles in their careers, from unequal pay to harassment in the workplace. To learn more about how women are addressing these issue, Built in Chicago interviewed four women leaders in technology, including Tarsha McCormick, head of Diversity and Inclusion at ThoughtWorks. ''Over six years ago, ThoughtWorks decided it was time to change the gender landscape of our organization by focusing more time and attention on how we recruit, retain, support and grow our female talent,'' Tarsha explained. ''Bold decisions coupled with innovative programs and initiatives are what led to us being named the winner of the 2016 Top Companies For Women Technologists program by the Anita Borg Institute.'' Check out Top Companies webinars and learn how your organization can participate!
Posted on 30 Mar 2017
The Best Cities for Women in Tech in 2017
The fight for equal rights for working women remains an uphill battle. That's one reason why about 3 million people around the world recently participated in women's marches and thousands took part in demonstrations on International Women's Day. An analysis from the Center of American Progress estimated that A Day Without a Woman could have cost the U.S. GDP $21 billion if every woman who worked outside the house went on strike. While it's well-known that women make key contributions to the economy, gender disparities remain, particularly in the tech industry. A recent report from the National Center for Women & Technology explained that women made up 57% of the professional workforce but only 25% of the employees in computer-related occupations in 2015. When considering the number of female tech workers in leadership roles, the numbers look just as bad. According to Silicon Valley Bank's 2017 Startup Outlook Report, roughly 70% of startups say they have no women on their boards of directors and 54% report having zero women in executive roles. Gender pay inequality remains in the tech industry as well at every level. Data from Payscale reveals that the uncontrolled gender pay gap for individual contributors and managers/supervisors is 19% and 22%, respectively. But that's not the case in every U.S. city. In order to identify the places with the smallest gaps in gender pay and the highest ratio of female tech workers, SmartAsset ranked the best cities for women in tech.
Posted on 30 Mar 2017
To Break Diversity 'Pipeline Problem,' Howard University Sets Up Shop at Google
Howard University is opening Howard West at Google, an effort to pave the way to tech careers for more African-American computer science students. This summer, 25 students from the historically black university, which is based in Washington, D.C., will train at the tech giant's headquarters in Mountain View. Google, like the tech industry overall, is making slow progress toward hiring black engineers. Last fall, Google released its latest employee diversity report, detailing the gender and ethnicity of everyone it hired in 2015. While the number of black employees went up, they still represent only 2 percent of Google's workforce. At the time, Google said it fell short of its diversity goal. With Howard West, Google believes it can meet that goal faster, said Bonita Stewart, the company's vice president of global partnerships.
Posted on 30 Mar 2017

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