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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
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
Uber to release diversity data in renewed vow to fix culture
Uber Technologies Inc plans to outline diversity goals and publish the results of a sexual harassment investigation over the coming weeks, part of a commitment to fix its corporate culture. A report on workforce demographics, which will be Uber's first, is expected by the end of this month, Liane Hornsey, the company's senior vice-president for human resources, said on a conference call with reporters. Releasing such data has become common practice for technology companies in recent years. Arianna Huffington, an Uber board member, said a probe into the company's culture and harassment claims is likely to be completed by the end of next month. Huffington is helping oversee the inquiry process, along with Eric Holder, the former US attorney general. She said there's an ''absolute commitment that the findings will be made public and that they will inform all the actions.''
Posted on 30 Mar 2017
Women at Tech Companies Still Struggle to Reach C-Suite
Female executives in male-founded tech companies are more likely to head HR than to hold other leadership positions, and that's if they're among the relative few who make it to the C-suite, a new study reveals. U.S. tech startups have made little headway in getting women on boards of directors and in executive suites in recent years. This despite growing industry attention on women's underrepresentation in those arenas, according to Silicon Valley Bank's (SVB's) 2017 Women in Technology Leadership report. Seventy percent of U.S. firms responding to the survey don't have any women on their boards, the report found, and more than half (54 percent) have no female executives; both percentages are higher than those reported in the previous two years. In 2015 and 2016, the percentage of U.S. startups with no female directors stood at 68 percent and 66 percent, respectively, while 53 percent had no female executives in 2015 and 46 percent had no women in the C-suite last year.
Posted on 30 Mar 2017
Google Summer Code
You can spend your summer break writing code and learning about open source development with the 2017 Google Summer of Code. Google Summer of Code is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 3 month programming project during their break from school.
Posted on 21 Mar 2017
We can teach women to code, but that just creates another problem
Technology has a gender problem, as everyone knows. The underrepresentation of women in technical fields has spawned legions of TED talks, panels, and women-friendly coding boot camps. The women who are so assiduously learning to code seem to be devaluing certain tech roles simply by occupying them. Conventional wisdom says that the key to reducing gendered inequality in tech is giving women the skills they need to enter particular roles. But in practice, when more women enter a role, its value seems to go down more.
Posted on 21 Mar 2017
Expanding the Pipeline: Characteristics of Male and Female Prospective Computer Science Major - Examining Four Decades of Changes
Several years ago, after devoting many years to the study of the gender gap in STEM fields using nationwide data on first-year college students, it became clear to me that the study of STEM in the ''aggregate'' was no longer a realistic or useful way to examine women's progress in these fields. Not only does women's representation in undergraduate STEM vary dramatically by field (constituting as many as 58% of bachelor's degree earners in the biological sciences and only 18% of degree earners in computer science and engineering [NCES, 2015]), but STEM fields are distinct from each other in many other ways, including curriculum, career paths, and the types of students they attract.
Posted on 21 Mar 2017

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