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Facebook's Hiring Process Hinders Its Effort to Create a Diverse Workforce
Facebook has put itself at the forefront of efforts to recruit a more diverse workforce, including a targeted internal recruiting strategy in 2015 designed to bring in female, black and Latino software engineers. Yet within Facebook's engineering department, the push has been hampered by a multi-layered hiring process that gives a small committee of high-ranking engineers veto power over promising candidates, frustrating recruiters and hindering progress on diversity goals. Facebook started incentivizing recruiters in 2015 to find engineering candidates who weren't already well represented at the company - women, black and Latino workers. But during the final stage for engineering hires, the decision-makers were risk-averse, often declining the minority candidates. The engineering leaders making the ultimate choices, almost all white or Asian men, often assessed candidates on traditional metrics like where they attended college, whether they had worked at a top tech firm, or whether current Facebook employees could vouch for them, according to former recruiters, who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly about their work.
Posted on 19 Jan 2017
A Grand Challenge: Reimagining Competitions for the Broader Benefit
Competitions can ignite passions and turn kids on to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), but the question remains whether competitions are the best way to get youth involved in STEM activities. There is an abundance of competitions including For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST) Robotics, EngineerGirl Essay Contest, and Technovation that serve youth across the country and around the world. Many of these competitions are based on the idea that competing can inspire students to excellence and provide valuable real-life experience. FIRST Robotics describes the experience of competing ''as close to 'real-world engineering' as a student can get.'' This perspective shared by FIRST and other organizers suggests that competitions offer participants a positive experience that can impact interests, attitudes, and skills. A study of FIRST documents that its participants were more than three times as likely to major in engineering and more than twice as likely to pursue a career in science and technology.
Posted on 19 Jan 2017
IBM declares diversity support with new rainbow logo
IBM, one of the big tech companies that spoke out against North Carolina's controversial HB2, is stepping up its support for diversity with a new rainbow logo. Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Chief Diversity Officer at IBM and a graduate of Duke University, unveiled the logo along with a blog post in which the global tech giant reaffirmed its support for diversity. The eight-bar multi-color rainbow is the new symbol of IBM's commitment to diversity, acceptance and inclusion.
Posted on 19 Jan 2017
Gone in 2016: 10 Notable Women in Science and Technology
2016 marked the passing of some of our most beloved cultural icons-from David Bowie, Prince, and George Michael to Harper Lee, Gwen Ifill, and Zaha Hadid. But we also lost the developer of the first effective treatment for sickle cell disease, the co-discoverer of dark matter, and the creator of a 3-D printer that spits out living cells as ''bio-ink.'' Now in its fourth year, this annual remembrance of notable women in the sciences lost in the past 12 months highlights 10 individuals who made indelible marks on their respective fields. At a time when scientists in general are too often overlooked for their crucial contributions to society, it bears noting that high-achieving women in the STEM fields often go especially underappreciated. With this in mind, here's a look at some of the stars of science and technology who left us in 2016.
Posted on 05 Jan 2017
How Your Company Can Meaningfully Improve Diversity In 2017
In recent years, many companies have been emphasizing their dedication to diversity. But what does that really mean? If we look at Silicon Valley, whose diversity numbers continue to be shaky, saying doesn't necessarily mean doing. In fact, a recent LinkedIn study found that, despite the heightened press, a majority of tech leaders don't know what they are actually doing to make their organizations more diverse. And unless real action is taken, 2017 won't bring about any seismic changes. For most companies, creating a more diverse and inclusive landscape involves doing away with common myths. As organizations begin think about the this year's goals, here are some ways to help bring about a more diverse workspace.
Posted on 05 Jan 2017
Companies Hotly Pursue New Wave of Women in Tech
Even by Silicon Valley standards, where recruiting wars are legion, attracting women to join tech company boards has become intense. While many companies still want the highest-profile women in the industry - think Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook or Meg Whitman of Hewlett Packard Enterprise - a new pool of candidates is also being hotly pursued. And those women are younger, tend to be ethnically diverse and have grown up in digital businesses for much of their careers.
Posted on 05 Jan 2017
Diversity And Inclusion In Analytics: How Startups Are Combating The Sexism Charge
Gender is a touchy subject on the best of days - with people falling in the spectrum of supporting women's empowerment to defending it ardently to being largely indifferent to it and not understanding why it exists. When it comes to the tech world, analytics especially, it is a more interesting game altogether. This Forbes report shows the disparity of women speakers in technical conferences, with a marginal number attending them in a headlining capacity, less than 25% in 15 annual analytics conferences. And who can forget Gamergate - when a woman Twitter influencer was shamed and bullied at SXSW 2015 (South by Southwest 2015), for being outspoken regarding a certain group of men in a gaming company?
Posted on 05 Jan 2017
Re-Search brings gender-balance to online image searches
In February of this year the White House Council on Women and Girls in collaboration with the Office of Science and Technology Policy published a very illuminating Fact Sheet geared towards the entertainment industry entitled STEM Depiction Opportunities. Citing the ''diversity challenge'' that exists on many college campuses today where minorities and women make up 70% of college graduates but only 45% of actual degrees in STEM-related fields, the forward-thinking white paper encouraged storytellers everywhere to ''paint the picture of an inclusive STEM-related workforce that the nation intends to be'' in entertainment media and beyond. Emphasizing the power and lasting impact of offering up diverse onscreen role models of women, minorities and other underrepresented groups pursuing thriving STEM-related careers, more than anything else, the report highlighted the simple fact that in today's truly digital age, optics matter. And that goes tenfold for the Internet, where most Google and Yahoo! image searches for words like ''engineer'',''airline pilot'' or ''president'' are almost entirely dominated by pictures of men.
Posted on 05 Jan 2017
Best companies for women executives in 2016
A number of recent studies have drawn the same conclusion: There's still a stunning lack of women in corporate leadership and it will take decades for women to achieve parity with men in senior roles. But the situation is better for women at some companies than others. The National Association for Female Executives has identified the 60 U.S. corporations that do the best job of developing and nurturing women leaders. They all have executive coaching, affinity groups and programs that identify women with high potential for management. They also, on average, have more women in positions of leadership today than is the case at the average mega-corporation. The top 10 companies from NAFE's list, in alphabetical order below, represent a broad swath of industries.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016
Op-Ed: Further Computing Pioneer Grace Hopper's Efforts
Jan. 1, 2017, marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Grace Murray Hopper, computing sciences pioneer, academician and admiral in the United States Navy. Recently awarded a 2016 Presidential Medal of Honor for her work on the forefront of computers and programming development, Hopper was a thought leader in developing computer programs that translated high-level source code into English-like language. Feisty, imaginative and creative, Hopper serves as a role model for women in technology to this day.
Posted on 22 Dec 2016

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