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What Does Parental Leave Look Like in NYC's Silicon Alley?
Workers in most industries struggle to achieve a healthy balance between career advancement and parenting. In the last year, Facebook, Microsoft and Netflix have all announced sharply improved family benefits including up to a year of leave for mothers and fathers. With these announcements, media outlets have started to declare the tech sector as the ''most radical'' on the issue. Anecdotal evidence suggests New York tech companies are not emulating their Silicon Valley rivals. A survey of local companies found some startups offer no leave at all, while others provide a very modest six to 12 weeks of paid time off. One provided parental leave only to its paid female staff.
Posted on 15 Dec 2015
Stem Toys Made For Girls Are The Hot New Trend
The shortage of women in computer science and tech has been a topic of heated discussion and much teeth-gnashing. . Given that STEM careers are regularly among the highest paid and the number of STEM jobs is predicted to grow by 17% over the next ten years, there has been a movement afoot to spark girls' interest at a young age, with coding camps for girls. The latest effort? This holiday season sees a flood of new STEM toys marketed explicitly for girls. It might seem counterintuitive, given that many retailers, like Target and Disney, have begun eschewing gender labels on toys. But Adrienne Appell , trend specialist at the Toy Industry Association in Manhattan, says STEM toys for girls is a big trend. ''We named it as a major trend in 2014 and we've seen it continue in 2015,'' says Appell.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
SendGrid's diversity strategy results in more job candidates
In the seven months since being named senior director of software engineering at SendGrid, Sha Ma has hired five engineers, including one female. Ma is evidence that the fast-growing Boulder e-mail firm's strategy to include all potential talent while hiring for a job is working. By leaning on Ma's network - she's led development teams at startups and Fortune 500 companies - SendGrid expanded its candidate pool and hired women it may have otherwise overlooked. Half of Ma's referrals hired for other jobs at the company also were women. Last year, SendGrid joined Silicon Valley heavyweights such as Google in sharing the gender makeup of its staff - as embarrassing as it was. Most companies reported that less than 20 percent of tech jobs were held by females, compared with the general U.S. labor force, where women make up 46.8 percent. SendGrid was at 9 percent. In an update shared with The Denver Post, SendGrid said its numbers are inching forward. While the improvement is not fabulous, its female tech workers now hold 12.3 percent of its tech jobs. Female tech leaders doubled to six, including Ma, or 25 percent of SendGrid's technical leadership. Nonwhite employees are at 18.9 percent, up from last year's 17 percent.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
3 Ways Tech Companies Are Offering Parental Leave
Tech companies are competing for recruits and retention: same old, same old. What's new is their strategy - something other than on-site massages, nap rooms, and haircuts. Google, Facebook, Netflix, and most recently, Amazon, are now bragging about their generous family leave policies. Who would've thunk it? Companies have heard the message: today's top talent cares about work-life balance. But the devil's in the details. Which family leave model will actually attract and retain valued employees? Mark Zuckerberg's recent announcement of his intention to take two months of parental leave provides the crucial clue.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
How Do You Engage and Retain Diverse Students? EngageCSEdu Can Help
Engaging and meaningful introductory courses are important to drawing and keeping diverse students in computing. But what practices are most likely to have the biggest impact on retaining diverse students? And why? To help the computing education community share their answers to these questions, the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) teamed with Google to create EngageCSEdu, a comprehensive collection of peer-reviewed CS1/2 course materials designed to engage diverse students. All materials in EngageCSEdu collection have been peer reviewed for the quality of their CS content and for their use of high impact 'Engagement Practices': a set of practices that research suggests help both improve instruction and retain diverse students. This article overviews several of these practices and highlights some of the materials in the collection that use them.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
New Hackbright CEO Sharon Wienbar Says Programming Now More Attractive to Women
Venture capitalist Sharon Wienbar is taking the helm as chief executive of Hackbright Academy, a San Francisco computer engineering school whose mission is to bring more women into the tech industry. Ms. Wienbar, a partner at Scale Venture Partners since 2001, succeeds Hackbright co-founder and CEO David Phillips, who will become chairman of the school. The two met in 2014 when she was researching an article on how to hire more female engineers. The next day she offered to advise the school. In an interview, Ms. Wienbar said her venture capital experience will help the school grow by reaching beyond its San Francisco campus to serve more aspiring female software developers and companies looking for talented workers.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
Why it makes sense to have more women in tech (infographic)
The position of women in tech is something Silicon Republic spend a lot of time discussing it. Through the Women Invent campaign, they aim to highlight inspiring women in technology - from the legendary Hedy Lamarr to modern inspirations like astrophysicist Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Techmums founder Sue Black. Silicon Republic is also the driving force behind Inspirefest, an international sci-tech festival that also aims to promote diversity in STEM. In 2013, just 26pc of computing jobs in the US were held by women while only 11pc of all engineers in the US were women. Less than 20pc of technical roles at Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter were held by women when this infographic was compiled, despite the fact that women are the lead adopters of technology. Read on for more statistics that may give you pause for thought.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
Wanted: 100,000 new STEM teachers
In schools across America, there are 'Help Wanted' signs advertising jobs that desperately need to be filled. They're all for teaching positions in STEM fields - which have 100,000 open positions nationwide. 100Kin10 is a New York nonprofit trying to fill those roles. Its name reflects its goal: train and place 100,000 new STEM teachers by 2021.
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
Microsoft lost a lot of women this year. Here's why
Massive layoffs over the past year hit Microsoft particularly hard in one of its sorest spots: women. Microsoft attributes the change "to the restructuring of our phone hardware business." In other words: The company's $7.5 billion write-down of its Nokia acquisition led to jobs cuts where a higher percentage of the workers were women. "The workforce reductions resulting from the restructure of our phone hardware business...impacted factory and production facilities outside the U.S. that produce handsets and hardware," Gwen Houston, Microsoft Global Diversity and Inclusion general manager, wrote in a blog post. "This was the main cause of the decline in female representation at Microsoft."
Posted on 01 Dec 2015
6 Key Factors that Propel Successful Women Entrepreneurs
Women have made strong advances in entrepreneurialism, an area of business long viewed as the domain of men. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the share of women-owned businesses increased 7 percentage points since 2007. As women continue to launch companies at increasing rates, it begs a question: What does it take to be a successful female entrepreneur? KPMG explores this topic in Women Entrepreneurs: Passion, Purpose and Perseverance, a recent survey of 200 female entrepreneurs from Inc. 5000 companies.
The key findings shed light on what propels women's success in business - and what could propel yours.
Posted on 13 Nov 2015

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