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Increasing Diversity May Boost Technologist Retention
Increasing diversity can help companies hold onto their valuable technologists, according to a new report by Wiley. Wiley surveyed 2,030 technologists between the ages of 18 and 28, and 50 percent of them said they would potentially leave their current position because their company’s culture “made them feel uncomfortable.” Sixty-eight percent said they felt “uncomfortable in a job because of their gender, ethnicity, socio-economic background or neurodevelopmental condition.” Although many companies have invested substantial time and resources in diversity and inclusion, Wiley’s research makes it clear that such efforts are much more than an organizational “nice to have.” Technologists are willing to leave if they feel uncomfortable about organizational progress on the DEI front - and considering their importance to virtually every company’s overall strategy, that means managers and executives must do everything they can to ensure that diversity efforts yield tangible results. What’s the best way to fix the diversity issue confronting the tech industry as a whole? The report suggests that all demographics should be encouraged to consider a STEM career at an early age: “Without this encouragement, they may later lack the STEM-based qualifications required by a lot of entry level roles if they choose to pursue a career in the field.”
Posted on 30 Aug 2021
The Cybersecurity Shortage Is Real, and Women May Be the Solution
The tech industry has been plagued by two chronic human capital problems: a shortage of specialized cybersecurity talent and a vast underrepresentation of women in technology roles. There are about 465,000 open cybersecurity positions in the U.S. today, according to CyberSeek, and 61 percent of organizations surveyed by the IT association ISACA consider their security departments understaffed. About the same percentage of respondents say it takes three months to more than six months to fill an open security job. The cyber talent shortage is rapidly becoming a crisis. Ironically, America’s tech industry started as a majority-female industry. As Mary Ann Sieghart notes in Wired, during the 1950s and ’60s, roughly 90 percent of programmers and systems analysts were women. By the 1990s, however, men held most of those positions. Today, an employer looking to hire a certified cybersecurity professional could be hard-pressed to find one who is female. According to (ISC)², women still hold only 24 percent of cybersecurity roles; ISACA found that 86 percent of cybersecurity teams are mostly made up of men.
Posted on 17 Aug 2021
More women than ever are starting careers in science
Women are more likely to start a research career now than they were 20 years ago, reveals a longitudinal study of the publishing records of millions of researchers around the world. But they are less likely to continue their academic careers than are their male contemporaries, and in general publish fewer papers. Ludo Waltman, a quantitative scientist at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his colleagues took a deep dive into the huge Scopus citation and abstract database, hosted by Elsevier. They looked at the publication careers of some six million researchers globally who had authored at least three papers between 1996 and 2018. The team posted its findings on the preprint server arXiv.org1. The authors found that the proportion of women starting a career in science rose over time. In 2000, 33% of researchers starting their publishing career were women; that grew to 40% in recent years (see ‘Gender gap’). Waltman says that although the results are not surprising, it’s important that we now have concrete statistics confirming the trend for many countries and scientific disciplines.
Posted on 17 Aug 2021
NCWIT - News on the Radar: 7/28/21
Here is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar recently and which we think will be of interest to you. The practices or content of the news gathered (while not endorsed or vetted by NCWIT) is meant to spark new conversations and ideas surrounding the current diversity statistics and trends in the tech workforce: Did you know that women’s enrollment in undergraduate STEM programs has held steady during the pandemic?; Did you know that Culturally Responsive-Sustaining CS Education addresses the racial gap in access to computing programs?; Did you know that remote work offers new ways to support LGBTQ people in the workplace?
Posted on 31 Jul 2021
Open source’s diversity problem
It’s no secret that women are underrepresented in tech, especially open source, but their contributions speak for themselves. Tech has long had a diversity problem, but in open source, it’s even worse. U.S. Bureau of Labor data shows that 19.4% of software developers are women, but according to a 2017 GitHub open source survey, 95% of respondents were men and just 3% were women (1% identified as non-binary). The reasons are various, but one key reason may simply be that open source communities can be unfriendly to women developers. According to that same GitHub survey, it’s not that women developers don’t want to contribute to open source projects. Actually, 68% of the women surveyed said they are “very interested” in contributing to open source, but are significantly less likely to do so than men (45% compared to 61%). Even so, we do have a rising number of women open source stars who are contributing to and/or maintaining open source projects.
Posted on 18 Jul 2021
The gender gap in science and technology, in numbers
Women are still under-represented in fields such as computing, engineering, mathematics and physics, finds a UNESCO report. A workforce highly qualified in science and tech disciplines is vital to filling the skills shortage as the Fourth Industrial Revolution gathers pace. Strenuous efforts need to be made to address the gender gap at all levels of academia and the workplace, UNESCO warns. Women remain a significant minority in the scientific fields driving the digital revolution, amid a general skills shortage that’s holding back progress. The UNESCO Science Report 2021 found that women are still under-represented in fields such as computing, digital information technology, engineering, mathematics and physics. The report authors advise that strenuous efforts need to be made at government, academic and corporate levels to address this gender imbalance. The challenge is to attract and then retain women in these subject areas and maintain momentum in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Posted on 18 Jul 2021
News on the Radar: 6/30/21
Here is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar recently and which we think will be of interest to you. The practices or content of the news gathered (while not endorsed or vetted by NCWIT) is meant to spark new conversations and ideas surrounding the current diversity statistics and trends in the tech workforce: Did you know that policy interventions can help improve equity in colleges and universities?; Did you know that many K-12 educators believe current computing curricula do not meet the needs of a diverse student body?; Did you know that diverse teams are good for businesses’ bottom lines?
Posted on 18 Jul 2021
Leading with Purpose: Creating a Culture that Drives Innovation; Tuesday, June 29, 2021
This one-hour panel discussion will provide you with insights on creating meaningful culture and enabling innovation in your organization. You will learn to lead with empathy, allowing you to stay in sync with your team!
Posted on 25 Jun 2021
Seeing Is Believing: The Power Of Leadership Visualization In Technology
The phrase ‘seeing is believing’ is too often splashed across ad campaigns or sewn onto novelty cushions. But despite its tedious overuse, it remains remarkably true: being able to visualize yourself achieving a certain result dramatically improves your chances of actually doing it. This is particularly relevant in industries where equal representation remains a pipedream, such as in the world of technology. Role models have the ability to influence our decision-making. Seeing someone that looks like you, sounds like you, or that shares a similar background to you doing something admirable works as visual proof that you can do it too. It provides confirmation that your goals are attainable. The power of visualization is staggering: it can transform whole belief systems, demolish preconceptions, and inspire and motivate the next generation of doers to dream big and work hard. It can also help in planning career paths, overcoming set-backs, taking risks and staying motivated in the knowledge that the destination is within arm’s reach. The stark lack of gender diversity in technology is sadly nothing new. The European Commission estimates that women constitute 17% of IT specialists, and that 91% of raised capital in 2020 European tech was given to founding teams comprised solely of men. There are many contributing factors to this sad state of affairs, and being part of such a minority can be both intimidating and dissuading. The power of representation is one of many effective tools for making lasting change. Having greater visibility of successful women within the industry is a way to hammer home the fact that technology is not reserved for those who fit an outdated, stereotypical, ‘male, stale and pale’ mould.
Posted on 25 Jun 2021
Women in IT are burned out. The pandemic is making it worse
COVID has compounded the disproportional stress women face in the IT workplace, putting careers at risk, as well as nearly a decade of progress toward gender equity. With the need to keep organizations humming through a global pandemic, this past year has placed considerable stress on IT professionals. Taken in total, however, the strains of adjusting to life and work under COVID-19 have fallen disproporationally on women in IT. A survey of 450 tech professionals by TrustRadius found that 57% of women report feeling burned out at work this year as a result of the pandemic, compared to 36% of men. Central to this has been an imbalance in added responsibilities due to the pandemic, both at home and in the workplace. Forty-three percent of women surveyed by TrustRadius report taking on extra responsibilities at work in the past year, compared to 33% of men. At home, 29% of women have taken on a greater childcare burden, versus 19% of men who said the same. And 42% of women have taken on the bulk of the housework during the pandemic, compared to 11% of men. Moreover, women have been twice as likely as men to have lost their jobs or been furloughed during the pandemic. All told, nearly 3 million American women have left the workforce, whether due to layoffs or having chosen to leave their jobs as a result of the added responsibilities.
Posted on 25 Jun 2021

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