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How Paid Re-Entry Programs Can Get More Women In Tech
Seven global engineering and tech companies (IBM, Intel, General Motors, Booz Allen Hamilton, Cummins, Caterpillar, and Johnson Controls) are piloting re-entry, paid internship programs for people who have taken career breaks of two years or longer. These organizations plan to offer some of these interns permanent positions when the 12-week program ends.
Posted on 01 Mar 2016
NSF launches long-awaited diversity initiative
NSF announced its intention to hand out small grants later this year to dozens of institutions to test novel ways of broadening participation in science and engineering. Winners of the 2-year, $300,000 pilot grants will be eligible to compete next year for up to five, $12.5 million awards over 5 years. NSF is calling the program INCLUDES. (The acronym stands for a real jaw-breaker: inclusion across the nation of communities of learners of underrepresented discoverers in engineering and science.) The underrepresentation of women and minorities in the scientific workforce is a problem that has persisted for decades despite many well-meaning federal initiatives. NSF Director France Cordova has spoken repeatedly about her intention of moving the needle on the issue since taking office in March 2014. And this initiative, totaling roughly $75 million, could well be the signature program of her 6-year term.
Posted on 01 Mar 2016
Can Our Brain Type Explain the Gender Gap in STEM Subjects and Careers?
It's no secret that far fewer females enter into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) professions and fields such as engineering struggle to recruit women. There have been a number of ineffective and stereotypical attempts to encourage girls into engineering which have failed to have a positive impact. Katie Klavenes, Research Assistant & Resource Developer at the Department's Engineering Design Centre (EDC), argues that it is a brain type rather than a gender issue that encourages males into STEM fields. Rather than seeing gender per se as being the dividing factor, Klavenes sees that it's one's ability to empathise and systemise that attracts or repels people from entering into STEM subjects and embarking on careers in this domain. It is true that many more females are categorised as empathisers and many more males as systemisers, which may explain the gender disparity. Empathising is the internal drive to identify with another person's emotions and thoughts, and respond to them with appropriate emotions and actions; systemising is the cognitive ability to identify the underlying rules that govern the behaviours of a system. Klavenes conducted a small scale research study in order to better understand the causes of this gender
Posted on 01 Mar 2016
Virtual reality could be a solution to sexism in tech
A new study of software developers has confirmed what women already know too well: Gender bias has big consequences in the workplace. The study, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, looked at acceptance rates for code written by women and men on the massive code repository Github. Developers accepted 71.8% of code written by women when they didn't know their gender. But when gender was made public, acceptance rates for women dipped to just over 62%. These results are infuriating - but they're not surprising. Another recent experiment gave scientists at Yale University the exact same resumes, topped by masculine and feminine names. Scientists extended more job offers, and higher salaries, to the job applicants they thought were men.
Posted on 21 Feb 2016
This Study Shows That Boys Think Boys Are Smarter Than Girls in Science Classes
Thanks to initiatives like Google's Made With Code and the Technovation Challenge, there are more college girls pursuing STEM fields than ever before. But thanks to unequal treatment in the classroom, those same students are more likely to quit the sciences than their male counterparts. A study published last week in PLOS ONE explains that faculty members are biased towards male STEM students - guys receive more mentorship time, more email responses from professors, and more attention in class. If that wasn't bad enough, guys think their male peers are smarter than the female students in their classes - even if they're not.
Posted on 21 Feb 2016
FIRST Announces 2016 STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant
MANCHESTER, N.H. - (BUSINESS WIRE) - FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) announced the launch of the 2016 FIRST STEM Equity Community Innovation Grant, adding to its commitment to address the inequities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) among underrepresented and underserved students. This grant is designed to help ensure that more of these students, and their communities, are exposed to creative problem solving and hands-on learning, and are educated about future career opportunities available to them.
Posted on 21 Feb 2016
Women considered better coders - but only if they hide their gender
When a group of computer science students decided to study the way that gender bias plays out in software development communities, they assumed that coders would be prejudiced against code written by women. After all, women make up a very small percentage of software developers - 11.2% according to one 2013 survey - and the presence of sexism in all corners of the overwhelmingly male tech industry has been well documented. So the student researchers were surprised when their hypothesis proved false - code written by women was in fact more likely to be approved by their peers than code written by men. But that wasn't the end of the story: this only proved true as long as their peers didn't realise the code had been written by a woman.
Posted on 21 Feb 2016
Why Diversity In Hiring Is Only One Part Of The Puzzle
The conversation on corporate diversity is finally leading some companies to retool their recruiting processes. That's important and laudable, but tends to miss out on one thing: What happens once employees arrive? What makes them stay, and what drives their success at the company when they do? As Intel's latest update on its own diversity efforts makes clear, hiring diverse employees is only one piece of the puzzle. For companies that want to retain employees from all backgrounds and empower them to excel, creating an inclusive culture is just as important as hiring a diverse workforce.
Posted on 11 Feb 2016
The Myth Women in Tech Need to Stop Believing
While many of us promise our children that they can be whatever they want when they grow up, the numbers seem to tell a different story. The truth is that women hold around one in four of all STEM jobs despite making up half of the population. As a society, we too often claim - to our children, to our constituents, and to our employees - to want diversity, even as our biases and behaviors continue to create disparities. We have to change the culture if we want to change the numbers. We know more than ever about the progress women have made, and how far we still have to go. While women's representation in the private sector has improved over the past 20 years, gender inequality still persists at every level. The chasms are especially prevalent in tech, and in areas such as computer science, the gap is actually worsening.
Posted on 11 Feb 2016
Women Fill 18 Percent of Computer Science Jobs
Google officials said that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million new computer science-related jobs in the U.S., but right now, there are only enough computer science graduates to fill 32 percent of those jobs. Washington, DC - infoZine - Scripps Howard Foundation Wire - The Center for American Progress and Google co-hosted an event about encouraging women and minorities to study computer science and to make it a part of core curriculum beginning in elementary school. President Barack Obama announced an initiative to make sure all students get the chance to learn computer science, especially girls and minorities. His final budget, due out Tuesday, will include $100 million for school districts and $4 billion for states to expand K-12 computer science classes.
Posted on 11 Feb 2016

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