Women in Technology

News and advice for and about women working to get make the most of their STEM careers.

A Bechdel Test for Tech?

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In order for a movie or television show to pass the Bechdel Test (named after cartoonist and MacArthur genius Alison Bechdel), it must do three things: Feature two female characters Have those two characters talk to one another Have those characters talk to one another about something other than a man A lot of movies and shows don’t pass. How would programming culture fare if subjected to a similar test? One tech firm, 18F, decided to find out after seeing… continue…

SXSW Session Shows Diversity Issues in Tech

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Improving the male-to-female ratio in the technology industry emerged as a big theme at South by Southwest this year—especially after a panel in which a prominent female executive, United States CTO Megan Smith, found herself repeatedly interrupted by Google executive chairman (and former CEO) Eric Schmidt. The session, titled “How Innovation Happens,” also included Aspen Institute CEO and author Walter Isaacson, perhaps most famous for his controversial biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. The event was advertised as a “conversation”… continue…

Apple Pledging $50 Million Toward Diversity

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In 2014, Apple unveiled a diversity report that sent CEO Tim Cook into a very public display of angst. “I’m not satisfied with the numbers,” he said, after Apple’s own internal data revealed that the company was 80 percent male and 54 percent white. Now Apple will partner with a handful of nonprofits to increase diversity in the tech industry as a whole. Under the terms of the new agreements, the National Center for Women and Information Technology, the Thurgood… continue…

Microsoft CEO Pledges More Company Diversity

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Microsoft will look less white and male in coming years, according to CEO Satya Nadella. Speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting, Nadella emphasized the Microsoft’s commitment to a “more diverse workforce” and “creating opportunities at every level of the company for all of Microsoft’s employees,” according to Business Insider. Nadella finds himself under a particular microscope after his comments at this October’s Grace Hopper Conference, in which he suggested that female employees trust in “karma” to secure them raises… continue…

Is the Tech Industry More Welcoming to Women?

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As awareness of the challenges facing women in the tech industry continues to grow, measures intended to help mitigate the problem may be having some effect. One core problem stems from an education system that has systematically failed to promote inclusion of women. Fortunately, progress is being made with regard to the hiring of women to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) classes at the nation’s universities. In an editorial opinion piece recently published in The New York Times,… continue…

Where Are All the Women Execs?

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How many U.S. companies have at least one female executive on staff? According to a new report from marketing-data company Infogroup Targeting Solutions, a mere 27 percent fit that description. The one region bucking that trend is the San Francisco Bay Area, where Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Emeryville all boast higher percentages of women executives. “Silicon Valley is actually faring really well [in] comparison to the balance of the U.S.,” Andrea Haldeman, Infogroup’s senior vice president of sales, told Fortune… continue…

Lack of Mentorship Hobbles Women in Tech

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New research from nonprofit firm Catalyst suggests that women who earn their MBA are far less likely than men to use that degree within a “tech intensive” industry. According to the firm’s latest survey, any blame for a lack of women in tech-intensive industries shouldn’t rest with the education system, which is the frequent target of executives who complain about gender discrepancy in tech; instead, women decline to participate in those industries due to a lack of role models, concerns… continue…

Facebook, Box, Pinterest Launch Women Mentorships

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Over the summer, a handful of tech giants released diversity reports that showed their respective companies weren’t diverse at all, with white males occupying the majority of positions from the engineering ranks to the C-suite. At Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Yahoo, males constituted 80 percent or more of employees. After that data became public, many of these companies vowed to do better. “I’m not satisfied with the numbers… They’re not new to us, and we’ve been working hard… continue…

AMD’s New Female CEO Paid Less Than Her Predecessor

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Advanced Micro Devices is catching some flak over the salary for new Chief Executive Officer Lisa Su. The company plans on paying Su around $850,000, significantly less than what her predecessor, Rory Read, received during his tenure in the CEO chair. Read had earned roughly $1 million per year since 2011. According to Bloomberg, AMD issued a statement defending the gap: “Rory’s compensation included various incentives common in situations in which a person joins a new company. As a current… continue…

This CEO Thinks Women Make Better Executives Than Men

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In a wide-ranging interview with Business Insider, The Container Store CEO Kip Tindell revealed that women occupy 70 percent of his company’s senior ranks, a reversal of what one sees in most firms. “Obviously, we have nothing against men,” he told the interviewer. “It’s just that the skillset—communication, empathy, emotional intelligence, understanding what we stand for (Conscious Capitalism, servant leadership), and being like our target customer—really fits the bill with women.” Click here to find IT management jobs. The rest… continue…