Did You Know?

Did you know an ongoing study finds that female STEM faculty at community colleges are in gender parity with their male peers, and have high rates of job satisfaction? A team of researchers from Ohio University has found that women make up 47.7 percent of STEM faculty at community colleges, whereas they are only about one-third of the faculty at four-year universities. They also conclude that “women in STEM faculty positions at community colleges are happy, and it’s not because their jobs are somehow easier than those at four-year institutions…they have pay equity, and there are more of them than at four-year colleges.”

Did you know the term “double minority”? This is how entrepreneur Tiffani Bell describes her status as a Black woman in tech. Tiffani taught herself to program as a kid and then studied computer science on a full-ride scholarship at Howard University. She worked at some large tech companies where, she says of her co-workers, “I could tell they had never worked with a woman, or a minority. They would make little jokes. It’s never everybody, but it’s always a few. By the end of my internship, they said I fit in because I learned to talk about Porsches and golf.”  Now she’s struck out on her own with a startup that’s participating in NewMe, an accelerator geared towards minorities in tech.

Did you know that the end of summer is a great time for startups to polish, get inspired, reach out, and build up? This week VC and entrepreneur Charlie O’Donnell offers a list of 10 things startups can be doing in these last few lazy weeks of summer that will give them a jump on the fall:

Have an offsite
Run a hackathon
Build up your hiring funnel
Queue up some blog posts
Pitch some PR
Class up your materials
Beef up your analytics
Review your sales strategy
Look at your conference schedule
Record some stock video

One way to build up your hiring funnel is to make sure you’re targeting your hiring process to women. NCWIT offers tips to help you check your hiring practices are free of gender bias, that your office space gives off a welcoming vibe, and that you’re keeping an open mind to diverse ways of looking at aptitude and “fitting in”.

Did you know that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) now has its own Office of Diversity and Inclusion? Last week President Obama signed an executive order creating this government-wide initiative, which is designed to  “draw upon the talents of all parts of society” and give the federal government the opportunity to “tap diverse perspectives to overcome the nation’s greatest challenges.”  The new Office of Diversity and Inclusion will identify practices for effective recruiting, hiring, hiring, promotion, and professional development; coordinate federal, inter-departmental efforts; and establish accountability and reporting for implementation of these efforts.  “As the Nation’s largest employer, the federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example,” said OPM Director John Berry. “We must recruit, hire, develop and retain a competitive, diverse workforce, because we’ll deliver the best results to the American people when we fully use the talents of all parts of our society.”

Did You Know that hacking is more than just security breaches? At Hack the Future, an event for school-aged kids in San Jose, hacking means creating code, sharing ideas, programming, and learning from each other. This is a great example of how “tinkering”, or experimenting with how something is built, can be a terrific way to get kids to think not just about consuming computing but creating it, too. Experienced hackers — like Al Alcorn, creator of the popular 1980s video game, Pong — attended the event and encouraged the kids to express their creativity through hacking.
Did You Know? is a brief roundup of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar this week, that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content from the news presented here are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.

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