Did You Know? Women Entrepreneurs, CIOs in HIgher Ed, Tech Trends, NSF Grant, Flextime Bias

What’s Holding Female Entrepreneurs Back?
Did you know that the recently released Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Women’s Report shows that there are about 126 million women currently managing new companies and, additionally, there are roughly 98 million women managing established businesses? While these numbers show promise for boosting economic growth and creating jobs, according to GEM reports, there is still much to be desired from policymakers and educators in the way of enabling both male and female entrepreneurs to actively participate in economic growth. Researchers reported the following from the GEM report:
“We found that women tend to be more often motivated by necessity than opportunity, have less confidence in perceptions of their capabilities to start a venture and have a higher fear of failure.  While these suggest challenges for women, we need to put these findings in context. Notably, there is evidence that necessity motivated ventures may be more likely to survive and can be just as profitable as opportunity motivated ventures. On the other hand, lower perceptions of capabilities to start a business and fear of failure may be culturally or institutionally explained if we consider that entrepreneurship in many countries and industry sectors is male-dominated and there are fewer role models.”
Continue reading here.

Where Are the Women CIO’s in Higher Ed?
Did you know that the number of female CIOs in higher education is on the decline? According to this article, between 2008 and 2013 the percentage of female CIOs has gone from 26% to 21%. This decline can be attributed to several factors including a lack of interest from women in becoming CIOs, increased rates of retirement from women CIOs, or the undeniable gender disparity in tech majors.

While the presence of female CIOs is declining, the presence of female tech leaders (TLs) in higher ed seems to be on the rise. The article states “The percentage of TLs who are women has risen over the past five years from 33% to 40%. The percentage of female TLs who are interested in becoming a CIO, while low at 29% in 2013, has remained steady over the past three years.”
How do the percentages in this article compare to the percentage of CIOs at your institution?

Career Success and Tech Trends
Did you know that while choosing a career focus based on the newest and most trendy technologies can lead to a high-paying career, it may not always be the best choice? The trend strategy of choosing a career niche can be beneficial for those looking to work mainly as a contractor and not a full-time employee. However, if job stability and a full-time job is what you are seeking, it appears that employers are now looking for IT professionals with a balance of specific technical skills as well as business, problem-solving, or additional technical skills.

John Reed, a senior executive director at Robert Half Technology, states “If you brand yourself as a specialist in a specific technology and that’s all you know, you’ll only address that business need from the perspective of that technology, which isn’t always the right answer.”

Read more about pros and cons of following tech trends in your career here.

NSF Provides Grant Money For A New AP Computer Science Exam
Did you know there was a higher percentage of American high school students enrolled in computing courses 20 years ago than there is today? To address this issue, the National Science Foundation recently provided a 5.2 million dollar grant toward the creation of a new advanced placement computer science course and exam for high school students. This grant was awarded to the College Board to fund the development of their AP Computer Science Principles (AP CSP) exam and course. This improved AP course and exam is intended to attract and prepare more high school students for computer science courses in college, thus, creating a skilled workforce.
Owen Astrachan, a computer science professor at Duke, stated “The CS Principles project is integral to the development of an intellectual foundation for computer science for high school and college students and is part of the foundation of a national initiative that will help ensure a vibrant, competitive and productive workforce in nearly every field.”
Read more about the details of this initiative here.

Flextime Bias In the Workplace
Did you know that a recent study in the Journal of Social Issues shows that when it comes to granting flextime to employees, bosses appear to favor men over women? This article explains that while managers may not see the impact of their decision to grant/deny a single woman’s request for flextime, over time, these decisions can have a significant impact on employee morale.
The researchers summarized the results in stating:
“Managers respect high-status men more than high-status women and that people have a fundamental psychological motive to defend and perpetuate the status quo which, in this case, means reinforcing a gender hierarchy where men have more status and power than women. These biases are evident particularly in the finding that managers gave the flexible schedule to the professional men seeking training to advance their careers, but not their female counterparts asking for exactly the same reason.”

Learn more about the cause and effect of biased decisions around flextime here.


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