Did You Know?

Did you know that African American women, though considered a “double-minority,” aren’t necessarily penalized the same way as either women or African American men when it comes to leadership? While cultural norms expect white men to be assertive and aggressive leaders, black men and white women often experience backlash for that kind of behavior in the workplace.
A new study has found that rather than being viewed similarly to black men and white women, black women seem to be expected to act assertively. “Black women leaders occupy a unique space,” said one of the study’s authors. “These findings show that just because a role is prescribed to women in general doesn’t mean that it will be prescribed for black women.”
Did you know that the graduation rate for Latinos in U.S. colleges is the highest it’s been in seven years? A recent report from Excelencia in Education says that nationally, Latinos make up 22 percent of the K-12 public school population and 15 percent of the U.S. population overall; by the year 2025, it’s estimated that nearly one-quarter of the nation’s college-age population will be Latino.  
Does your department have strategies in place for attracting and retaining Latinos, such as summer bridge programs, community college articulation agreements, student communities or cohorts, or faculty advising and mentoring? For additional ideas, check out the “Growing What Works” database from Exelencia in Education.
Did you know about ilearnedtoprogram.com? The site was created by Ben Chun, a computer science graduate of MIT and a teacher at San Francisco’s Galileo Academy, to give people a place to share their one-sentence experiences of learning to program.
On his blog, Ben shares some of the themes the site has uncovered: in a word cloud he created from the submissions, some of the most prominent words include “make,” “wanted”, “Commodore”, and “Dad” — and the submissions are moving, familiar, and even humorous (“I learned to program…because the guy I shared an office with only talked about Phil Collins and Lingo — and I really didn’t want to learn about Phil Collins — Katie”).
Did you know that 8 in 10 people believe creativity is essential to innovation and economic growth, but only one in four people feel like their workplace values it? Fully three-quarters of respondents in a recent survey said they feel their employers value productivity over creativity. This makes sense, given how most businesses work and the need to get things done, but research also illustrates that problems are “often solved by people working at the margins of their fields, who were able to think outside the box.”
Did you know that 25% of large U.S. companies have peer-mentoring programs? Recently it seems mentoring has trended towards more goal-oriented sponsorship programs, where a senior employee takes responsibility for a younger employee’s success track; and reverse-mentoring programs, where young people co-mentor their more senior colleagues.
Fortune magazine this week has a look at two big companies, Microsoft and KPMG, whose programs focus on peer mentoring. Peer mentoring is designed to match managers with others of similar rank across departments and with varying levels of tenure. Microsoft’s program has been so successful that it has developed a waiting list. “The goal is ultimately to drive it down deeper into the organization,” said a KPMG representative about its program. “It really helps with retention – and gives folks a line of sight to a number of opportunities across the firm.”
Did You Know? is a brief round-up of information and news that crossed NCWIT’s radar this week that we think might be of interest to you. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.

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