This newsletter provides a monthly recap of the biggest headlines about women and computing, news about NCWIT, and links to resources to equip you as change leaders for increasing women’s participation in technology. Practices or content of the news presented are not vetted or endorsed by NCWIT.
NCWIT News and Opportunities
Calling All Hackers, Coders, and Technical High School Women!
NCWIT is accepting applications for the NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing until November 7, 2016.
The NCWIT Award for Aspirations in Computing honors high school women who are active and interested in computing and technology, and encourages them to pursue their passions. This multi-tiered competition includes recognition at the national and local levels, serving all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, and all U.S. overseas military bases. Prizes included are as follows:
Each Affiliate Award winner receives recognition at an Award event, an engraved award for both her and her school, scholarship and internship opportunities, access to a peer network of technical young women in the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Community (sponsored by Bloomberg), and may receive various other prizes — computing resources, gadgets, sponsor-branded swag, and more.
Each National Award winner receives various prizes, cash, and a trip to Bank of America headquarters on March 3-5, 2017 for a celebration and networking with Bank of America employees.
Pass the opportunity along, using this sharing package or this announcement newsletter — full of detailed information on prizes and eligibilities, as well as sample messaging for social media and publications.
The NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program is supported nationally by Apple, AT&T, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Google, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, Microsoft, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Northrop Grumman, Qualcomm, and the Symantec Corporation.
NCWIT was pleased to participate in this year’s Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC). Inspired by the legacy of Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, GHC is designed to bring the research and career interests of women in computing to the forefront. Find out more at http://gracehopper.anitaborg.org/.
Throughout this year’s three day-conference, GHC attendees found several ways to interact with NCWIT staff and fellow community members. From gathering NCWIT resources and swag, to attending professional workshops and info sessions, many learned more about the ways in which NCWIT can help their change-leading efforts.
One professional workshop, led by NCWIT’s Lucy Sanders and Brad McLain (among other speakers), included a sneak peek of “Want to be a Bias Interruptor?” With this upcoming NCWIT resource on display, workshop speakers primed participants on unconscious bias that exists in academia and showed how they could become a “bias interruptor” in their classrooms, department meetings, research labs, and even the software they create. You can find more information on the Academic Corner workshop and NCWIT’s GHC participation here.
NCWIT’s 2016 GHC conference participation is generously sponsored by Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), Bank of America, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and HP Inc.
News on the Radar
Women are Less Likely to Get What They Negotiate For
A recently published report by McKinsey & Company and LeanIn.org, featured on Vox, found that despite commonly held beliefs, women do negotiate for raises and promotions just as often as men do. However, women are less likely to get what they ask for, and they could “face a penalty for doing so.”
As highlighted on Vox, “Women were more likely than men (30 percent versus 23 percent) to report that after asking for a raise or a promotion, they received negative performance feedback that they were ‘bossy,’ ‘aggressive,’ or ‘intimidating.’” Additionally, “Women are staggeringly less likely to get promoted across the board than men are. That starts with the first level of promotion; 130 men are promoted to manager for every 100 women, and the gap widens from there.”
When it comes to performance evaluation and promotion, we tend to develop and promote people who are like us. Chapter 4 of NCWIT’s Women in Tech: The Facts report explains how gender bias comes into play. Hidden barriers, like bias, often prevent technical organizations from hiring and retaining top talent. NCWIT’s Supervising-in-a-Box: Performance Review/Talent Management provides resources to help supervisors (and others) reduce biases in performance evaluation and talent management systems.
New Book “Hidden Figures” Gives Life to Hidden Stories of Women in Tech
During a discussion with Quartz on her new book Hidden Figures, soon to be a major motion picture, author Margot Lee Shetterly revealed how she hopes to combat stereotypes of what a scientist looks like by sharing the stories of the female African American mathematicians and engineers who worked in NASA’s space program during the 1960s. “There’s such a power to the story of the first and only,” says Margot. “These people defy stereotype by being the first PhD in math, or whatever the case may be… What we need is for all of this to normalize and for everyone to have the experience of knowing a scientist could be any one of us.”
Want to acknowledge and celebrate real-life women in tech? Explore Sit With Me (SWM) — a fun, creative national advocacy campaign designed for the participation of men and women (both technical and non-technical) to recognize the critical need for women’s contributions at the technology design table.
Organizations Pair Up to Increase Girls’ Interest in Computing
In a recent article on Babble, it was announced that Netflix and the Girl Scouts of the USA joined forces in their efforts to encourage more girls to pursue STEM career fields. The collaboration between the two kicked off with an event held at Netflix’s headquarters that aimed to create hands-on experiences for Girl Scouts derived from the company’s original series Project Mc², which features young girls who use STEM skills to protect the world. The event also featured the debut of a STEM Superstars Guide, which encourages Girl Scouts to discover how rewarding STEM can be.
As outlined in NCWIT’s Girls in IT: The Facts report, research shows that despite girls’ initial interest in computing, key social and structural factors like education, the media, peers, and family members influence their participation in computing, and often deter girls from pursuing careers in technology. See NCWIT’s Top 10 Ways Families Can Encourage Girls’ Interest in Computing for recommendations on keeping girls’ and boys’ passion and curiosity for technology alive.
Women in Tech Shouldn’t Hide Who They Are
“Women in today’s tech world should create an online presence that obscures their gender. A gender-neutral persona allows women to access opportunities that might otherwise be closed to them.” These words led to several response essays, including one written by Devon McDonald, Partner at OpenView, an NCWIT Pacesetter.
Devon challenged readers: “The onus of solving sexism, or racism, or any other sort of discrimination for that matter, should not fall to the discriminated party in question. It is a responsibility for us all to bear. Hiding gender perpetuates the idea that women are lesser than. So, rather than telling us how we can hide our gender in order to appeal as ‘more qualified’ candidates like the author suggests, why don’t we actually put a plan in place to create a world where men aren’t automatically assumed to be more qualified?”
OpenView hosted a webinar this past June with NCWIT Senior Research Scientist Catherine Ashcraft on 10 Actionable Ways to Actually Increase Diversity in Tech. Explore the slides from the webinar and/or listen to the audio to learn about the role societal biases play in startups and business processes, and more.