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.
News on the Radar
Sexual Harassment in the Tech Industry: Why Now? What Now?
The past few months have seen increased public attention to sexual harassment in the tech industry; this attention has also resulted in some more significant consequences for the perpetrators than in past instances. At NCWIT, we’ve received a number of inquiries about these trends; in this blog, we respond to some of the most frequently asked questions and offer our insights about what kinds of steps should be taken going forward.
As you’ve probably seen, essentialism — a term worth knowing — is back in the news. Basically, essentialism involves statements that overgeneralize or exaggerate similarities among women (or among men), statements that act as though “traditionally” male or female characteristics are innate, or statements that portray women and men as essentially and fundamentally different. Media “debates” about these topics often create more confusion and make it difficult for people to separate the research-based wheat from the misguided chaff. The short story is that when qualified experts consider the vast amount of research on gender as a whole, they overwhelmingly agree that this research does not support these essentialist claims. Period.
Find more research-based info on the problems with essentialism as well as tips to help you spot and respond to these kinds of essentialist statements in the NCWIT Critical Listening Guide. Additional research citations are provided as well, including: