1 2 3 Previous Next 32 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2016 4:35 PM by Laura Ramsey-Oracle

    Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology

    Helen J Sanders

      "The Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, aims to bridge the gender gap globally to create equality for women and girls in the tech by providing equal access to technology, offering more opportunities to develop and hone their skills and promoting women to become leaders and entrepreneurs. Global Partnership for Gender Equality in the Digital Age, aims to bridge the gender gap globally to create equality for women and girls in the tech by providing equal access to technology, offering more opportunities to develop and hone their skills and promoting women to become leaders and entrepreneurs."

       

      Full article:

       

      https://www.thestreet.com/story/13746242/1/un-gender-initiative-program-to-increase-number-of-women-in-tech.html

        • 1. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
          BluShadow

          An article today on the BBC News website (Technology section)...

           

          What if there were more women in tech? - BBC News

           

          Women in tech in numbers

          • Twitter's goal for 2016 is for 16% of its tech staff and 35% of its overall staff to be female
          • In figures released this year, Facebook revealed that 17% of its tech staff and 33% of its overall workforce were women
          • 19% of Google's tech staff and 31% of its overall staff were women in its latest figures from January 2016
          • At Microsoft, 16.9% of its tech staff and 26.8% were women in 2015
          • Apple says that 32% of its overall workforce is female and that 37% of the people it has hired in 2016 so far have been women

           

          Those figures show there's still a way to go yet.

           

          and at the end of the article...

           

          "If there were more women in tech, there would be more role models to inspire young girls to pursue a career in tech.

          "It would be easier for them to relate to a woman who is actually in a role they are looking to get into.

          "There would also be more women available to give time to mentor other women."

           

          Not sure I agree with the last point though... I see no reason that women couldn't be mentored by men or women, providing they are not male biased.  Of course I can understand it from the point of 'women relating to women' but hey, I personally get on ok with women myself (as far as I know - correct me if I'm wrong moniquevdb-Oracle or snaugle-Oracle )

          • 2. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
            Debra Lilley

            Personally I respond better to a male mentor but having enough people prepared to be real mentors and not simply using the label is often a problem

            • 3. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
              BluShadow

              Very true... Some people just want the label for the 'status' of it.

              Personally, I'm happy to help and guide whoever with my knowledge, I don't need a label for it.

              • 4. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                Dude!

                A mentor is a person who advises a less experienced person without being condescending or patronizing. Sometimes it's a matter of personal perception and bias. For example, people sometimes react very temperamental with an inflated view of their own talent or importance when being criticized. One of my favorite references is the Dunning Kruger Effect. It is a very common experience in the technical forums and affects newcomers and experts alike.

                 

                I have my doubts about the WIT forum as a concept to mentor women. I find the idea of mentoring other people with an emphasis on gender irritating. Personally, and I mentioned this before, I wonder if the WIT forum isn't rather an opportunity to allow women to present themselves. Whether there is someone in a forum anyone can or should trust, or whether that person is just a self-presenter attempting to elicit a certain perception they want, is something that can be difficult to determine.

                • 5. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                  BluShadow

                  Dude! wrote:

                   

                  A mentor is a person who advises a less experienced person without being condescending or patronizing. Sometimes it's a matter of personal perception and bias. For example, people sometimes react very temperamental with an inflated view of their own talent or importance when being criticized. One of my favorite references is the Dunning Kruger Effect. It is a very common experience in the technical forums and affects newcomers and experts alike.

                   

                  I think, in relation to the Dunning Kruger Effect, there's also the case that you don't know what you don't know (therefore not necessarily a conscious decision on their part).  So people learn something new and think they know everything about it, not realising that there is other stuff they still don't know, after all they've had the 'latest' training, so they must be more up to date than other people.  Certainly we do see such people on the community, and hopefully they learn that there's still a lot to learn, and the only way to do that is to continually improve oneself.

                   

                   

                  I have my doubts about the WIT forum as a concept to mentor women. I find the idea of mentoring other people with an emphasis on gender irritating. Personally, and I mentioned this before, I wonder if the WIT forum isn't rather an opportunity to allow women to present themselves. Whether there is someone in a forum anyone can or should trust, or whether that person is just a self-presenter attempting to elicit a certain perception they want, is something that can be difficult to determine.

                   

                  I think it was summed up nicely in the BBC article in that last bit I quoted...

                   

                  "If there were more women in tech, there would be more role models to inspire young girls to pursue a career in tech.

                  "It would be easier for them to relate to a woman who is actually in a role they are looking to get into.

                   

                  So, it's not necessarily about an opportunity for woman to present themselves, but about giving a presence to women in the field (whatever that field is) so that other women can see that there are opportunities for them.  In history, many women wouldn't apply themselves towards certain goals because it was socially seen as "mens work", yet the only real reason (for the majority of fields) that women weren't in those fields was because they didn't put themselves forward for it; i.e. there was no practical reason for them not to.  It takes a level of presence and recognition that woman can apply themselves to these fields just as readily as men, for other women to then follow, otherwise it just remains a catch-22 situation.

                  • 6. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                    Dude!

                    It's always not necessarily about something and that statement about a role model sounds good, but I doubt it. For example, if you turn it around, who was your role model when you decided to pursue a career in IT? Ostensibly, role models exist, like Saint Teresa of Calcutta or the queen of England, though I personally never had a role model in mind that applies to the work I do. I think matters of opportunity and own interest are the decisive factors. Is there seriously any women out there, who doubts whether there was indeed an opportunity for women in Information Technology? Sorry, I think that is complete BS.

                    • 7. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                      BluShadow

                      Dude! wrote:

                       

                      It's always not necessarily about something and that statement about a role model sounds good, but I doubt it. For example, if you turn it around, who was your role model when you decided to pursue a career in IT? Ostensibly, role models exist, like Saint Teresa of Calcutta or the queen of England, though I personally never had a role model in mind that applies to the work I do. I think matters of opportunity and own interest are the decisive factors. Is there seriously any women out there, who doubts whether there was indeed an opportunity for women in Information Technology? Sorry, I think that is complete BS.

                       

                       

                      There have been plenty of news stories on TV in the past where girls at school are asked whether they would like a career in IT (or other technology/engineering/science fields) and more often than not the answer was "That's a boys thing".  It's certainly not BS to show those who think in that way that it's not just a boy/man thing.

                      • 8. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                        Helen J Sanders

                        The article was addressing the global need to increase women in tech:

                         

                        "Bridging the gap will be challenging, as ITU estimates there still are 250 million fewer women online than men and the global Internet user gender gap grew from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016.

                         

                        The world's least developed countries face the most issues since their gap is at 31%.

                        The data also demonstrates that in every part of the world, men have greater access to technology. There are still over 1.7 billion women who live in low income and middle-income countries and are not able to own a mobile phone, according to the GSMA, a mobile operators trade group."

                         

                        I'm fortunate to have been born in the US, and benefit form the trailblazers before me, who made it acceptable for women to work outside the home. I came into my tech career very randomly - I was a nurse- and met a woman who's husband went to "computer programming" school and immediately landed a job making double what I made as a nurse-so I did the switch.  For me personally, working at a major university also offers women much more opportunity than some aspects of corporate America do - so yes, I'm one of the lucky ones. But globally- which is what this article was addressing- the gender gap still is an issue.

                        • 9. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                          Helen J Sanders

                          Re: "I personally never had a role model in mind that applies to the work I do".

                           

                          I have the complete opposite experience. Three of mine are right here: Debra Lilley, Opal and DBAKevlar-Oracle - and there are others not part of OTN. These amazing women make me both proud to know them, and excited about technology and especially being part of the IT community. They encourage and inspire, and yes, being a woman too, I identify with them in a different way than I do with our male superstars.

                          • 10. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                            Dude!

                            There are a lot of things you can read in the news or see on TV and it often reflects the narrative of a populist or political agenda. There are hardly objective news or documentaries and why should gender research be any better, or anything else that is highly subjective to Cognitive_dissonance.

                             

                            Does anyone still distinguish between business requirements and personal interests anymore? For example, how much gender bias or requirement in Information Technology does indeed exist, and how much of it is rather a question of developing new business opportunities or taking personal advantage? How much she-conomy and marketing is behind some businesses pulling the gender and minority card. For example, https://www.jivesoftware.com/blog/jivers-helping-women-move-up-in-the-workforce/

                             

                            It's usually women and children first, but I don't see why this should apply to Information Technology -- being a women is not an unfortunate handicap. Perhaps what IT corporations should better do, is to provide more reasonable employment, better work environments and benefits. Mediocre is not good enough, not for a product, not for people, and the later is not a commodity.

                            • 11. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                              Dude!

                              Such statistics are typically a presentations of numbers to serve a particular argument that invite people to jump to conclusions, which is wanted. Perhaps we are actually witnesses of an unprecedented development in favor of women that is not healthy. It does not explain culture or tradition and what women or people in the "strange and underdeveloped rest of the world" really want or expect from their lives, other than making a living. What we can perhaps say is that here is a potential market and business opportunity, which goes hand in hand.

                               

                              Sometimes I see posts in the forums where people ask what path or education they should pursue in order to find a good paid IT job. I never said it to someone, since we all do IT for a living, but to be honest, I find such way of thinking against work ethics and very opportunistic. When I finally landed in IT, I did not do so because of money or opportunity, but because I identified myself with the job and task in particular. Maybe I haven't been starving enough, but I cannot imagine doing a task or job every day, and doing a good job, that I do not enjoy, beside the money.

                              • 12. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                                Helen J Sanders

                                Dude!

                                "Maybe I haven't been starving enough, but I cannot imagine doing a job every day, and doing a good job, that I do not enjoy, beside the money." - AMEN to that!

                                I love my job. That's why I've been here 19 years, in the same department, with the same people. Many friends in IT tell me how I could be making so much more $ consulting, or working elsewhere (Higher ed is not a place to get rich-even in the tech departments) - but I work with a really, really good group of people and actually enjoy coming to work.

                                Hence why I left nursing too: Not just the $ -  That profession is physically and mentally exhausting.

                                 

                                I'd like to better understand what you mean by the following:

                                "Perhaps we are actually witnesses of an unprecedented development in favor of women that is not healthy."  Could you explain, please?

                                 

                                • 13. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                                  Dude!

                                  I meant a lot by that. Where do you want me to start?

                                   

                                  Regarding the statistics, we would need to see how it works out for men and women equally and compare it to developments in the past. Furthermore it raises several questions, such as, do we see more women because they work for less, replacing men, or are we seeing more women due to politics and gender quota. How does experience, business requirements and personal qualification fit into the game? I'm afraid none of such developments would work in favor for women, who in the end work for less or to prettify statistics.

                                   

                                  Speaking of money, have you ever wondered why women generally earn less than men in similar positions? Are there perhaps demographic and cultural aspects? As far as I understand or imagine, women earn less to set less incentives, that is to allow men go to work and make a living for the family so the wife can stay at home taking care of anything else. It seems to be a model that finds a lot of acceptance. Things have obviously changed, but have they changed for the better?

                                   

                                  What would be an acceptable ratio of men and women? Right now women are in a rather convenient position to question why they generally earn less than men for doing the same job, perhaps. However, at a certain point in the future, it will be men who will need to justify why they earn more. There is certainly one thing you can rely on, and that is more profit for corporations, either way.

                                  • 14. Re: Interesting Article about one global initiative to get more women into technology
                                    BluShadow

                                    Dude! wrote:

                                     

                                     

                                    As far as I understand or imagine, women earn less to set less incentives, that is to allow men go to work and make a living for the family so the wife can stay at home taking care of anything else. It seems to be a model that finds a lot of acceptance. Things have obviously changed, but have they changed for the better?

                                     

                                    You have an interesting imagination Dude, but not one that I'd agree with.

                                     

                                    Women earn less because business is business, and if businesses can get people in to do a job for less money than another person then that person gets the job, regardless of gender.  However, because many women want to get in to the various fields that are often male dominated, they will accept a salary that is often less than their male counterparts.  It doesn't mean it's right, but it's business, and many men would turn down the same job at the same salary because they will have less problem getting a job for a better salary, because of discrimination and social perceptions.

                                    There are some organisations (such as public sector in the UK) where gender discrimination is not permitted (that doesn't mean it doesn't happen), but in past years such organisations have had to re-structure their employees pay to bring women in line with men, and even in some cases, reimburse women with lost earnings for past years.  My partner was one such person who was offered a sum of money due to being unfairly paid compared to male counterparts.

                                    It has nothing to do with 'allowing men to go to work to make a living for the family' except perhaps in some very specific cultures, and even those are, in recent years, coming around to the recognition (or feeling the pressure) that that is not acceptable in society.

                                     

                                     

                                    What would be an acceptable ratio of men and women? Right now women are in a rather convenient position to question why they generally earn less than men for doing the same job, perhaps. However, at a certain point in the future, it will be men who will need to justify why they earn more. There is certainly one thing you can rely on, and that is more profit for corporations, either way.

                                     

                                    An acceptable ratio would be anywhere there is something around a 50:50 split, obviously accounting for the size of organisations and number of people in the same positions, and allowing for natural skew (i.e. some organisations where there are a few more men, and some where there are a few more women) - so we'd be considering an average across different organisations.

                                     

                                    Not sure how you consider women to be in a convenient position to question why they generally earn less... as many women (or men) questioning their salary may be seen as trouble by some bosses and this could be detrimental to them.  Sure, women should be able to question it if they salary is less then a male counterpart, but often standing up to a boss can be intimidating, whatever the issue is, whether the boss if male or female.

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