A year-long study demonstrated the efficacy of women engineering students being mentored by another woman engineer. Nilanjana Dasgupta, from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, found that the mentored women were motivated, self-assured and less anxious than those paired with male mentors or having no mentor at all. She describes mentors as “social vaccines,” preserving the students’ confidence and feeling of belonging. Of the women followed during the study, all of those with women mentors stayed with the program while their non-mentored counterparts saw an 11% dropout rate.
San Francisco-based Square released its diversity report showing increases in the percent of women and underrepresented minorities across the company. In tech and leadership, women increased by 5%, and minorities by 3% in tech and 2% in leadership. Also, the company expanded the required EEOC reporting by asking employees about sexual orientation and gender identity (80% are heterosexual), people with disabilities (1%), veteran status (1%) and primary language spoken (30% claim a language other than English). Square explicitly rejects the “pipeline problem” in terms of finding qualified candidates across the diversity spectrum. The company also reported on retention as a measure of the success of its inclusion element, “where all employees feel they are valued, recognized, and able to succeed.” In engineering roles, “women left at half the rate of men” and underrepresented minorities resigned at half the rate of other groups.
Thirty law firms are piloting a new rule requiring 30% of leadership candidates consist of minorities and women. The Mansfield rule, named after the first female lawyer, applies to both leadership roles and promotions to equity partner.
Citing newsworthy instances of women, “... being interrupted, talked over, shut down or penalized for speaking out,” particularly when they are outnumbered by men, this article shares studies and anecdotal evidence confirming this "universal" workplace dynamic. Research includes a Yale study concluding that men with power (but not women) talked more in Senate, and another finding that angry men in the workplace were rewarded while angry women were perceived as incompetent. A Princeton/Brigham Young study found that women spoke less than men until they comprised 80% of school board representation.
While women accounted for only 28% of new board members overall in 2016 (down 2 percentage points from 2015), they accounted for 40% of new board members in tech (up from 26.5% in 2015). Additionally, the report finds: African-Americans constituted 9% of new appointees in 2016, unchanged from prior year. Hispanics constituted 6% of new appointees in 2016, the highest figure since 2009 and up 2 percentage points from 2015. Asians and Asian-Americans constituted 6% of new appointees in 2016, up 1 percentage point from the prior year.
Study found that African companies with at least 25% female Board representation enjoyed earnings 20% higher than average by industry.Three key findings:
In Africa, 5% of women are at the top in the private sector (CEO, executive committee and board), which is greater than the worldwide average, but women are increasingly underrepresented as they move up at all levels.
Africa has more women in its parliaments and cabinets than the global average. The report attributes the 15-year doubling of women in parliament and 5-fold increase in cabinets to countries setting targets for women’s representation.
However, as the report concludes, “… numbers do not equal influence.” African companies have more women in staff versus line roles (the latter more likely to present promotional opportunities) and women government ministers are more likely to serve in positions with less political influence (i.e., social welfare).
In a wide-ranging Bloomberg Business interview with Melinda Gates about the work of the Gates Foundation, including its $80 million commitment to using big data to improve gender equality, she addresses the lack of data about women, particularly in Africa. She gives an example about a triennial survey across the continent in which Ugandans, who surveyed about bringing income into the household. They found that when they included women, the responses added $700 million to the country’s economy. Simply put, Gates said, “What we don’t measure, we don’t work on.” Gates also talks about the US STEM “leaky pipeline,” again pointing out that without data, we can’t analyze and correct what has made the percent of computer science degrees earned by women to drop from 37% in the 1980’s to 18% today.
Clayman Institute for Gender Research’s Center for the Advancement of Women’s Leadership at Stanford University and the Stanford School of Engineering presented a Roundtable on Equal Pay, co-sponsored by Glassdoor. Roundtable participants included Stanford professors who are subject matter experts, the CEOs of Glassdoor and GoDaddy, and an executive vice president of Salesforce. They shared their views on equal pay in tech and offered proven strategies for achieving pay equity.
The article explores why women have made less progress in tech than in other fields. It uses the stories of real women to illustrate the pervasive pattern of being treated in ways that lower their experience of "belonging and expertise." It also emphasizes the even greater challenges faced by women of color. It explores why women leave tech at twice the rate that men do, citing research that the primary reasons are a lack of career opportunity and the work environment itself. Finally, it examines unconscious bias training as an intervention, sharing research showing that simply introducing the concept of unconscious bias could actually increase bias. Instead, the key is to focus on actions that disrupt it.