Did You Know?

Newspaper

Did you know that a study of law firms that use numerical ratings systems for promoting associates finds that men are three times more likely than women to be promoted to partner at these firms? Although men and women junior attorneys received glowing narratives at about equal rates, the women with the glowing narratives were significantly less likely to advance to partner because their numerical ratings weren't correspondingly high.

University of California Hastings School of Law professor and co-author of the research, Joan Williams, said the study "suggests that one reason law firms can’t keep women is that firms’ evaluation systems are not correcting for implicit biases that disadvantage women…Law firms need to adopt best practices, including having someone trained to spot gender bias reviewing all evaluations before they become final."

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You may have heard that IBM recently appointed a new, female CEO, Virginia Rometty. But did you know that Rometty has been with IBM for 30 years? In commenting on the length of Rometty's tenure, The Wall Street Journal points out some interesting research from Catalyst, which finds that women who climb the career ladder within a single company tend to have more career success and earn more money than women who switch employers. Men, meanwhile, are rewarded with higher salaries if they move around.

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Did you know that one of the co-sponsors of the Computer Science Education Act (CSEA) has been out stumping for his cause? Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), who along with Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced the CSEA to both houses of Congress this fall, recently visited a hi-tech high school in Pittsburgh, Penn. to emphasize the importance of computing education at the K-12 level. “This legislation will give more students the opportunity to study computer science and position themselves for the jobs of the future," Senator Casey said. “This is a high-growth sector of very well-paying jobs.  Research shows that through at least 2018, there will be far more jobs in computer science than there are people with computer science degrees.  We need to equip our students now with the skills to pursue those opportunities.”

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Did you know that Purdue University has increased the number of women enrolled in its College of Engineering by 31% over last year? The college has 460 first-year women this fall, up from 352 a year ago. This year's achievement marks the highest number of first-year women and the highest number of total women ever in the engineering school. Purdue credits the uptick to a 2008 National Academy of Engineering report, Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering.

"Specifically, when we are talking to younger students about engineering careers, we emphasize five points," said Beth Holloway, director of the college's Women in Engineering Program (WIEP). "They are that the work is enjoyable, that it's done in a good working environment, that it is work that makes a difference, that it provides a good income and that it offers flexibility. These are important elements for everyone, and really hit home with young women."

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Did you know that if you're having trouble finding qualified candidates to fill your open jobs, you're not alone? An article at The Wall Street Journal, "Why Companies Aren't Getting the Employees They Need," says that 52% of companies surveyed say they're having trouble filling positions because of talent shortages. However, the article's author thinks that some blame lies with companies themselves rather than a lack of talent; he cites the inflexibility of many companies to either train new employees, or give up keyword scanning in favor of deeper (but time-consuming) resume-screening. 

Meanwhile, over at the blog of marketer extraordinaire Seth Godin, Seth advises that the way to "Get a Job with a Small Company" is to show you can contribute "far more than you cost." He recommends that job-seekers avoid the Fortune 500 HR maze and focus on acquiring three key skillets that small companies need: salesmanship, writing ability, and multimedia tech skills: "Yes, you can learn to code. The fact that you don't feel like it is one reason it's a scarce skill."

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.