Did You Know: Only 6% of STEM Faculty are Women of Color, Multimedia Resumes are the New Black, 2014 Could Be the Year of the Female Entrepreneur, Changing the Perception of CS, Silicon Valley Tech Boards May Be Affected By Bias

Only 6% of STEM Faculty are Women of Color

Did you know that out of 111,800 STEM faculty, only 6,400 women of color hold positions, compared to more than three times as many white women? Additionally, many women of color in entry level faculty positions do not move into higher positions. According to a study completed by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), workplace climate issues, lack of social support, ongoing discrimination, and other factors contribute to these low numbers for women faculty of color in STEM.

In the report, Kecia Thomas, Professor of Industrial-Organizational Psychology and Senior Advisor to the Dean for Inclusion and Diversity Leadership at the University of Georgia, described a common phenomenon in the workplace. She said that when women are “the first of the kind in their unit, people assume they are there for diversity and to help make the unit look good… In contrast, senior women of color often find that they are perceived as threats to the status quo… They have stayed the course and exceeded expectations but haven’t received the same rewards and recognition as their male counterparts.”

In addition to exploring obstacles that make it more difficult for female faculty of color to advance in STEM, IWPR’s report provides several recommendations for advocates, funders, and institutions to increase the representation of women faculty of color in STEM. Download a free copy of the full report here.

NCWIT’s Gearing Up for Change: Institutional Reform in Undergraduate Computing Programs and Communicating for Change: Persuade Colleagues to Get on Board can help you be an effective change agent within your institution.

A Multimedia Resume Is the New Black for IT Job Seekers

Did you know that many IT job seekers are choosing to upgrade their standard resume to one that incorporates multimedia? In today’s rapidly evolving technology sector, employers are not only looking for IT job candidates with relevant experience, but also candidates that can creatively utilize and portray their technical skills when creating their resumes. A recent article featured on CIO explores the idea of IT professionals using graphics, videos, and social media to compliment or even replace the traditional resume with a comprehensive online presence.

“The resume hasn't changed in 40 years. It just feels like it's time for it to evolve, and technology is at a place where it's helping us evolve it," states Dan Pollock, Senior Vice President of Modis, a tech staffing firm.

Read more about how the world of IT hiring will continue to evolve here.

2014 Could Be the Year of the Female Entrepreneur

Did you know that the U.S. is ranked #1 out of 17 countries on having the best conditions for cultivating female entrepreneurial success, according to the Gender-Global Entrepreneurship Development Index? Additionally, the percentage of U.S. venture capital (VC) deals with at least one female founder is increasing. According to PitchBook, women-founded companies represented 4% of all U.S. venture deals in 2004. Through the first half of 2013, such companies represent a record 13% of VC deals.

A recent Forbes article supplies 11 reasons why 2014 will be a year of significant growth and success for many female entrepreneurs. For example, according to research conducted by the Kauffman Foundation, tech companies led by women are more capital-efficient, achieving a higher ROI and bringing in a higher revenue than tech companies owned by men. Read the full article to find out other ways that the inclusion of women improve the bottom line and enhance innovation.

Changing the Perception of Computer Science

Did you know that the lack of girls and women in computing may come down to three reasons? Hadi Partovi of Code.org, recently wrote a blog post titled, “The Real Reason There Aren’t More Women in Tech” in which he lists the following three reasons:

  • Computer Science is not taught in U.S. schools.

  • As an elective, it doesn’t contribute to graduation requirements.

  • The nerd stereotype is proven to drive away women.

However, according to this EdSurge post, a student’s lack of awareness about how computing skills relate to computing careers is another valid reason. NCWIT’s Which Computing Pathway is Right for Me? resource explains how computing interests and talents line up with different undergraduate courses of study and the careers that follow.

Silicon Valley Tech Boards May Be Affected By Bias

Did you know that companies can go a long way toward addressing unconscious bias upfront, thereby preventing the kinds of public accusations or embarrassment appearing in recent news? As many of you know, attention was drawn to the issue of diversity in corporate boardrooms in late 2013 when Twitter hadn’t appointed a woman to their board before their IPO. This CNBC article, along with a growing body of research, suggests that biases may have something to do with this diversity problem.

“Strangely, Silicon Valley still has the prevailing view that they don't need to watch for human bias because, somehow, we screen and filter based on sheer expertise, competence, and demonstrated performance… That's not entirely true," said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Senior Associate dean for Executive Programs, School of Management, Yale University.

Companies can avoid being shamed in public forums for lack of diversity by identifying and correcting unconscious bias. See NCWIT resources related to reducing unconscious bias here.