Thursday, March 24, 2016

Some Comments on Gender Inequality

If you haven't already seen the PASS Women in Technology March Webinar on Unconscious Bias and Gender Inequality, then you’re really missing out.  You can find it here:  

I hesitate to use phrases like “life changing” but I think that’s what happened.  To say the evidence presented really rocked me back on my heels is an understatement.  It made me sad.  Then it made me mad.  How have we let this happen?  This kind of thing just gets excused & dismissed all the time.  It’s easy to not call it out when you see it because who wants to be labeled as some over-sensitive, angry female?

I've submitted a session to SQL Saturday Atlanta  entitled 
Women in Technology: Identifying, Understanding and Combating Gender Bias. 
Abstract: Gender Bias is something we’re all guilty of. It’s typically unconscious and often stems from long held misperceptions about women and job responsibilities. We’ll learn about the origins of some of these biases and how to identify gender bias when we see it. We’ll discuss some strategies for how both men and women can combat this at work and in our everyday lives. This session is about developing positive solutions to a problem that often goes undiscussed.

Need some examples of what Unconscious Bias looks like?

How about something a bit more overt?

A elementary classroom experiment on Gender Bias...  The first graders started brainstorming a list of words that spontaneously come to mind when they think of “girls” and “boys”. 

Then they temporarily disregarded the lists and asked the students to raise a hand if one of these words applied to them, as we read words from BOTH the girls’ and boys’ lists. Girls comfortably raised their hands for words like “soccer,” “powerful,” “hard challenges,” and “Karate”; and boys raised their hands for words like “feelings,” “ponies,” and “peaceful.” 

Products are marketed to women in the stupidest imaginable way.

As I’m looking through sources for the article, I thought I should share them with you.  This will help you get a more complete picture of the problem.  These sites help identify gender bias for what it is, offer positive solutions & ways to combat it and frankly, educate people on all aspects of the problem.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Celebrating International Women's Day

Earlier this week, the world celebrated International Women's Day. I was dismayed to read a few posts from friends on social media, lamenting "another international day of something made up".  Comments comparing it to National Grilled Cheese Day (which, let's be honest, is AWESOME) to National Yoga Pants Day (which I think probably IS made up).  Let me reassure you all, International Women's Day is a real thing and has been celebrated for over 100 years!!  In 1975, it was first celebrated by the United Nations. In 2011, President Obama helped celebrate the 100th year by declaring March to be Women's History Month.  

What it's about
From the website
International Women's Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.International Women's Day (IWD) has been observed since in the early 1900's - a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies. 
International Women's Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity. No one government, NGO, charity, corporation, academic institution, women's network or media hub is solely responsible for International Women's Day. Many organizations declare an annual IWD theme that supports their specific agenda or cause, and some of these are adopted more widely with relevance than others.
"The story of women's struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights," says world-renowned feminist, journalist and social and political activist Gloria Steinem. International Women's Day is all about celebration, reflection, advocacy, and action - whatever that looks like globally at a local level. But one thing is for sure, International Women's Day has been occurring for over a century - and is growing annually from strength to strength.

Women all over the world facebooked, instagrammed, blogged, snapchatted & tweeted about being a woman, celebrating women and supporting women. Some held rallies & marches. 

Here are some of my favorites.

Blogs & Links

Career Advice You Probably Didn't Get
Amy Poehler: Great People Do Things Before They're Ready
Ted Talks: This isn't her mother's feminism
Feministing.: A List of TED Talks
PASS WIT VC Gender Inequality & Unconscious Bias
Celebrating Women Inventors!


Inspiring Quotes

So how did you celebrate International Women's Day?