‘Saint Patrick’s Day,’ is a jovial holiday in my family. As a child, my mother dressed me in green bell bottom slacks, an itchy wool green sweater, topped with a long green coat, shamrock pin and then shipped me off to school. One year, when I entered the classroom, my friend asked me if I was Irish. I answered no. She studied me and then asked why I wore green clothes. I told her it was fun. I had no idea why I wore green or why we celebrated this holiday. All I knew is I couldn’t wait until dinner to eat corned beef and cabbage. I wasn’t a fan of corned beef, but I enjoyed the cabbage and boiled potatoes. I still smell the aroma in my parents kitchen.
I’m not a cook and when I tell people this, they can’t believe I’m Italian and cannot make a plate of baked ziti. Sure, I know how to make tomato sauce and meatballs, (if you call them meatballs,) but other than that, ask me to cook something else and we’ll probably have to call for takeout. So, to be frank, I never cooked corned beef and cabbage. There’s a diner near my home and my husband and I go there every year for the Saint Patrick’s Day meal.Also, before my mother-in-law passed away, she had us over on the holiday and cooked us a delicious Saint Patrick’s Day meal with homemade Irish soda bread. I taste those sweet raisins in my memory.
Whether we like it or not, it is clear that gender equality in the tech world is still a dream, not a reality. When it comes to women in tech statistics, they show a drastic gender gap.
For instance, women hold only 24% of jobs in the tech field.
Nonetheless, the situation seems to be improving in the recent period. The likes of Indra Nooyi or Ginni Rometty are leading by example. These women can act like the lighthouses, which we all need to help us enter a better future.
So, how does the “bro culture” affect the position of women in the modern tech industry? To answer this question, we will need to dig deeper into the corporate world. Thus, let’s not waste any more time and start looking for clues and relevant information.
Is Moving up the Corporate Ladder in Heels Mission Impossible?
In the recent period, impactful campaigns, such as #MeToo, have once again drawn attention to the issue of gender inequality. More precisely, the position of women in modern society has been discussed and dissected.
Even so, the statistics on women in tech show that women hold only 20% of all job positions in the industry. Marginalization, in this case, is an understatement!
So, how can women overcome gender bias and climb the corporate ladder? Is 2020 the year to put an end to those patterns of behavior that discriminate against women and their accomplishments? Let’s find out.
Meet the Class of 2020:
Kevin Womack Works to Increase Diversity in Data Science
As an undergraduate student at Morehouse College, Kevin Womack double majored in mathematics and computer science. To study two such demanding fields was doubly difficult, he says. But, crediting his mother (an engineer) and his father (a computer scientist), Womack says that quantitative reasoning came naturally to him and he was undaunted by the workload. Now a student in the master’s degree program at the Data Science Institute at Columbia University, Womack excels in his coursework and is an advocate for increased diversity in data science. Here, he discusses his background, his career goals, and his commitment to diversity.
Tell us about your time as a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta.
Years ago, I penned a piece, “The N-Word Still Stings,” a day after having the word – rather, the dagger – hurled at me from beer guzzling cowards on the back of a pickup truck while I was out walking in the neighborhood. Which brings us back into the N-word conundrum in February 2020. It continues to raise its ugly head – during African American History Month 2020, mindyou. During “post racial America,” mindyou. During America “made great again,” mindyou.
You see, in a small city in the South, one still reeling from an acrimonious removal of the name of a Confederate general from the local school, a white kid called an African American classmate the “N-Word.” And the black kid’s mom went ballistic. When the local newspaper picked up on this controversy, it published it. Soon the small city deteriorated into a city-wide freak out along racial line.
Long summer evenings
The blue of the sky unmarred by a single cloud
Blooming pear trees
The second snowfall of the year, when you’d collect bowlfuls to make snow cream
Making mashed potatoes
Robin Williams and Harrison Ford movies
Captain James T. Kirk guiding the Enterprise through space
Etta James and Sam Cook
Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”
Singing Christmas carols for shut-ins
Reading Taps for Private Tussie and Watch for a Tall White Sail
Taking nature photographs
Hand-stitched quilt squares
White wedding gowns
My brother’s humor
My mother’s skin
A baby’s giggles
Walks with my dog Roxie
Sharing poems with wonderful friends
Image credit: Photography of a coneflower with a bee is by Patricia Hope.
Night is our only refuge, when bigotry,
racism and intolerance are asleep.
Hate has been stalking us who aren’t
like most people – by birth or by choice.
We find sanctuary in a place where there’s
no need to speak out.
The doctor would stand next
to the billiard table, one hand in his
lab coat’s pocket, reminding us to be
unhesitant in returning for refills.
First time I see the couple
near the doorway – lady with brown
shawl looking stunned by the spoon
she’s bending without touch,
gentleman with a hat and Anton
LaVey’s eyes. The schizoid is
here, nuns disguised as men staring
at the doll on their table. I’m both
in my room and here to dry up
and cry, invisible.
Image credit: Vincent van Gogh painted ‘The Night Café’ (original French title: Le Café de nuit) in Arles in September 1888), courtesy of https://www.vincentvangogh.org/
I drove through town on the way to, I forget where, when I observed scores of places of worship of varying sizes – megacomplexes to storefronts – doting the landscape. Along the way, I wondered what it was like inside each of the ones I never sat foot in; how their services are conducted, and would I be welcomed in them.
Now when I reached my destination – ah, now I remember, a newly-opened bookstore – and browsed the shelves, I came across an eye-catching book, “How to Become a Perfect Stranger- The Essential Religious Etiquette Handbook.” So, just like that my “prayers” were answered.
James Baldwin, the 20th century black intellectual, renaissance author and cultural critic, once observed: “History is the present. We carry our history with us. To think otherwise is criminal.”
In addition to recognizing African American trailblazers of centuries past during Black History Month, it’s also instructive to consider more recent history. That’s why a compelling new book by historian Elwood David Watson, Ph.D. is recommended reading: Keepin’ It Real: Essays on Race in Contemporary America (University of Chicago Press).