Category Archives: Women & Technology

Reporting on women in technology.

STEM Women Make it Count – by Sheila Boyington

‘Make It Count’ Event Commemorates Centennial of Women’s Right to Vote, Highlights Equity and Education

This year of 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of a remarkable shift in the women’s suffrage movement—the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920 which ensured a woman’s constitutional right to vote.

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

While the movement for equality continues, women leaders in business and STEM across the United States had much progress to celebrate during the centennial milestone. This momentous ‘Make It Count’ occasion celebrated women’s right to vote and provided space for professionals to discuss ways that spark the interest and confidence in women and girls to vote and run for office as well as to pursue STEM-oriented education and careers, leadership opportunities, and equality in business. Like-minded organizations shared best practices, strategies, and results to drive the advancement of female leaders and gender and diversity parity.

Bethany“Right now there is a lot of divisiveness in our country. We need to unify. We need to come together, as women,” said Bethany Hall-Long, Lieutenant Governor of Delaware and the Honorary National Chair of Million Women Mentors (MWM). The Lieutenant Governor served as the keynote speaker and empowered the group. She also shared her experience as a STEM Woman, herself.

SheilaSheila Boyington, President/CEO of Learning Blade and the National States Chair of Million Women Mentors (MWM) served as the event moderator. STEM Women Panelists were: Valoria Armstrong, Vice President National Government and Regulatory Affairs of American Water; Deb Clary, Corporate Director of Humana; and Lynn Kier, Vice President Corporate Communications of Diebold Nixdorf. Breakout Moderators represented the following organizations: Women in Manufacturing (WIM), Science Olympiad, STEMconnector / Million Women Mentors (MWM), the Women in Engineering program at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin / Texas Girls Collaboration Project, and the Aspirations in Computing program of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

LynnPanelist Lynn Kier spoke to equality in education, specifically, advising young women to “look at the STEM fields as well because it’s accessible and it’s not what you think it is. It’s not your father’s factory floor, it’s many cool, cool things to study.” Panelists also shared opinions on voting, industry trends on diversity and inclusion, strategies on elevating women to STEM careers, and ways to “make it count” this year.

In response to the panel, a plethora of ideas were provided by event participants in engaging breakout sessions, such as: connecting with schools as a starting point for civic engagement, being willing to mentor and showcase careers in STEM fields, getting girls to pursue STEM early through classes and career exposure in middle and high school, and providing externship or internship opportunities to students so that they can see STEM workplaces in action.

EdieEdie Fraser of Women Business Collaborative (WBC) made a compelling Call to Action, stating “We’ve got to see voting, and political participation, in a movement like we’ve never seen before.” She then challenged attendees to think, “What are we doing—particularly in our own framework—to get our friends, our colleagues… how many people are you reaching?”

Much of this is made possible through the power of mentoring as we move more girls and women toward equality. This ‘Make It Count’ event rekindled the spark for STEM women to do just that—to look within their own frameworks and identify ways they could do more to ensure improvement of diversity, equity, inclusion, parity, and education.

To read even more highlights from this impactful event, visit https://conta.cc/31hYgJt.

To watch the entire virtual event, visit https://youtu.be/g2OG5Zjd7Ns.

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Editor’s Note:
ADR STEM Women Study Guide CLICK HERE

 

A STEM Woman’s Story – by Deborah Levine

Don’t Bother Trying to Fit In

Deborah Levine
ADR Editor-in-Chief Deborah Levine

When my family moved to America from British Bermuda, I was still in elementary school, having completed first form, the equivalent of first grade, at the Bermuda High School (BHS) for Girls. Uniform and uniformed, I marched in step with the other girls, just as my mother had done through her entire schooling at BHS. Yes, I did stand out as the only Jewish girl in the school, or anywhere on the island. But generations of my family were well known on the island, so the singularity was tolerable. Inserted into a New York City suburb, I was delighted to find that this particular oddity was completely irrelevant. For better or worse, I still stuck out and a confidence crisis set in.

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Why Bother Writing? – by Deborah Levine

Step Up Writing Skills
Climb Up the Ladder

Why bother writing when technology does much of the work for us? Templates plan for us, spell-check edits for us, and there’s enough information online to produce a ocean of plagiarized work. It’s no surprise that technical and business writing skills are becoming lost arts. Yet, successful communication with colleagues, teams, and clients relies heavily on written memos, emails, reports, proposals, and evaluations. Professional development , especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) should have a strong focus on technical writing skills, but rarely does.

technical writing

If you want to lead in STEM…

  • Write to organize your thoughts
  • Write to increase your visibility
  • Write to develop your credibility
  • Write to establish your influence

Continue reading Why Bother Writing? – by Deborah Levine

Corporate Women in Tech Part 2 – by Tamara Backovic

in techHow Dominant Is Bro Culture in Tech?

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.

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Corporate Women in Tech Part 1 – by Tamara Backovic

in techIs 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.

Continue reading Corporate Women in Tech Part 1 – by Tamara Backovic

National Welding Month: Challenge & Opportunity – by Deborah Levine  

In April, I joined the Chattanooga Regional Manufacturers Association (CRMA) Alliance in Manufacturing Excellence (AIME) as Editor-in-Chief of the American Diversity Report. I was invited to be the official communications person by Lulu Copeland, the facilitator and committee chair of CRMA AIME. Copeland is also the founding member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) for whom I facilitated an inaugural panel years ago. My assignment at this event marking National Welding Month was to interview women in the welding profession.

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STEM Dilemma: Female Drought or Flex Famine? – by Paul Rupert

… Tech companies in dozens of states, and the educational infrastructure that supplies their workforces, are approaching consensus that the problem of “too few women” in high-tech is essentially a pipeline problem. And at the rate things are going, this conclusion will lead to front-loading the pipe at a rate Keystone’s advocates could only envy.

Every day it seems another Federal program, public initiative or round of personal or foundation funding is rolled out to accelerate the entry of women and minorities into STEM fields (Science,Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). This supply side solution could prove to be an expensive and long-term patch that requires a major shift in already challenged educational priorities.

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Scholarship Dollars: STEM vs. Sports – by KDM Engineering

Occupations in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are critical to our nation’s workforce, infrastructure and future. STEM jobs are in high demand right now, across all industries, and will be for the foreseeable future–the number of STEM-related jobs is projected to grow to more than 9 million between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But are we putting our money where our future is?

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Sheila & Priya Boyington: Women in STEM

Sheila C. Boyington
President, Thinking Media-Learning Blade; National States Chair, Million Women Mentors

Sheila is a successful serial entrepreneur leading the creation of several products. Her company, Thinking Media is the creator of ACT’s KeyTrain® system for WorkKeys® and career readiness (acquired by ACT in 2011), PictureRx® for health literacy, and CharacterEd.Net® for K-12 character education. She is well-known for her passion, strong management, and leadership skills and has been credited for gaining high adoption of the Thinking Media tools including over 30 statewide contracts. Sheila has won numerous awards for her Entrepreneurship and Leadership and as a Professional Engineer.

Priya C. Boyington
Marketing Manager, Stitch Fix

Priya is an e-commerce marketer, passionate about the intersection of retail and technology. She currently resides in San Francisco and is a marketing manager for Stitch Fix’s newly launched men’s business and has previous experience at GoldieBlox, Bain & Company, and Fortune 500 companies. A graduate of Girls Preparatory School (GPS) in Chattanooga, she holds a BS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from The Wharton School.

CLICK to hear the Boyington’s Podcast

STEM Trends and Goals for Young Women – by Sheila Boyington

As a nation, it is imperative that we make science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education a top priority to address the national STEM workforce shortage and to remain competitive in the 21st century economy. A constant supply of well-trained STEM workers is essential to meeting the  goals of finding ways to multiply the impact of investments, supporting organizations that assist underserved populations and use technology in innovative ways to scale their reach to more people.

Continue reading STEM Trends and Goals for Young Women – by Sheila Boyington

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