‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
… 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.
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?
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.
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.