Tag Archives: girls in tech


Women Money and Power: Sexy Ensemble or Strange Bedfellows?

Women Money and Power. What comes to mind?

Did you note: Strange bedfellows? Complex intersection? Uncharted territory? Estranged relationships? Alpha females? Savvy Ladies? Old crones? Sexy? Unfeminine?

Can a woman earn, invest, grow, and use both money and power as means to an end, and still be seen as womanly? feminine? even sexy?

Let’s explore this territory together.

According to Allianz women money and power research, women made up half of all stock-market investors and controlled 48% of estates worth more than $5 million in 2006-2007. By 2011 women controlled over 50% of the United States’ wealth. No longer playing the role of secondary earner, 60% of women with business degrees out-earn their husbands, and according to the latest U.S. Census, regardless of educational attainments, women out-earn their male partners in 22% of households. The Allianz study, which included a survey of over 3,000 women and men also found:

    • For women, the security and freedom money brings is 15-20 times more important than the status and respect it affords
    • Money is almost 20 times more likely than sex to be the biggest source of marriage conflict
    • One in five women report having a “secret stash” of savings their husbands don’t know about

The study found that women power and money relationships can be classified in 5 distinct categories: Alpha Female (18%) Confident, optimistic and pro-active, she feels like she must take care of herself and those she cares about financially – in part because it’s something she’s often had to do. Perceptive Planner (35%) She does thorough research and weighs all options before making financial decisions. Power Partner (24%) She is all about sharing financial power on an equal basis with her life partner. Uncertain Searcher (11%) She’s worried about money and confused by the complex financial choices she’s facing. As a result, she avoids making financial decisions. Supportive Traditionalist (8%) Here we find Cinderella who is comfortable relying on someone else to make the major financial decisions in her life.

Women Money and Power: Why Does it Matter?

Power makes things happen. Powered by gasoline, a car moves from point A to point B. Powered by money and the resources money can buy, Bill and Melinda Gates are improving health in developing countries and stopping the spread of diseases such as malaria. Money and power, despite their bad reputations, are neutral. What we do with money and power causes either good (valued) or bad (not valued) results. Women, according to the research behind Women and the Paradox of Power, seek power roles in corporations to bring about positive change in the company and the communities in which the business operates. So, if you want to make something happen, in your company, in your community or the world at large, get in charge of money and your power. Be deliberate about your goals, as well as the money and power required to achieve them.

If you aren’t concerned with healing some aspect of the world, you still have solid reasons to get in charge, or at least be knowledgeable, about your finances. Divorce and longevity statistics indicate that every woman stands an 80 – 90% chance of being solely responsible for her own or her family’s finances, at some point in her life.

Now, to the question of women money and power as being sexy or feminine. Unless it’s sexy to be poverty-stricken, worried, and focused on where you next dollar will come from, I vote that women who are powerful and financially in charge are both sexy and feminine.

Women Money and Power: Here’s the Rub

In her recent Harvard Business Review article about women and finances, Whitney Johnson references the sentiments of a friend who is among Fast Company’s League of Extraordinary Women. Said friend chose to, “designate her business a non-profit because women were willing to make donations hand-over-fist, but they wouldn’t invest.” ZAP! How will we ever bring to bear our much-needed influence in a world that revolves around economics, if we aren’t willing to become knowledgeable about, invest in, and gain power in our own economies?

A penny (little value) for your thoughts (more value).

Care or dare to test your knowledge of simple finances?

Author – Anne Perschel: Co-Founder of 3Plus International www.3plusinternational.com



Your Daughter Isn’t Bossy and Other Real Female Leadeship Lessons

I recently came across an article at the Women’s Agenda website titled Your daughter isn’t bossy, she has ‘executive leadership skills’: Lessons from Sheryl Sandberg. The article summed up one of the many crucial messages advocated in Sheryl’s book Lean In. 

There is absolutely no doubt Sheryl has epitomized the movement toward the redefinition of female leadership and gender diversity. Somewhat of a (simple) masterpiece, the book has favoured the female revolution in business today.

“We want to provide women with the encouragement and support to lead. We want women and men to believe we can get to real equality … We want to close the pay gap,” Sandberg said.

The “your daughter isn’t bossy” message is such a strong one, and has helped pave the way in which women idealise and translate real female leadership values. The message also re-iterates the importance of how female leaders must teach young girls to look through the lens of real women. Here is another fantastic article and video clip in the Huffington Post based on a campaign to get more girls interested in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). The video clearly shows how our girls are becoming warriors and trailblazers in the playground, and are no longer tolerating the out-dated label of being a “bossy boots”.

With more and more women taking senior positions, and the changing shape of the female perception, female leadership theory is in it’s pioneering phase, and it asks women to evoke more of how women actually see themselves as leaders? It also asks who are women at a leadership values level? The answers to these questions will ultimately help to enhance female success in life and in business.

Another great article found at the Ogunte website Navigating Complexity by Jennifer Sertl goes into how we can re-calibrate ourselves in what is an ever-changing corporate consciousness. Jennifer believes “You must, by design, get to know yourself under the shell of saving face” Sertl uses delta by design to help us get to the ‘core’ of who we truly are, and methods by which to recognise our driving principles.

Halfway through Sheryl’s book, and taking on some of Jennifer’s thought theory, I’ve already begun to develop and share my own leadership lessons, and understand what makes me a truly effective leader?

My story is shaped like this… Working in the male-dominated construction industry, I often laugh at the many nick -names given to me by my male counterparts. The Princess of Power and Princess Warrior are two of my favourite. These nicknames are indicative of how my male peers uniquely (and somewhat strangely) express their admiration and recognition toward me as a female leader.

The Princess Warrior is my name of choice. Call it a sexist label from a man, I choose to call it my leadership nick name because it’s fun, and it’s The Princess Warrior who leads and conquers forth in the male dominated workforce! Herein lies a calibrated list of Princess Warrior Leadership Values, all of which are respected and valued by my male counterparts

  • Personal Strength – As a leader we must always work on our emotional and intellectual stability and stamina.   Aim for strong and sensitive but never overly aggressive.
  • Openness – Always be truthful and avoid playing the ‘female card’. You are one of the team, and have free leeway to be direct, open and honest in your interactions.
  • Collaboration – Continually form workplace unity and encourage communicative exchanges between people and teams.
  • Ability to Listen – Do 20% of the talking, actively listen, paraphrase and highlight people’s strengths as much as possible.
  • Be Different – The only way to make a difference is to be different. Harness your individuality and speak from the place inside which gratifies your right to be self -expressed. Always speak words that resonate as true to You!
  • Empathy – Show gratitude and acknowledge people when credit is due. Don’t confuse empathy with being nice. Be direct and honest with your kindness. Smile and show compassion.
  • Enthusiasm - Show your ambition, talents and passions. Don’t hold back in fear of being labelled. Self promote where appropriate and celebrate your achievements.

The underlying messages here are clear. Define yourself as a leader and teach and share your values with the world of female leaders around you. Sheryl has helped ‘take the lead’ in changing the shape of female leadership, as well as so many others out there doing amazing things. But you don’t have to be in business to be a leader. As a mother, a wife or a gorgeous female, we’re all women at the end of the day, and our leadership is genetic in form. Take some time to reflect on what makes you a unique leader, so you too can rule your warrior kingdom, and teach our young girls how to be super-heros!

Ana is a Senior Manager in Projects & Construction working for Fortune 500 companies.  Also an athlete, she has worked and played sport across most continents.  She runs her own coaching business and is an advocate for young women and children aspiring to dream.


Original article from Project Eve

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Top 10 Ways to Thrive in Your Technical Career

Below are tips mid-career technical women can use to advance their careers. Increasing retention and advancement also requires that managers and leaders simultaneously work to make the company environment  more inclusive. See the resources below for tools managers and leaders can use.

#1: Work on projects with direct business impact

Choose roles that are strategically important to the business and be clear about how your work fits in with company goals. Ask trusted advisors, mentors, and colleagues to help you understand how your work fits into the big picture.

#2: Seek out challenging opportunities — stretch yourself. Research shows women often are raised to be harsher critics of their work than men; this can discourage women from taking on stretch assignments even when highly qualified. Be on the lookout for these opportunities as they often arise unexpectedly. Remember you are expected to grow into a new role; you needn’t have all of the answers before beginning.

#3: Be realistic AND strategic about your time — be willing to say “no” and offer alternative solutions that work for you. Consult with mentors about the best way to say “no” to roles that do not further your career goals or that are not central to the business. It usually helps to explain your rationale or, if possible, offer a creative alternative that meets your needs.


#4: Develop a strong network and continually look for ways to diversify it. Ask yourself what kinds of skills, knowledge, or opportunities are missing from your existing networks. Participate in cross-functional, cross-organizational projects to diversify these networks in ways that close these gaps and accelerate your future opportunities.

#5: Seek out mentors and sponsors who have organizational clout. Mentors help advise you on your career and on company culture. Sponsors advocate for you, making sure that your work is visible to influential people in the company. Technical capabilities can only take you so far; you also need these key relationships to help your career continue moving forward.

#6: Know what you are good at and promote that about yourself. Research shows that often women are raised to think that it is immodest to “sing their own praises.” Consult with mentors, your manager, and other colleagues about different ways to “pitch” your talents. Develop a succinct way to describe your strengths in a variety of situations.

#7: Seek out feedback to continue your professional growth. Discuss your career goals with your manager, mentors, sponsors, and other advisors and ask for specific feedback on how to obtain these goals. Also ask for specific feedback in performance reviews; when given constructive criticism, ask for specific examples of how you might improve.

#8: Remember that you are not alone in your challenges. Use your network to find out how others have handled challenges you face. Be willing to talk with your manager or mentor about these challenges and different solutions that will advance your career goals.

#9: Ask for flexible work arrangements as necessary. Talk with your manager, HR personnel, and other colleagues to find out what options are available, how others have used them, and how these arrangements are viewed in the company. With your manager, devise a flexible plan and make sure your performance evaluation criteria are written in ways that will reflect your accomplishments.

#10: Serve as an internal advocate and mentor for others — both women and men. Junior women and men benefit from having male and female mentors. Mentoring also can be a rewarding way to grow professionally and to expand your leadership skills. Make mentoring a part of your performance goals so that you are recognized in evaluations for this contribution.


Forbes Announces the 10th Annual List of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women

Forbes today announced its 10th annual ranking of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women , with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (No. 1) topping this year’s list for the third consecutive year and eight times in total.  She is followed by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at No. 2, and Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, at No. 3. First Lady Michelle Obama moves up to No. 4.  Although Hillary Clinton recently left her high-power role as U.S. Secretary of State, she is still one of the most watched and listened-to women at No. 5.

Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman (No. 15) is the subject of the Forbes cover story, “The Reluctant Savior .” Other women in tech include: Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (No. 6); IBM CEO Virginia Rometty (No. 12); Xerox CEO Ursula Burns (No. 14); Oracle CFO Safra Catz (No. 23) and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer (No. 32).

“The rise of personal brands and entrepreneurial endeavors among this year’s Power Women are exciting trends as we mark our 10th year of publishing the list,” said Moira Forbes, President & Publisher, ForbesWoman. “From Singapore to Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom to the United States – and beyond – the 100 influential women on our list are making an indelible and lasting impact on the world we live in.”

Members of the 2013 ranking represent women in technology, politics, business, media, entertainment, non-profits and NGOs, as well as billionaires – all ranked by money, media presence and impact. The 24 corporate CEOs on the list lead companies with a combined $893 billion in 2012 revenues.  Eight heads of state run nations with a combined Gross Domestic Product of $9.9 trillion. The 100 women on the 2013 list have major reach: a combined Twitter following of over 153 million.  Entrepreneurial spirit runs through the 2013 list; 16 women founded their own companies.  Twenty-six countries are represented, and while the U.S. dominates the list, South America, Asia and the Middle East are also well represented.

Among the 15 newcomers on this year’s list are South Korean President Park Geun-hye (No. 11); Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson (No. 34); Tory Burch CEO Tory Burch (No. 69);  Spanx Founder Sara Blakely (No. 90) and Baidu CFO Jennifer Li (No. 98). Fifteen women dropped off list this year, including Laura Lang, Cynthia Carroll and Alice Walton.

1  Angela Merkel Chancellor, Germany
2  Dilma Rouseff President, Brazil
3  Melinda Gates Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, U.S.
4  Michelle Obama First Lady, U.S.
5  Hillary Rodham Clinton Former Secretary of State
6  Sheryl Sandberg COO, Facebook, U.S
7  Christine Lagarde Managing Director, International Monetary Fund, U.S.
8  Janet Napolitano Secretary of Homeland Security, U.S.
9  Sonia Gandhi President, Indian National Congress party, India
10  Indra Nooyi CEO, PepsiCo, U.S.
11  Park Geun-hye President, South Korea
12  Virginia Rometty CEO IBM, U.S.
13  Oprah Winfrey Media Mogul, U.S.
14  Ursula Burns CEO, Xerox, U.S.
15  Meg Whitman CEO Hewlett-Packard, U.S.

The publication of the list follows a successful Forbes Women’s Summit, held in NY on May 9, which convened more than 300 prominent women across multiple generations who showed how innovation and collaboration are the seeds of success.

For the complete ranking, methodology, videos and more, visit: www.forbes.com/power-women.
Follow Forbes on Twitter (www.twitter.com/Forbes <http://www.twitter.com/Forbes>  and www.twitter.com/ForbesPR <http://www.twitter.com/ForbesPR> ).

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Top 10 Ways Managers Can Increase the Visibility of Technical Women

Below are ten important recommendations supervisors or managers can readily adopt to improve visibility of their employees. These recommendations are particularly useful for improving the visibility of women, as well as employees from other underrepresented groups.

  1. Look for key opportunities where employees can increase their visibility

Recommend qualified women for these opportunities, and encourage these women to pursue such opportunities. Also, identify junior women who have the potential for more visible roles and work with them to develop the necessary experience and skills to fill such roles.

  1. Identify and recommend women for top leadership roles

Identifying these women early and actively developing their leadership skills is vital for increasing women’s representation in top leadership over the long term. Doing so also increases overall retention of female technical talent.

  1. Ensure women are visible at strategic corporate events

It is tempting to default to established networks and connections when selecting people for roles at high-profile events, but this can mean overlooking talent from underrepresented groups. Take the time to identify, recommend, and select women for visible roles as speakers, as panelists, in customer briefings, in cross-trainings, or in other roles important to your business.

  1. Give female employees credit for their work

You can make a difference by publicly recognizing female employees for their technical accomplishments. Research shows that women tend to give their team credit whereas men are more likely to take individual credit. In addition, women are often raised to believe that it is arrogant to “sing their own praises.” This belief sometimes means women go unrecognized for important achievements.

  1. Promote female employees’ technical contributions; market their value and technical ability

Not only is it important to give employees credit for their work, it is important to make sure that this work is visible throughout the organization, in the right places and with the right people. This advocacy is an important part of being a sponsor.

  1. Ensure women have a combination of effective mentors and sponsors with organizational clout

Research shows that women with mentors and sponsors (sometimes called advocates) are much more likely to remain with a company than those without. Mentors provide advice or guidance, while sponsors advocate for an employee throughout the company. It is important that sponsors have knowledge of the organization, as well as influence and power.

  1. Look for rotational assignments that will help broaden female employees’ experience, visibility, and influence

Employees must be visible across different parts of the company, as well as knowledgeable about the larger company and its industry picture. Recommend and encourage women to pursue cross-company, rotational assignments that will develop and expand their strengths and talents.

  1. Ensure female employees are focusing on high-value, visible work

Assign women to critical technical roles with high visibility. Keep track of which employees on your team get which roles. Watch for patterns where women are assigned to roles that are less visible or more endangered (e.g., first to be downsized or potential “scapegoat” roles).

  1. Encourage participation in technical conferences and membership in professional organizations

Publicize opportunities for professional development. Provide time and funding for women to attend conferences and professional development sessions.

  1. Help women expand their networks

Use your own network to help women expand their networks, connecting them with influential people across the company and in the industry.


AP Engineering?

Did you know that plans are in the works to create an AP Engineering curriculum? Though many might be surprised to learn this STEM staple doesn’t already exist, others have been waiting until K-12 schools were ready to implement such a program and colleges were ready to accept the credits. Auditi Chakravarty (vice president for AP curriculum, instruction, and assessment at the College Board) referred to the Next Generation Science Standards as an example of how schools will better integrate engineering-design practices, and explained that an engineering design curriculum will rely not on a single test, but a “valid and reliable” way of assessing a student’s portfolio of work. The proposed components include presenting a problem and identifying its requirements; generating an original solution; constructing and testing a prototype; evaluating and making recommendations; and documenting and presenting a project.

“This is not a test,” said Leigh Abts, a professor of education at the University of Maryland who is a leader in the initiative. “This is people looking at portfolios and awarding some high-stakes performance credit … This is really going to break the mold for how the College Board and others look at student work.”

Organizations involved with the effort to introduce an AP Engineering program include the University of Maryland, the University of Virginia, the College Board, and Project Lead the Way. PLTW already has an engineering curriculum that it uses in schools and it has made its beta “innovation portal” free and available. What do you think? Could you see a program like this being implemented one day for computer science?

Did you know that more than half (56%) of women in technology leave their employers at the mid-level point in their careers?

Did you know that more than half (56%) of women in technology leave their employers at the mid-level point in their careers? Don’t you wonder where these women go when they leave?

We can tell you: 24% take a non-technical job in a different company and 22% become self-employed in a technical field. If companies improved their retention of women to reverse this trend, it would add another 220,000 people back into the tech talent pool. Given the crunch for talent these days, that’s a big deal.

We thought we’d share some other data points like this about technical women as this is what gets us going in the morning – read on for more eye-openers.

The median age of women in computing and mathematical occupations is 42. (U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011, unpublished)

Of the approximately 903,000 women holding computing and mathematical occupations in the U.S, about a quarter million are between the ages of 25 and 34, and another quarter million are between the ages of 35 and 44. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011, unpublished)

The average female senior software developer earns between $74,660 – $100,591 per year and has at least a bachelor’s degree. (Payscale.com, retrieved 2012)

In 2008, technical women earned an average salary of $70,370. (Dice.com via The Facts, 2010)

The gender pay gap for female computer programmers is smaller (they make 7% less than men) than it is for other professional occupations, including attorney (women make 13% less than men) and accountant (women make 24% less than men.) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011)

Of the 20 occupations with the highest median earnings for women, 5 are computing occupations: computer software engineers, computer and information systems managers, computer programmers, computer scientists and systems analysts, and network systems and data communications analysts. (U.S. Department of Labor, 2010)

Women represent about 25% of the 3,608,000 persons employed in computing occupations. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011)

Between 2000 and 2011, the number of women in the computing workforce dropped 8%, while the number of men rose by 16%. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2011, unpublished)
Just 3% of the U.S. computing workforce is African-American women, 4% is Asian women, and 1% is Latinas. (By The Numbers, 2012)

Of all women in computing occupations, 69% are white, 16% are African-American, 9% are Asian/Pacific Islander, and 6% are Latina. (NCWIT Scorecard, 2010)

More than half (56%) of women in technology leave their employers at the mid-level point in their careers (10-20 years). Of the women who leave, 24% take a non-technical job in a different company; 22% become self-employed in a technical field; 20% take time out of the workforce; 17% take a government or non-profit technical job; 10% go to a startup company; and 7% take a non-technical job within the same company. (The Athena Factor via The Facts, 2010)

About 79% of technical women have a partner who works fulltime, compared with 37% of technical men. (Anita Borg Institute)

Nearly 70% of partnered, mid-level technical women have partners who also work in technology, while only 33% of partnered men have partners who also work in technology. (Anita Borg Institute)

Looking for even more statistics about women in technology? Check out Women and IT: The Facts and The NCWIT Scorecard, both available in a range of free formats.