Bold Business Logo

Why There Are Limited Women In Tech Industry? – Bold Business

Are Women in Tech industry intentionally excluding girls? This is a bold idea that must be explored given the rapid pace at which the industry is growing.

In April this year, Google was accused of extreme gender pay discrimination by the US Labor Department which said the tech giant had “systemic compensation disparities.” 

The National Center for Women in tech reported that while women in 2015 held 57% of professional positions in America, only 25% held professional computing occupations.

In August, James Damore, a software engineer on video image search at Alphabet Inc., a Google company based in Mountain View, California, was fired for crafting a controversial memo on gender differences and diversity efforts in the technology industry. His 3,300-word memo has been widely circulated within Google and on social media, prompting higher-ups to give him the pink slip.

Damore’s memo argued that biological differences between men and women are primarily responsible for there being too few women in tech and software engineering field. The 10-page file also claimed that women were generally just less competitive than men, part of differences that are universal across different human cultures.

While executives at Google immediately took a defensive stance against this memo, there is indeed a point in all of these. If people took a close look at demographics in the tech industry, it does plainly and reinforce Damore’s perception that there is indeed some form of discrimination going on.

Equal Pay

Gender biases come in many shapes and forms. Even companies that don’t have women in IT has various ranks, and roles in their organization often don’t have a level playing field. Why? The male workers get more benefits and more significant compensation than their female counterparts.

In April this year, Google was accused of extreme gender pay discrimination by the US Labor Department, which said the tech giant had “systemic compensation disparities.”  A report from the Guardian quoted Labor Department Regional Director Janette Wipper as saying: “We found systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire workforce.”

Google, of course, denied the allegations and even tweeted on April 4th that it has closed the gender pay gap and that they provide equal pay across races in the US.  The Labor Department was not convinced and requested that Google submit a copy of its employee’s list, salary histories, and contact information. After being placed under scrutiny, Google eventually started releasing data.

It reported that as of 2015, women made up 31% of its overall workforce. White employees made up 59% of its workforce, followed by Asians at 32%. African Americans were at 2%, and only 3% were of Latino descent.

Incidentally, Google isn’t the only large tech company being investigated for what is said to be unfair labor practices. In January 2017, the Labor Department sued Oracle for allegedly paying white men more than others; eventually leading to more charges of discrimination against African American, Asian and female employees.

Gender Roles Start with Learning and Play

women in tech are described as gendered play patterns

Experts say that education and upbringing play a vital role in how women perceive themselves in the tech world. Researchers working with robots said women recognized robots as toys for boys when they had wheels. What they did to make robots more accessible to girls was to hide the wheels under the robot’s body. The minor difference and adjustment may seem insignificant to some; it has severe effects on how girls perceive computer science and technology.

Purposeful design in education isn’t about making Legos colored pink according to gender play patterns. The point is making sure girls choices are included when it comes to storytelling, as well as music and games. The end of inclusion is what makes them challenge patterns and stereotypes built for them.

Take, for example, this worrying statistic: only 9.8% of girls are completing A-level data in computing courses. This will translate to even fewer women in the tech industry and leading Silicon Valley in forthcoming years.

According to Bill Mitchell, Director of Education at the IT Chartered Institute, there were only 7,600 students in England who took A-level computing courses. He said the industry is expecting something closer to 40,000 and this number means that the IT world will be suffering from the repercussions for a long while.

More importantly, he noted that very few girls are taking the subject, making up less than 10% of the student body. The problem, he said, begins at primary school and follows through at various levels throughout their education.

Mitchell stressed the need to ensure that today’s young women are leaving school equipped with the digital skills they need to secure a job, gain further training, and finish higher studies.

There is still a ray of hope, though. The Joint Council for Qualifications in the UK reveals a 34% increase in the number of female students taking computer science exams.

In the US, the question of competence and confidence continues to hound female tech students. Detroit-based audit firm KPMG reported that only 37% of female students were confident that they had the skills high-level employers and companies were looking. Another 37% did not consider holding a graduate job in the tech industry.

The firm’s head of Digital Transformation, Aidan Brennan said that female job seekers are less likely to compete for a job unless they’re truly confident that they have all the skills that the job demands.

Women in IT Who Accepted the Challenge

To boost women’s confidence and encourage them to continue challenging norms in the tech world, Stemettes, an award-winning social enterprise working group across the UK & Ireland, was founded to inspire and support young Women in Technology, Engineering, Science, and Math careers.

The organization targets girls aged 5 to 22 years old and run panel events, hackathons, and incubation projects to mold young minds and prepare them for a career in technology.

It may seem like an uphill battle, but the future is quite promising. Some women have dared the odds and made it big in a male-driven environment like tech. Based on Forbes’ 100 Most Powerful Women list, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg has been named the most powerful woman in technology. Sandberg is said to have a personal fortune amounting to $1.4 billion, and her clout is a model for female empowerment in the workplace and at home.

Following Sandberg is YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, who is best known for having advocated Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube in 2006. As a result, YouTube is now worth roughly $90 billion.

Another great example is HP CEO Meg Whitman, who assumed the top post in September 2011. There’s also IBM CEO Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, who is the first woman to lead the billion-dollar tech company. Interestingly, she began her career with IBM in 1981 and handled a variety of roles before finally being given the top leadership in January 2012.

Another woman in tech to look up to is Apple Senior VP Angela Ahrendts, who joined the company in 2014. She reports directly to Tim Cook and is responsible for formulating strategies and marketing campaigns for Apple stores, including their online stores and contact centers. Other notable women in tech are Oracle co-CEO Safra Catz; Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat; Ursula Burns the CEO of Xerox; Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, among others.

Before these women became successful at what they did, they were first and foremost students who dared to go beyond gender stereotypes. They had bold ideas and weren’t afraid to be treated differently. They say technology is a man’s world, but with these women at the helm of some of the most influential companies, there is a so-called place for women in tech.

Online and App Orders, Changing Restaurant Industry

Ordering food online is a big trend. What started with a simple phone call has escalated to ordering on websites. Now people are ordering with the use of apps. For consumers, this is very convenient. For restaurant owners this can lead to logistic and implementation problems.

Papa John’s Pizza has been so successful in their efforts that they have declared that they are an “e-commerce company.”

Today’s consumers have become heavily dependent on the internet, smartphone apps and social media. This is where the newest trend for food ordering is coming into its own. The latest tech for restaurants focuses on making food ordering quick and fun with the use of online connections or apps.

For some time now, fast food and restaurants have had website ordering systems for home delivery. These have now been supplemented by smartphone apps. The customer only needs to click on the right boxes, include the address, and the food would be delivered. The latest innovations let the user pay via Facebook or Amazon.com. TGI Fridays recently installed a system which bills the user’s Amazon account. The company has also partnered with Amazon and Facebook for online orders. These have proven to be very popular to their customers.

TGI Fridays is casual dining, and they want to keep their customers loyal. They see that the way to do that is to keep up with technology. This includes online payments as well as loyalty rewards.

An app for ordering pizza on a phone.

Other restaurants have different approaches, that have met with varied successes. Domino’s and Papa John’s have always been delivery companies, the bulk of their sales have been phone ins. With the use of the new tech and methods, they have increased their sales. Papa John’s Pizza has been so successful in their efforts that they have declared that they are an “e-commerce company.” They have not released any sales figures, but that declaration may mean that a significant part of their sales is online, or that this will be the direction the company is taking in the future.

For Domino’s, they have not been content with phone orders and apps. They have also implemented ordering via Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. This is new territory as both Echo and Home can be used to predict the correct order, as well as when the order will be sent. This makes a very compelling platform as it can be used to give reminders to regular customers. Of course, the reminder could come in the form of a calendar based alert or as a suggestion at a given time.

Bold innovations are necessary for fast food and casual dining customers. If a millennial can order in advance from Starbucks, and pay for it through Amazon or any other pay facility, this could help in streamlining some operations, as well as ensure more sales. With the convenience of online ordering, in whatever form, the customer can have a better client experience with the food or restaurant company, as well as a better user experience on the smartphone.

Online and app ordering for food and deliveries is a bold action. This is a hot trend that will certainly grow in the future.

Bitcoin Faces Stiff Competition, ICO Round Up

At one time a bold idea, cryptology was developed during the Second World War when communications had to be protected from prying eyes. Now, cryptology has evolved to the point where cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have become normal. Bitcoin, a type of digital currency based on blockchain technology, was introduced in 2009. Bitcoin is a hot commodity for a lot of people and now, it is creating a bold impact among speculators.

Zcash is a new blockchain and cryptocurrency which allows private transactions (and generally private data) in a public blockchain.

It was not an easy road for Bitcoin, but the best-known digital currency has proven critics wrong after becoming famous. Even huge companies such as Microsoft, Dell, and Bloomberg now accept it.

Bitcoin was invented by an unknown developer or group of software developers under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. According to a report, the market capitalization of Bitcoin has already reached as high as $73.5 billion.

The game-changing cryptocurrency would not have made it this far without heavy promotion on the part of its primary backers. Yes, Bitcoin gained much love from organizations and people over the years. Barry Silbert, Marc Andreessen, David Rutter, Blythe Masters, and Adam Back are just some of the early investors in Bitcoin.

Blockchain is used in order for cryptocurrency and Bitcoin to work. Online ledgers of every transaction that have been processed are stored in Blockchain.

Game On for Competing Cryptocurrencies

The reign of Bitcoin has raised interest for other companies and startups, leading to the creation of numerous competing cryptocurrencies. With the development of the so-called Bitcoin Alternatives or Altcoins, the dominance of Bitcoin as the leading virtual currency may face stiff competition.

For years, Bitcoin has been at the top of the leaderboard, but these following cryptocurrencies are giving the top player a run for its money.

 

Ethereum

  • Ethereum is a public and blockchain-based distributed computing platform that has a feature of smart contact scripting functionality.
  • The platform provides a cryptocurrency token called “Ether”. It is one of the most well-known cryptocurrencies on the market. Ether has the ability to be transferred between accounts and used to reimburse participant nodes for computations performed.
  • Launched on July 30, 2015, Vitalik Buterin became the CEO of Ethereum. The platform has a market capitalization of $4.46 billion, which comes second to Bitcoin.

Litecoin

  • Litecoin is simply known as a peer-to-peer virtual currency. Its creation and transfer of coins are both an open source cryptographic protocol, which is not managed by any central authority.
  • Even though it was referred to as ‘silver to Bitcoin’s gold’, Litecoin has quite a few advantages over other cryptocurrencies. It offers faster transaction confirmation and its block generation rate is also faster.
  • Charlie Lee is the CEO of Litecoin, which was launched in the year 2011. As of August 16, 2017, the market capitalization of Litecoin is $2.25 billion.

Monero

  • Launched in April 2014, the open-source cryptocurrency focuses on scalability, decentralization, and privacy. Monero has experienced fast growth when it comes to its market capitalization and the volume of its transactions, rising from from $5 million to $185 million.

Dash

  • Also known as XCoin and Darkcoin, Dash is an open source peer-to-peer cryptocurrency. It has the same attributes as Bitcoin but also provides advanced capacities such as decentralized governance, and instant and private transactions.
  • Evan Duffield developed Dash and launched it on January 18, 2014. Ryan Taylor has been named the Dash Core CEO. It was reported that the market capitalization of Dash exceeds to $1.4 billion.

Zcash

  • Zcash is the new kid on the block of cryptocurrencies. This digital currency offers privacy and selective transparency of transactions. Just like Bitcoin, Zcash has a secured a total supply of 21 million units.
  • Zooko Wilcox is the CEO and Founder of Zcash. According to him, “Zcash is a new blockchain and cryptocurrency which allows private transactions (and generally private data) in a public blockchain. This allows businesses, consumers, and new apps to control who gets to see the details of their transactions, even while using a global, permission-less blockchain.”
  • Zcash has 16 large investors, Branson Bollinger, Aaron Grieshaber, Brian Cartmell, Maple Ventures, Roger Ver, Vlad Zamfir, Barry Silbert, Digital Currency Group, Fenshubi, Charles Songhurst, Erik Voorhees, Shapeshift, Fred Ehrsam, David Lee Kuo Chuen, Li Xiaolai, and Sebastian Serrano.

Ripple

  • Ripple is a technology that has been developed as a virtual payment network for financial transactions and is also a well-known cryptocurrency. The technology permits a flawless transfer of cash in any method, whether it’s Yen, USD, bitcoin, or Litecoin.
  • Jed McCaleb and Chris Larsen are the founders of Ripple, which was launched in 2012. Ripple was reported to have the third highest market capitalization in this sector with $11.94 billion.
  • Ripple has many investors and Abstract Ventures, Accentures, Avant global, Blockhain Capital, and James Sowers are just some of them.

Other Cryptocurrencies

Dogecoin

  • The existence of Dogecoin first started as a social media joke made popular by Billy Markus. The meme coin grew in value for just a short period of time. It was then being traded on most major exchanges that deal in alternative coins.
  • Introduced in December 8, 2013, Dogecoin became unexpectedly popular, gathering a market capitalization of over $289 million.

NEM

  • The blockchain and peer-to-peer cryptocurrency platform was released to the public on March 31, 2015. NEM presents new features to the technology of blockchain such as encrypted messaging, multisignature accounts, POI algorithm, and the Eigentrust++ reputation system.
  • Lon Wong leads the team alongside Jeff McDonald, the Vice President. It’s a cryptocurrency that people should watch out for in 2017 after gathering a market capitalization of $1.6 billion.

STEEMIT

  • This social news service manages a social networking and blogging website on top of a blockchain database called Steem. STEEMIT creates tradable tokens called Steem Dollars and STEEM.
  • Dan Larimer and Ned Scott developed STEEMIT and launched the service in 2016. Now, it has a market capitalization of $416 million.

Most cryptocurrencies have succeeded with the help of Initial Coin Offering or ICO. A lot of startups use the newly famous transaction type to raise capital. Basically, ICO is a fundraising tool for companies wanting to own cryptocurrencies.

Cryptocurrency has made a bold impact, even with large companies. It was once an idea but soon as it reached the peak, it blossomed into a phenomenon. Virtual currency is undergoing continuous innovation, and no doubt it is here to stay.

Diamond Rain Created in Lab

Imagine diamonds falling from the sky. Scientists say that it actually happens on the surfaces of the gas giants, Uranus and Neptune. Now, they have recreated the conditions that are critical to “Diamond Rain,” as it is popularly known. And they have results, the atomic structure of diamonds.

“That we saw this very clear signature of diamonds was actually very, very surprising.”

According to The Guardian newspaper, the phenomenon occurs on the two planets because they’re rich in gases like hydrogen and helium, they have huge oceans of water, ammonia and hydrocarbons.

Researchers found that deep within these planets high temperatures and pressures act on the hydrocarbons within the oceans to produce diamonds that fall within the planet’s interiors.

Scientists managed to copy conditions within these planets to produce diamonds in a laboratory. They were also able to probe the structure of the material as it was produced to help with their research.

“You actually see the atomic structure of diamond,” Dirk Gericke, co-author of the research from the University of Warwick, said. He added that previous experiments had been unsuccessful at recreating the conditions by using lasers and other techniques because scientists underestimated the pressure and other conditions that would be evident on the blue planets.

Diamond Rain Revealed in Nature Astronomy

Gericke and his team revealed in the Nature Astronomy journal that they fired lasers at standard polystyrene – a substitute for the hydrocarbons found inside Uranus and Neptune – to produce the diamonds.

Planet Uranus

“The laser was used to rapidly heat the surface of the polystyrene, causing it to expand and generate a shock wave. The team produced two shock waves, with the second faster than the first. When the shock waves caught up with each other, temperatures and pressures of about 5,000 K and 150 GPa respectively were produced – conditions similar to those found about 10,000km into the interior of the planets,” The Guardian writes.

According to the newspaper, the conditions caused the bonds between the carbon and hydrogen within the polystyrene to break, with the carbon joining together to produce diamonds. The team also witnessed the formation of the diamonds, by using short pulses of X-rays.

“The experimental time is very short,” Dominik Kraus, first author of the research from the German research laboratory Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, said. “That we saw this very clear signature of diamonds was actually very, very surprising.”

Although the team created diamonds in the lab, they were in fact extremely small, a few nanometers in diameter. However, researchers claim that the diamonds made on the two planets are much larger in size and that they will be able produce them at that size fairly soon.

“In the planet you have years, millions of years, and a long range of conditions where this actually can happen,” Gericke said. He added those conditions would give the diamonds plenty of opportunity to grow.

Gericke also pointed out that his research goes far beyond what can be found on the two planets and is developing at a rapid rate. He suggests that his research could be perfected to produce diamonds that can be used in industrial cutting devices or other commercial ventures. Watch this space!