I’ve been thinking long and hard about last weeks class presentation from Audrey Watters about gender and tech. It really left me feeling unsettled. I thought it was eye-opening, thought-provoking, and frankly a little sad. I truly did not view the world of educational technology in this way. Any experience I have with edtech has never had that sort of spin on it. It has always been relatively positive. In fact most people I am involved with and have interactions with in the areas of edtech are women, but really, that is from a fairly small perspective within my school division and educational experience. I guess that is why I found it so unsettling, I had my head in the sand. I’m not typically the controversial type or the type of person that likes conflict, probably why I find myself being the one to apologize as I read about in Christine Barber’s blog post “I’m sorry but I just had to say I’m sorry.” Give it a read I bet you will relate. As far as the discussion on threats and repression as I stated above I was very bothered by it and feel this is topic I need to explore slowly, I’m still not feeling like I can truly wrap my head around all the stories she shared and will need to continue my opinions on that within a future post. For this reason I decided to go in slow this week and do a little looking into gender equity on social media and found out some interesting info I would not have thought of some big players in the social networking game.
The first thing I found out when searching was that trend of transparency in many of the big tech companies. I started with Facebook. For example HR Grapevine posted about Facebook releasing its numbers that 69% of their workforce is men and within that 77% of their global leadership is men. I thought to myself, I wonder what percentage of Facebook users are men and what percentage are women? Why are women up against a wall here?
Next I moved on to Twitter. A few months ago I can across a TedTalk by Del Harvey, Twitters head of Trust and Safety Team and because of viewing that video when I went searching I thought, okay Twitter must be doing better I saw a female representative at a Ted Talk event. Sadly no;
” Of Twitter’s global workforce of around 3,000, 70 percent are male, and only a tenth of workers in the tech department are women. The non-tech workforce is split evenly between males and females, but women hold just a fifth of leadership positions.” (TechNewsWorld)
With Google, Yahoo, and LinkedIn all sort of having the same results in their transparency I’m thinking how do we make it better? Maybe through the transparency this is sort of meaning companies are ready to address their diversity issues and are coming up with programs within their human resources structure to improve equality. Unless they change attitudes not just hiring practice I wonder if it is enough?