After addressing the topic of sexual harassment and misconduct in Silicon Valley last month, I finally got my hands on a copy of Brotopia, an eye-opening new book, and a lot of executives should be happy I did not pursue my career in law enforcement. Otherwise I would be working my butt off to get them off the streets behind bars.
Everyone connected to tech — especially investors, employees or customers of tech firms — should read this book. Specifically, for investors, it will give you insights into a level of extreme avoidable risk that has not been factored into the market — at least not yet.
If I were interested in developing a strategy either to ensure a Republican win in the mid-term elections or to move the center of tech to China, India, South Korea or Israel, this book would be invaluable.
That’s because it highlights how easily most of the men and some of the women in the book could be blackmailed (given the nature of China, North Korea and Russia, perhaps that’s already happening to some of them). That could be one of the reasons Russia’s fake news effort was so successful during the last election, and why its expected larger effort in the coming elections once again could succeed.
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Girls’ interest in technology starts at an early age, and they are looking to their fathers for support and inspiration. According to a 2015 Girl Scouts report, 68% of teen girls interested in STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math) say their dads play a key part in encouraging them.
This parental influence is critical at a time when girls in the U.S. are steering away from math, science and computers in record numbers. The percentage of women graduates in computer science is at a 39-year low. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, in the mid-1980s, 37% of computer science majors were women; in 2012, that number had dropped to 18%. Today, women hold only 27 percent of all computer science jobs, and that number isn’t growing.
Reshma Saujani, founder of Girl Who Code, calls this decline “the most important domestic issue of our country’s time.” According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020 there will be 1.4 million new computer science jobs, but only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for them.
“Tech companies can’t find enough engineers,” Saujani told an audience at the Equal Rights Advocates annual luncheon in San Francisco this month. “And for those who care about equal pay, there’s literally no pay gap GPS +3.83% between male and female engineers. It’s one of the most lucrative jobs that are out there, and we are not including half of our labor force.”
Six Ways Fathers Can Inspire Their Daughters In Technology