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October 20, 2012

Good News; Bad News

The good news: successful venture backed companies had a higher proportion of female executives then the non-successful companies.

The bad news: Only 7.1% of the executives in the successful companies were women, which more than twice the 3.1% rate at the non-successful companies.

This is from a new report "Women at the Wheel" (no not that "Women at the Wheel"; this one is answering the question "Do Female Executives Drive Start-Up Success?"). It found that companies have a greater chance of either going public, operating profitably or being sold for more money than they’ve raised when they have females acting as founders, board members, C-level officers, vice presidents and/or directors.

The Wall Street Journal article about the report brought out some of their own good news/bad news. I think my favorite is:

Attitudes about women are changing rapidly in the technology industry, where female participation continues to increase. This year, while two Bay Area investment firms (Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Pantheon Ventures) were sued by women for gender discrimination, the board of Yahoo Inc. named a pregnant Marissa Mayer as the company’s president and CEO.

Anyway you can get the whole report for free by filling out a form.

Thanks to FairerScience friend David Mortman for pointing this out.

October 18, 2012

No offense to anyone

Just in case you haven't been paying attention, there's this guy, Dario Maestripieri, from the University of Chicago- yup a fairly famous senior professor, who posted on Facebook that:

There are thousands of people at the conference and an unusually high concentration of unattractive women. The super model types are completely absent. What is going on? Are unattractive women particularly attracted to neuroscience? Are beautiful women particularly uninterested in the brain?

He closed with the ever popular "No offense to anyone". Because of course that makes it all fine. He was busted big time by Drug Monkey in a wonderful post "Professors Behaving Badly". Crediting Drug Monkey, other science bloggers posted on it including Janet Stemwedel from Adventures in Ethics and Science who wrote about the importance of calling out bad behavior and gave a five point plan you gotta read.

Today it hit Inside Higher Ed. Great right? Not exactly. Inside Higher Ed wrote about the "women-in-science blogosphere", quoted from posts by Janet and the fabulous Isis and got a quote from Janet Bandows Koster the executive director of AWIS. What the author, Scott Jaschik, did not do was quote from or even mention Drug Monkey, the MAN, who first posted about Maestripieri's bad behavior.

I'm glad the story hit Inside Higher Ed; I find it really telling that only women are quoted and the man (did I mention Drug Monkey is a MAN?) who broke the story was ignored. By not including him and only quoting women, Inside Higher Ed makes this a woman's problem not a science problem and that is a much more important issue than Dario Maestripieri's stupid comments. No offense to anyone.

October 16, 2012

Wait when is Ada Lovelace Day?

According to Finding Ada it's today. But in 2010 and 2009 I swear it was March 24th and last year it was October 7th.. You gotta forgive me for being confused.

But I can't let the day go by without writing about one role model-- and frankly Anita Borg is an easy one. Anita was a friend who died way too young. Anita- yes the woman, who started Systers, the Grace Hopper Conference and of course the Institute that is named for her.

The above is Anita the legacy, which is wonderful. For those of you who didn't know her - Anita the woman was something else-- funny, snarky and always on target. Anita used to say if women had designed cell phones- the phones would have been integrated into bras. And BTW she always appreciated the view of an attractive man leaving on a motor cycle. I miss you Anita and am so glad that you were part of my life and of our society!