August 10, 2018 - by Tori Tsu

TGIF: The fight for equality in tech

TGIF! In the age of #MeToo and the emphasis on equality in tech, the question "is what we're doing enough?" often comes up. Or perhaps "how can we do more?" Despite the push for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, are we all talk? This week's news took us abroad for a perspective on what's happening closer to home.

Check back at the end of each week for our Friday finds. Here's what we're reading – August 10.

Equality in tech

Struggles of women in tech

Women engineers speak out: From no female toilets to being mistaken for a secretary by Tehillah Niselow and Lameez Omarjee for Fin24, #Women'sDay: Female engineers speak out over inequality, CEO's views from IOL, and Science and Technology Minister slams engineering body CEO's comments on women by Tehillah Niselow for Fin24.

It's not an uncommon story: privileged man in a position of power speaks up to say that there's a reason why women aren't "good at" STEM/tech jobs. "It's in their makeup, they're not meant to be equal, why are we trying to make the genders equal when they're not?" Unfortunately, you've probably heard these tropes before. Hopefully, you weren't raised to believe them.

More often than not when this happens, the backlash is swift and the argument for equality is proven to be as important as ever. But it hasn't stopped the issue from happening. Most recently, in South Africa, CEO of the South African Institute of Civil Engineering (SAICE) published an article questioning the investment in supporting women in STEM and the investment in a more gender equal society.

His article has raised the important question of how and why some members of society still think of and treat women this way. And, as is often the case, it's brought out the voices of several strong women in STEM who can speak to, and argue against his conclusions. These two articles highlight the struggle for gender equality in tech abroad. And remind us that while we may be making process at home, there's still a lot of work to be done to reach equality on a global scale.

Racial equality in tech

Tech industry is leaving behind women of color, report shows by Erin Carson for CNET, Closing The Wage Gap On Black Women's Equal Pay Day Is A Win For Us All by Shelley Zalis for Forbes, The Black Women’s Pay Gap by the Numbers from, and Tech firms seek partnerships to increase workforce diversity by Ali Breland for The Hill.

The fight for gender equality in tech is vital, and one that's taken most of the spotlight in Silicon Valley. But on the tails of gender equality, racial equality can often be overlooked.

This year, Equal Pay Day fell on April 10, 2018. But the sad fact, is that it was only this week, on August 7, 2018, that Black Women's Equal Pay Day occurred. That's nearly twice the amount of days to earn what the average (white) woman makes, and an additional 200 days to earn what the average (white) man makes in a year.

How can we ensure equality in tech for all genders, races, and orientations? This roundup focuses in on the progress being made for racial equity – between tech companies' partnerships with HBUs, and tips for allies looking to improve their behaviors and actions.

Progress for diversity

Society of Women Engineers to Ring Bell at Nasdaq MarketSite in Times Square from the Society for Women Engineers and From #MeToo to #PressforProgress by Spencer Crawley for UKTN.

Lest you start to lose hope for the fight for equality in tech, these pieces celebrate the wins and progress we've made. As we look to answer the question at the beginning of this post – yes, we're making progress. We can always do more, but it's also important to take time to recognize the good work that's already being done. Small actions leading up to a bigger movement. Onwards!

What are you reading, watching, and listening to? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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