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Women in Tech #18

  • Facebook’s diversity
  • UAE’s space mission
  • Bias for surgery instructors
  • Impact of COVID
Published every Thursday

USA Today

Facebook diversity efforts fail African American, Hispanic employees

After years of pledges to close the racial gap, Facebook is still struggling to hire, promote and retain Black employees at a critical moment in corporate America’s reckoning with systemic inequities.

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The Hill

Coronavirus will erase progress in gender equality unless we act now

Media articles about the dire child care situation for working parents have been popping up. Some speak to parental exhaustion. Some highlight the unequal burden carried by mothers. However, we are still faced with a lack of concrete solutions to mitigate some gender inequalities this pandemic has exposed. I am worried about the children, but I am also worried about the echoing silence of the impending impact on the careers of women as they “lean out” to care for children during this national crisis.

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Women researchers are publishing less since the pandemic hit

As Covid-19 has shuttered schools across the globe, leaving parents to pick up childcare responsibilities, a handful of studies have converged on the same grim picture: Women in academic science and medicine are publishing far less since the pandemic hit.

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Editor’s Note:

The pandemic has disrupted daily life but along with it research. Here Juliet Isselbacher looks at the issue of women scientists publishing less after COVID.

The Conversation

We need a new childcare system that encourages women to work, not punishes them for it

In previous recessions in Australia, far larger numbers of men than women lost their jobs. This reflected realities at that time. Men had higher levels of workforce participation than women, and the construction and manufacturing industries were particularly hard hit.

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Scientific American

How a Small Arab Nation Built a Mars Mission from Scratch in Six Years

The United Arab Emirates’ Hope orbiter is the Arab world’s first interplanetary spacecraft — and has jump-started science in the country. Will the momentum last?

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Editor’s Note:

Behind major missions like those to space lie systems of science and education. This report digs into the UAE, where the majority of scientists for the country’s current Mars mission were women.

Mada Masr

Where do survivors of sexual violence turn? The case of Ahmed Bassam Zaki

Dozens of accusations of sexual assault, harassment, and blackmail by a 21-year-old university student that first came to light on social media have ignited a firestorm in Egypt over the past week. The case of Ahmed Bassam Zaki, who is currently in police custody, made headline news and reverberated across the country, sparking a wider conversation about sexual violence in Egypt and prompting the government to react with proposed changes to legislation.

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Mathematics, Video Coding, And A Woman’s Dedication

Behind this particular idea, there is the brilliant mind of Dr. Marta Karczewicz, Vice President of Technology at Qualcomm, and what is almost a twenty-year journey. Dr. Karczewicz is a pioneer in video codec and holds over 400 worldwide patents to her name, 130 of which are protected by European Patents. In May 2019, she was nominated by the European Patent Office for the very prestigious European Inventor Award in the Lifetime Achievement category.

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The Globe and Mail ($)

Ontario task force recommends TSX companies be required to set diversity targets for leadership

Ontario securities law should require Toronto Stock Exchange-listed companies to set targets for female and minority representation in leadership positions and overhaul how board members are appointed and how long they can serve, a government task force has recommended.

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American College of Surgeons

Gender bias in evaluating surgical residency faculty members may be decreasing

In the male-dominated field of surgery, female faculty of training programs tend to receive lower scores than male faculty on their teaching evaluations, which are important for career advancement, past research has found. Now a new study suggests progress in this apparent gender bias: Among 21 U.S. general surgery residency programs, female faculty scored slightly better overall than male faculty did on teaching evaluations performed by surgeons-in-training, even in programs with the fewest women, the authors report. The study is published as an “article in press” on the Journal of the American College of Surgeons website in advance of print.

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Editor’s Note:

Bias affects not only scientists and doctors but those tasked with teaching them. Here is a write up of research that suggests the bias against women instructors is falling.

Business Live

Gender gap grows amid Covid-19 and lockdown

Before Covid-19 arrived in SA, women were already in a more precarious socioeconomic position than men. The short-term effects of the crisis and hard lockdown have worsened existing inequalities

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