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A Sunday New York Times article by David Streitfeld has the feminist and tech worlds up in arms. Reporting on a sexual harassment suit filed by a junior partner in a venture capital firm, Streitfeld begins by proclaiming that “MEN invented the Internet” (those CAPS are his). I came across Streitfeld’s article after a friend suggested I check out tech journalist Xeni Jardin’s Twitter feed. Jardin’sresponse to Streitfeld:
WTF: “MEN invented the internet.” I’m sorry, did NYT just breeze past half a century of women in computer technology?
Herein lies the issue: Though Streitfeld primarily covers Ellen Pao’s lawsuit, he undermines his piece by leading with an emphatic and incorrect statement about men as sole inventors of the Internet. I’m not certain if Streitfeld was being tongue-in-cheek or if he simply has a narrow view of Internet history. But his article does incite, albeit unintentionally, necessary dialogue about the roles women–and racial and ethnic minorities–have played in Internet innovation. While some apparently assume that men alone developed the Internet, a quick glance at the Internet Hall of Fame’s 2012 inaugural inductees and the Early Internet Leaders list prove otherwise. (I also recommend reading History of the Internet).
In reality, the genesis of the Internet was a collaborative effort. It took decades of developments in computer programming and network technology. We can’t let the current cult of tech fandom around “white” men–such as Steve Jobs, whom Streitfeld name checks–obscure the women and the racial and ethnic minorities from around the world who contributed to the birth of the Internet.
Click through the slideshow for a firm-by-firm breakdown of the numbers.
The FEM Study: METHODOLOGY
All the data for assets under management comes from the National Venture Capital Association, which sent us their latest list from Thomson Reuters, current as of Q1 2012. The list included private equity firms that also do venture capital investing, which we attempted to identify and omit. However, some may still be included in the final list of 71 firms.*
Next, we went to each firm’s website and tallied up the number of partners and managing directors, noting how many were women. Obviously, the structure is different at different firms. For consistency, and to give firms the greatest benefit of the doubt, we counted anyone as a partner who had “partner” in his or her title, including venture partners, founding partners, administrative partners and other variations. We also included managing directors, who are senior partners. We did not include vice presidents, principals or associates. When partner titles were unlisted or ambiguous, we called and asked for the numbers.
We then calculated, for each firm on the list, the percentage of partners who are female. Rather than call it POPWAF, we decided to call this number the Female Equality Metric, or FEM. (At first we called it the Kleiner number, but decided to reserve that term for “number of discrimination lawsuits filed.”)
A firm with all male partners has a FEM of zero. A firm with all female partners (LOL, JK) would have a FEM of 100. If you think gender diversity is important, a low FEM is bad and a high FEM is good. If you think women should stay at the receptionist’s desk and out of the corner offices, a low FEM is good and a high FEM is bad. And if you think Silicon Valley is a meritocracy, as does Greg McAdoo of Sequoia Capital, which coincidentally has zero women partners, then you’ll probably dismiss these numbers as meaningless.
But page through this list of venture capital’s heavyweights, and it’s striking to see how few women have made it to the upper ranks. Also striking was the perfect 100 POFR, or percentage of female receptionists, at the 26 VC firms we called. We paged through team page after team page—the staff at a venture capital firm is almost universally called the “team”—where men’s faces lined the top rows and women’s faces appeared further down, if anywhere. “We have female administrative assistants,” explained one woman who picked up the phone, when asked whether any of the partners and managing directors were women.
We’ve seen this movie before and the ending still stinks.
The sex-discrimination lawsuit by Ellen Pao against the Silicon Valley venture-capital firmKleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers may be the gender and workplace story of the moment. But let’s get one thing straight: This doesn’t describe anything that’s new. It seems to happen routinely. Just yesterday, at a hearing in London, a lawyer for Latifa Bouabdillah, a former Deutsche Bank AG director, said the woman’s male colleagues were paid bonuses “double or triple that of the claimant” for the same work.
Swap out Pao for Pamela Martens, who led the class-action “Boom-Boom Room” lawsuit against Smith Barney in the 1990s, or Allison Schieffelin, who sued Morgan Stanley in 2001, or Carla Ingraham, who sued UBS AG in 2009, and you wind up with some combination of the same old complaints: coworker come-ons, power meetings for guys only, higher pay for men and retaliation against the uppity women who have the nerve to complain.
In the venture-capital world, where you get more than the usual share of people who are prone to thinking their every experience is novel, there is shock over news that a highly qualified woman has filed a suit against a celebrity firm. But sex discrimination isn’t the iPad, folks. It’s more like the electric typewriter.
Special Features » Infographics » Gender Pay Gap Find Out Exactly What YOU Should Be Paid Get a precise salary range for your exact position. Job Title
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Do Men Really Earn More Than Women? [infographic]
inShare 29 Yes, men do earn more than women on average, but not that much more when they work the same job and they have similar experience and abilities. Take a look at what PayScale has discovered about the gender pay gap.
See the methodology for the infographic below.
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Difference in Annual Pay: To compare male and female pay on a level playing field, we found the median pay for all men in a given job, as well as breakdowns of important compensable factors such as years of experience, location, education level, etc. Then, using PayScale's proprietary MarketMatch™ Algorithm, we determined what the female median pay would be using the exact same blend of compensable factors as our control male group.
What we created was an apples-to-apples comparison of what men and women make, all other factors held equal, according to actual market data. For example, the male software developer median, annual salary is $65,700, which is 4 percent more than the median female value of $63,300.
MEN invented the Internet. And not just any men. Men with pocket protectors. Men who idolized Mr. Spock and cried when Steve Jobs died. Nerds. Geeks. Give them their due. Without men, we would never know what our friends were doing five minutes ago.
You guys, ladies suck at technology and the New York Times is ON IT.
Men are more likely than ever to join female-dominated professions--and they're also more likely to out-earn their female colleagues.
From Women's eNews:
But attitudes are shifting fast in our hard-pressed economy. Men are now gravitating toward female-dominated occupations, according to a recent analysis of census data by the New York Times.
The Times analysis showed that from 2000 to 2010, occupations that are more than 70 percent female accounted for almost a third of all job growth for men, double the share of the previous decade.
And as men move into what used to be female territory, they are doing very well; better than women in fact. In the 20 most common occupations for women, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Women’s Policy Research, men out-earn women in all but two. For example, the median weekly earnings for female social workers is $798, while for men it is $902.
White men in these fields are climbing aboard what’s coming to be called the "Glass Escalator." They get a double boost from being white and being male and rise more quickly than equally qualified women in position, pay and benefits.
This is in stark contrast to what happens to women who move into male-dominated fields. Historically, “token women” have faced discrimination and marginalization and were often overlooked for a promotion, even when their work was stellar.
Since 2007, McKinsey has been researching intensively the advancement of women in the workplace. The business benefits are clear: a wider, deeper swath of talent to solve problems, spark innovation, and, in many cases, mirror a company’s own customer base.
The Associated Press reports that thousands of demonstrators on Sunday staged the largest protest yet against plans by Turkey's Islamic-rooted government to curb abortion, which critics say will amount to a virtual ban.
Around 3,000 women - their ages ranging from 20 to 60 years old - gathered at a square in Istanbul's Kadikoy district. Some carried banners that read "my body, my choice" and shouted anti-government slogans.
Many of the women were accompanied by husbands and boyfriends. One young protester - her left fist clenched aloft - carried a placard that read "State, take your hands off my body," while a man waved a slogan reading "My darling's body, my darling's choice."
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called abortion "murder," and his government is reportedly working on legislation to ban the operation after 4 weeks from conception, except in emergencies.
Fusun Sirkeci, a London-based obstetrician and gynecologist, said in an email Saturday that most women don't learn they are pregnant until after 4 weeks and it is also difficult to establish the placement of the pregnancy sac during that period.
Abortion is presently legal in Turkey up to 10 weeks from conception.
A key part of the law banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage was struck down as unconstitutional by a U.S. appeals court Thursday.
The Defense of Marriage Act -- known as DOMA -- defines marriage for federal purposes as unions exclusively between a man and woman.
At issue is whether the federal government can deny tax, health and pension benefits to same-sex couples in states where they can legally marry. The ruling is a boost for gay rights advocates and the Obama administration, which in a rare move, has refused to defend a federal law in court.
"If we are right in thinking that disparate impact on minority interests and federalism concerns both require somewhat more in this case than almost automatic deference to Congress' will, this statute fails that test," said the three judge panel.
Women are significantly under-represented in 2012 election coverage in major media outlets. In our analysis of news stories and transcripts from the past 6 months, men are much more likely to be quoted on their subjective insight in newspapers and on television. This pattern holds true across all major news outlets, as well as on issues specifically concerning women. For example, in front page articles about the 2012 election that mention abortion or birth control, men are 4 to 7 times more likely to be cited than women. This gender gap undermines the media's credibility.