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women in technology

#thatwoman, A Hashtag About the Difficulties of Speaking Up About Gender Politics in the Tech Industry

Yesterday, Kotaku published a piece by Rachel Edidin that went by the title ”She Was Harassed By A Games Reporter. Now She’s Speaking Out.” While it was structured around telling the story of Alice Mercier (not her real name) a female member of the video games industry who recently anonymously publicized her sexually harassment on Facebook by a male peer, the piece also focused on how infuriatingly, personally familiar Mercier’s story is to many women working in video games and the wider tech industry. Even so, despite the the entire article clearly laying out the reasons why women find it socially difficult and professionally dangerous to speak up about sexist behavior in the tech industry, it left lots of people asking why all of these ladies didn’t “shut him down,” “complain to HR,” or “go public.”

Folks banded together with the #thatwoman hashtag to point out that one of the reasons is that pushing back against harassment or biased treatment, no matter how clear a case, can and even tends to follow and negatively affect the victim just as much as the accused. Nobody wants to become that woman.

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Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: Frozen-Themed Hotel Room

The Hôtel de Glace in Quebec City, Canada is a hotel with rooms made of ice and snow.  They’ve decided to add a “Frozen suite” that’s modeled on the rooms of Elsa and Anna in the movie Frozen. (via GeekMom)

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Braaaaiiiinnnnns

Shocker: Pretty Women Can Work In Tech Too!

Model Lyndsey Scott has a shocking, amazing secret – she also enjoys coding and majored in computer science! She’s even developed her own apps all while modeling for brands like Gucci and Victoria’s Secret. Who knew having ladyparts and being pretty wouldn’t keep you from enjoying coding?! We’re all stunned. I know you are too.

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Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: Grace Hopper in the Google Doodle!

Happy birthday, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, pioneering computer programmer and engineer. (Google)

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Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: Eleven As a Cupcake

You can always count on Nerdache Cakes to deliver the very best in nerdy confections. You can see the matching TARDIS cupcake over on their Tumblr.

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Things We Saw Today

Things We Saw Today: Cat Doughnuts

Some context, if you want context for cat doughnuts: This feline food was inspired by anime series one Nya hup, which features… wait for it… doughnut-shaped cats. Sadly, they’re only available only in Japan. (Laughing Squid)

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the internet is serious business

Meet Sabeen Mahmud, a Woman Trying to Change Pakistan One Line of Code at a Time

Sabeen Mahmud (above, in blue), who says she fell in love with technology the first time she ever saw a Mac, just organized Pakistan’s first ever Hackathon last month, aimed specifically at finding ways to use technology to fix or at least alleviate Pakistan’s political problems. According to a piece by Wired, the gathering was pretty amazing for everyone involved.

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Supergirly

Jennie Lamere Solo Codes a Spoiler Blocker for Twitter in 10 Hours, Wins Prizes and Our Hearts

A browser extension or other feature that can blank out or choose not to display tweets that contain certain words is not a new invention. It’s already a basic feature on many Twitter desktop applications and browser extensions to alter Twitter’s native site abound. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to know your stuff in order to make one from scratch, which is how seventeen-year-old Jennie Lamere won the Boston Hackathon last month.

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Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

The Wage Gap in the Video Games Industry

Borderhouse has a revelatory post up containing a number of graphs from Game Developer Magazine detailing salary breakdowns over experience in the industry and gender, revealing some extreme disparities between the compensation men and women receive for working the same kinds of jobs in the video games industry. According to these statistics, women generally paid between 20% and 30% less than their male counterparts, with a few outliers of 8.3% and a whopping 65%. Only in one field, programming, do women make slightly more than men: programmers, at 4.5% more.

Borderhouse makes the good point that some of these numbers may result from the lack of women in the industry: many of those who are in may have come to it recently, and therefore have less seniority and commensurately less compensation, a relationship not highlighted by GDM. I’ve highlighted QA testers here because the job’s notorious reputation for having high turnover and poor working conditions make it more likely to be exempt from such an explanation, but this is definitely a pattern that’s worth more research. You can see all the numbers here.

Previously in Gender

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the internet is serious business

How Etsy Increased Its Number of Female Engineers by a Multiple of Four in One Year

You’ll often hear from officials in male-dominated industries like the sciences (not to mention the entertainment industry) that they’d really like to hire more women, and in fact are actively trying to do so, but find the process very difficult. Everybody (okay, most people) wants to solve the problem, but nobody, least of all female candidates, wants to feel like they’ve gotten a job based on something other than their level of expertise. Etsy, a company whose user base is 80% female, has found a way to tackle the hurdles between them and greater gender parity on their engineering team (although they still only have 20 women on a team of 110), as CTO Kellan Elliott-McCrea explained at a recent conference.

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