Lessons and inspirations from the book “The Internet of Women – Accelerating Culture Change” by Monique Morrow
Female scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians worldwide are making historic contributions to their fields. The modern workforce is closer to gender-equal than it has ever been, and many efforts are in place to support further progress. The Internet of Women provides an exciting look at personal narratives and case studies of female leaders and cultural shifts around the globe that illustrate this promising trend.
From the United Nations’ emphasis on girls and technology education in the Sustainable Development Goals to the increased female labor force in Zambia, a policy change that was inspired by the UN Millennial Development Goals, The Internet of Women captures stunning examples of progress from around the world and men working hand in hand with women advocating for cultural change.
Scholars and practitioners lament the lack of women leading and working in leading organizations in the technology industry. Gender equality and female participation in the tech field is critical to both developing and developed economies; nevertheless, this gap remains a global phenomenon.
The lack of female leadership is particularly extreme at the highest echelons of leading technology organizations. Few publicly traded tech companies have female CEOs – in fact, most nations have zero female leadership in the tech industry.
This gap does indicate a slow pace of progress for gender equality in tech employment. Women’s pay still lags nearly a decade behind, according to the World Economic Forum, meaning that women’s on average pay today is equivalent to that of similarly qualified and similarly employed men in 2006. Without significant progress, the current rate of change will not lead to parity for 118 years, according to the World Economic Forum.
However, there’s significant work being done to shift this tide. Take for instance Michelle Lee, the first female Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reflects on her childhood Girl Scout badge in sewing and cooking and how that memory inspired to create an IP badge that exposes young women to the process of invention. Social entrepreneur, investor, and Malala Fund co-founder Shiza Shahid shares her efforts beginning from mentoring young women in Pakistan to her current work directing more investment to women innovators around the globe. And Elizabeth Isele, a senior fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College, shares her research on women and ageism saying we need to retire the word retirement.
The Internet of Women gathers examples about the increasingly inclusive and progressive gender culture in technology from over 30 countries. Stories range from an entrepreneur in Dubai partnering with private and public sector entities to accelerate blockchain technology to a young British woman moving to Silicon Valley to launch an artificial intelligence platform and incubator.
The book is intended for corporations, academic institutions, the private sector, government agencies, gender experts, and the general public, and its key benefit is to let the reader understand a path towards implementing diversity overall globally. It also showcases the strategies, tools, and tactical execution on how to create cultural change in all parts of the world.
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