With journalism program enrollment often in the range of 60-70 percent women, it’s common for my classes to be majority female. All of them recognize the value of technological skills — they wouldn’t be taking the class otherwise.
If you want to create programs that target women, you really have to bring these programs to where they are. It is not enough just to say “we have this program that happens to include women.” There are very specific issues that women deal with, such as lack of mentorship and lack of sponsorship. In business, there is a difference between mentorship and sponsorship. Mentorship is giving advice and helping someone who might not even be in your company. Sponsorship, which happens a lot in big business, is where a senior manager takes someone under their wing and really decides they are going to help this person throughout their career, and that they will provide opportunities for growth.
Elisa Munoz, Executive Director of the International Women’s Media Foundation, discusses women in startups and technology, points out some of the challenges that women face when creating startups.
Munoz also highlights women who have succeeded in digital journalism. Head over to the Global Editors Network to read more about their projects and why Munoz thinks its critical to elevate the voices of women who are creating digital journalism startups: Elisa Munoz: Women in startups and digital journalism
Threats and violence against women journalists are on the rise in many regions of the world. In their work exposing injustices and bearing witness to human rights violations, women journalists are women human rights defenders and as such are in need of better security and protection mechanisms.
Amy Webb, ONA Board member and head of Webbmedia group, provides a great example of how women are prepping other women for careers in tech.
Webbmedia Group sponsored a Digital Divas dinner in DC on Wednseday, hosted by Bonnie Shaw. Webb writes,
[Shaw] typically brings together 50 women and empowers them to talk about the amazing digital projects they’re working on and to showcase their strengths. It’s a great reminder of just how important women are to the digital ecosystem – as developers, designers, venture capitalists, strategists and executives – especially as tech’s well-documented brogrammer culture continues to proliferate.
Last night, Bonnie matched 25 dazzling professional women like Suzanne Philion (State Dept), Alexis Sampson (World Bank), Haley VanDyck (White House), Katel LeDu (National Geographic), Kate Ahern(Case Foundation), Jenn Gustetic (NASA) and many others with 25 young women from the inaugural class of TechGirls, a State Department exchange program that brings girls from the Middle East and North Africa to the U.S. for a three-week dive into all things geeky.
Read more on the Webbmedia blog about the inspiring young women who participated.