WIT: Women In Tech: Educated, Ambitious And Underpaid

 

By Laurence Bradford , CONTRIBUTOR of Forbes.com

As Women’s History Month nears its close in 2018, many people have been reflecting on the struggles women have faced in the past and the strides they are making toward changing the future.

Tech is one area of specific interest here, as it’s a place where women have traditionally been under-represented. But is that changing too?

Let’s find out. Using data from several large tech surveys, I’ll examine the current state of women in tech and see where things stand.

More Women Are Learning To Code Than Ever

 

While tech has historically been a male-dominated industry, there’s a new generation of women who aren’t intimidated by that fact. According to HackerRank’s Women in Tech report, women now represent the highest number of new CS grads and junior developers (53%) entering the workforce.

What’s more, women often learn to code as young teenagers: almost as many women learned before the age of 16 as men who did the same.

Further illustrating the evidence for the shifting demographics of coding as a profession, twice as many women as men have been coding two years or less. Once these women enter the workforce, we will likely see other statistics continue to shift as well.

The tides are turning, but for now, men still vastly outnumber women in tech careers. As an example, look at the demographics of the respondents to Stack Overflow’s 2018 developer survey: nearly 93% were male.

(But There Is Still A Gender Pay Gap In Computing)

Many industries still suffer from a gender pay gap, despite rising public awareness of the issue. Tech is one of them.

In fact, according to LiveStories’ data for the Computer and Mathematical category, the pay gap was actually worse in 2016 than it had been in 2005. Their numbers are based on income statistics from the United States Census Bureau. Women in computers in 2005 earned 87% as much as their male counterparts, but by 2016, it had fallen to 85%.

Women Prioritize The Skills Employers Want

 

As the data demonstrates, women in tech are overwhelmingly practical.

They tend to pursue proficiency in the languages most in-demand and valued by employers.

Specifically, the top 5 programming languages that most women have proficiency in are,
Java (69%)
JavaScript (63%)
C (61%)
C++ (53%)
Python (45%)

These are the exact same languages that companies value most in front-end, back-end and full-stack developers.

(But Women Are More Likely To Hold Junior Positions)

 

Despite the fact that women have skills in demand by employers, Hackerrank found that women of all ages were more likely to hold junior positions than their male counterparts. The difference was especially striking for women over 35, who were 3.5x more likely to be in junior roles.

It’s unclear whether women are being passed over for promotions out of implicit bias or because of life events–like having children–that stall the journey into senior positions.

However, there are plenty of inspiring women out there who demonstrate that you can have multiple life paths–like Vidya Srinivasan, who defied workplace stereotypes while pregnant and then successfully integrated back to work after maternity leave.

Furthermore, tech companies who are willing to offer fertility benefits like egg freezing enable women to pursue their professional goals during the crucial growth years, without sacrificing family if that’s something they want in the future.

What Women Value In The Workplace

 

As part of Stack Overflow’s annual survey, they ask participating developers what they prioritize while searching for a job. The most popular answers differ when broken down by gender.

When assessing a prospective job, women say their highest priorities are company culture and opportunities for professional development, while men say their highest priorities are compensation and working with specific technologies.

The fact that women actively seek out professional development opportunities shows that there is desire among women to progress to higher roles. They simply need companies who will support their quest to do so.


Laurence Bradford is a product manager at Teachable and the creator of Learn to Code With Me, a blog and podcast for those wanting to transition into a tech career later in life.

Weekly Round Up 3/30/18

 

 

Facebook can’t have all the fun…
It’s Amazon’s Turn in the Tech Hot Seat

It should be for any business that handles people’s data.
Backlash against tech companies is a wake-up call

Edward Snowden said it best, “Voluntary surveillance.”
Why do people hand over so much data to tech companies? It’s not easy to say ‘no’

As I was a watching a clip of this, I got the feeling Uncle Timmy might be running for office one day soon…
Recode Daily: Tim Cook talks Facebook, data privacy, domestic manufacturing and tech in education

This is super creepy and cool all at the same time.
A Prediction About Future Tech From The 1990s Has Gone Viral Because It’s Spookily Accurate

 

They never seem to get any better…
Women and Minorities tech; By the Numbers.

 

I don’t need Alexa cooking any meals for me, thanks.
To Invade Homes, Tech is Trying to Get Your Kitchen

I’m telling you, that tech episode of the X-Files scared the crap out of a lot of people.
How Tech Can Make Retirement Harder For Couples

WIT: How to make Women’s Day every day in tech

 

By Petra Andrea of Financial Review

It’s 2018, which means we have fridges that are probably better at planning our groceries than we are. We’ve found new planets that could potentially harbour life, and we’re eating stem-cell-produced medium-rare steak burgers without a trace of steak in them.

Innovation in tech and science is creating a whole new world of possibilities at an almost alarming rate. And yet there’s still one area of technology that seems stubbornly untouched by progress: persistent gender inequality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

Multiple reports indicate that women hold just under a third of all IT jobs, and less than 10 per cent of technology jobs in Australia. Female tech entrepreneurs are outnumbered by their male counterparts at a rate of about four to one.
So why is so much progress being made within laboratories and workshops around the country in terms of tech innovation, and yet so little is being made on the gender inequality front?

Below are some of the ways women in technology continue to be held back – and what might be done to address them:

1) Problems in the playpen

Walking down any toy-shop aisle, it’s hard to miss the vast difference between the toys marketed for boys, and those aimed at girls.

Aside from the glaring colour differences – who knew pink came in so many different shades? – girls’ toys are more generally associated with domesticity, physical attractiveness and nurturing. Boys’ toys, on the other hand, are largely more functional – tools for building, creating and achieving. They promote skills in mathematical, engineering and scientific fields in a way the pink cohort sadly doesn’t.

And while a plastic pink tea set doesn’t have to be destiny, there is evidence that this type of early gendered socialisation creates a variety of social and economic consequences that can extend into adulthood. Research demonstrates it can contribute to the education gap in schools, it can affect a child’s choice in tertiary majors and it can even guide his or her future occupational choice.

It may be challenging to influence the purchasing preference of any three-year-old. However, non-gendered toys and STEM toys made especially for girls, are both now on the rise. From friendship bracelets that require programming (“Jewelbots”), to dolls houses with building kits complete with circuits and motors that allow girls to light up the structures they build themselves (“Roominate”), choices are increasing, parents may be relieved to know.

2) Schoolyard blues

Australia’s STEM education gender gap isn’t news to anyone.
Only 16 per cent of STEM-qualified people are female, according to a report by the Office of the Chief Scientist. Just one-10th of engineering graduates are women, and a quarter of IT graduates. Women also occupy less than 20 per cent of senior researcher positions in Australian universities and research institutes.

Dealing with a “boys’ club” culture in the classroom or lab of these degrees, a lack of encouragement into these fields by peers, family or professors, even low levels of female STEM representation in popular culture, all contribute to the ongoing socialisation and pressure on women away from these pursuits.
To address this, institutions must question how their learning environment contributes to or detracts from building interest in women for STEM degrees, and supporting them within the classroom and beyond.

3) A vicious VC cycle
For those women who have overcome a lifetime of socialisation, the challenges unfortunately don’t stop there. Only 5 per cent of female founders of tech start-ups are funded – a gender bias in venture capital that is seriously hurting our female tech entrepreneurs’ capacity to succeed.

This issue can actually be exacerbated when a female founder is seeking funding for a more “masculine” technology. Female founders seeking capital for “women’s” or “children’s” products, such as baby products or fashion platforms, are often far more likely to receive funding than those seeking capital for deeply technological and highly proprietary products.

This is indicative of a blatant subjectivity at play. The subtlety of some of the forces driving this are also likely to make it a challenging issue to address.
Internal bias (experienced by both men and women) can cause scepticism about a woman’s ability to manage a high-growth-potential start-up. This could be as ludicrous as believing women don’t have “what it takes” to make a tech-based start-up succeed, or concerns about balancing family with work. The sense of “sameness” that attracts us to people who are similar to us can also strongly weigh in subconsciously, with the majority of VCs being male.

In the end, tackling gender inequality in tech is likely to require multiple campaigns by numerous stakeholders targeting different individual issues across the entire life cycle of a woman’s childhood, education and career.
But if we can find artificial intelligence applications for the humble pizza delivery, surely resolving gender disparity on our own turf shouldn’t be considered an insurmountable challenge.

Do you think these suggestions will work for the US? Sound off in the comments below!

WIT: Why women will lead the tech industry’s future.

 

 

By Stef W. Knight of of Axios

Next month, Debjani Ghosh will become the first woman president of NASSCOM, one of the largest global trade associations representing thousands of India’s IT companies. She takes the helm at a critical time for her industry as President Trump cracks down on foreign workers — and for women in technology in general in the wake of the #MeToo movement.

Why she matters: She’s not only the first woman to lead NASSCOM, she’s also bullish that her gender will become even more indispensable to the technology industry. “Leadership is not going to be a man’s role,” she told Axios in an interview.

Job skills: While the more technical, data-oriented jobs are being taken over by robots and algorithms, Ghosh said, “leadership is now going to be about how well you connect with employees, the empathy factor, the ability to inspire people at a more humane level, it’s going to be much more about those softer skills.”

Big picture: Ghosh is obsessed with the idea of technology as a great equalizer, and it is one of the reasons she was attracted to the position of president of NASSCOM. She hopes to use the platform to bring her visions of equality and global collaboration to reality.

• Finding ways to promote women in leadership isn’t just a moral or political goal for Ghosh, but something she believes will be “critical for shaping global competitive dynamics and economic strengths.”
• “This has to be about the business and the best talent you can find,” she told me. She said all the studies point to the benefits of having more women working for the company, and CEOs must do what’s best for their companies.
• While she puts the burden on men in leadership, her advice for women was:

“We ourselves have to now start breaking a few doors if needed. The time to knock politely on the doors is way past.”

In India, the tech industry already sees the highest percentage of women in leadership compared to other industries, but Ghosh said while they are ahead of the game, she hopes to see the industry do more.

Tales from the Orchard: Apple celebrating International Women’s Day 2018 with recruiting event, special Today at Apple sessions

By Michael Steeber of 9to5Mac

Next Thursday, March 8th, communities across the world will celebrate International Women’s Day 2018. The annual day of recognition draws attention to the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. This year, Apple will again join in the festivities with special events of their own at select retail stores.

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #PressForProgress, a call for gender parity. In conjunction with the theme, Apple will hold a corporate recruiting event at Apple Marché Saint-Germain in Paris on the evening of the 8th. The event page gives a summary (translated from French):

“Celebrate International Women’s Day with Apple
At Apple, it is the big ideas that move the world. And it is the diversity of backgrounds and perspectives of employees that stimulates innovation. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, discover how to express your talents. Apple will open its doors for an evening of inspiration, participation and celebration.”

Attendees must register ahead of time to be allowed entry for the event, which runs from 8-10 P.M. Elsewhere in the world, Apple is hosting an 8-day series of special Today at Apple sessions at its retail store in Singapore, Apple Orchard Road.

The sessions will be hosted by women who inspire the Singapore community, and include topics like lyric writing, illustration, and coding with the Swift Playgrounds app.

Last March, Apple celebrated International Women’s Day 2017 with movie and TV show sections in the iTunes Store featuring talented female directors, producers, and actors. It is not yet known if the company will run a similar promotion this year.

Apple’s latest Diversity Report shows a 2% increase in women at Apple since 2014, while men still account for the majority of employees. Executives Tim Cook and Eddy Cue have recently discussed the importance of women in technology, with Cue acknowledging Apple’s need for greater diversity.

At the end of 2017, Apple’s VP of Diversity Denise Young-Smith left the company and was replaced by Christie Smith, formerly of Deloitte.

WIT: 3 Ways to Advance Women in Tech

 

 

By Sammi Caramela of Business News Daily

While more women are opting for careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), there’s an existing struggle for them to advance in the industry. Many female students aren’t motivated to start a career in the industry simply because they don’t believe they’ll have the chance to progress.

“Ensuring better female representation in STEM should not be thought of as a gender issue but a business issue,” said Sripriya Raghunathan, vice president of systems and software engineering at HARMAN. “Bringing more women with careers in STEM to the workforce will contribute to an employer’s competitiveness in the marketplace and foster innovation.”

Women should feel as confident as men in their decision to pursue STEM careers. Here are three ways to improve advancement of women in STEM.

1. Start with schools.

According to a survey by iCIMS, 61 percent of recruiters said they are most interested in hiring candidates with majors in STEM, but only 23 percent of college seniors graduate with that degree – and an exceptionally small portion is female.

“To nurture women in STEM, we need to start at the school level,” said Raghunathan. “Employers should create programs that allow their women leaders in STEM to share their experiences and stories with young women who may be considering a career in STEM.”

Partner with schools and offer conferences, events and presentations so experts can connect with female students. Don’t wait until they’re already settled in college with a different major; start with high schools to encourage women from a young age.

2. Create leadership training and mentoring programs.

It’s important for women to feel that they’re as capable as men, especially in leadership positions. But without the proper training, they might lack the confidence and drive.

“Employers can help bridge the gap by encouraging employees to form communities focused on connecting, innovating and building career advancement and support,” said Jen Scandariato, senior director of cloud services at iCIMS. “Employers should offer resources, workshops, leadership and technical trainings, mentorship programs, and support career mobility and career pathing to promote an inclusive environment for all employees.”

Everyone needs a mentor, and this is especially true for women in a predominantly male industry. Having someone to look up to for advice or inspiration can make a difference in their entire career.

“Employers should build mentor programs for women looking [to] advance their career to tighten the gender gap in male-dominated STEM fields,” said Nisa Amoils, venture capitalist at Scout Ventures. “The lack of women in STEM can make it more difficult for women to develop professional relationships that advance their careers.”

According to Raghunathan, these programs should do the following:
• Provide tips to students and young women starting their careers in STEM
• Offer ways to strengthen strategic, leadership, communication and technical skills
• Empower female employees through sponsorship programs
• Connect new women with senior female leaders

Raghunathan added that mentorships can help both new and existing female STEM employees, and attract and retain talent.

“With a solid mentorship program, companies can improve the onboarding experience for new female STEM employees,” said Raghunathan. “This helps in creating a great first impression as an employer and also from a talent engagement standpoint.”

3. Offer returnships.

More than half of women in STEM think a parental leave would decrease their chance of getting a promotion; but 82 percent of office professionals and 95 percent of millennials would be interested in a returnship program in the future.

Returnships are similar to internships, but for those who have been absent from their careers for an extended period. This is a great opportunity for both mothers and fathers to refresh their brains and redevelop their skills in the workplace.

“As an employer, if your organization establishes a returnship for mothers, there should also be a formal program in place for men to have a returnship, because we are seeing more men becoming caretakers as women progress in their careers,” said Scandariato. “Men and women should have equal opportunities to take time away from their career to grow their family, and be able to easily transition back into the workplace without penalties.”

 

Do you think these 3 suggestions will work to get more women into STEM? Sound off in the comments below!!

WIT: The Tech Unicorn That Went For Women Engineers: Here’s How It Worked Out

 

 

By Susan Adams of Forbes.com

One spring day in 2015, Julia Lee, a top performer on the engineering team at the payroll-software startup Gusto, asked Edward Kim, the company’s cofounder and chief technology officer, for a one-on-one meeting. Sitting together on a gray couch in the middle of their open-plan office in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, Lee, a Stanford grad who had interned at Google and Palantir, told Kim that she loved her work but was struggling with one issue. Of the 18 people on Gusto’s engineering team, Lee, then 26, was the only woman. Before she got to Gusto, she told Kim, “people often assumed I didn’t know the answer to a problem because I was a female engineer.” Even at Gusto, she was reluctant to share her feelings of self-doubt. Kim, Lee says, was extraordinarily receptive. In fact, he made it a personal project to study the gender breakdown on the engineering teams at other tech firms. The numbers he found were dismal.

Only 12% of the engineering staffers at 84 tech firms were female, according to statistics gathered in a public Google Doc posted in 2013 by Tracy Chou, then an engineer at Pinterest. Kim read a U.S. census report on racial and gender disparity in STEM employment and was troubled by a National Public Radio report that showed an increase in women graduating with computer science degrees through the early 1980s and then a steep decline from 1984 on.

He also read a 2015 McKinsey study showing that companies with diverse workforces outperform financially. “The fact that no one else in tech was able to really crack the gender diversity nut and solve it represented an opportunity for us,” Kim says. “If we want to reimagine what HR is like for the very diverse workforces of our small-business customers, we ourselves have to build a diverse workforce.”

After a series of meetings with Kim and Lee, Gusto’s human resources team launched a plan to attract women engineers. Initial steps included writing job descriptions that avoided masculine phrases like “Ninja rock star coder.” Gusto’s most important step: For a six-month period starting in September 2015, the company devoted 100% of its engineering recruitment efforts to women. While it solicited only women, it considered male applicants who approached the firm and treated all candidates equally, which kept Gusto from running afoul of antidiscrimination laws, according to Gusto lawyer Liza Kostinskaya. The pitch to women included emails signed by Lee inviting female candidates to have an initial talk with her and was backed by $60,000 the company spent to be a sponsor for two years at the biggest annual women’s tech conclave, the Grace Hopper conference.

Kim also published a blog post that made Gusto’s diversity numbers public and broadcast its goal of hiring more women engineers. “We believe that diversity is in itself a core strength that will enable us to write better software and build better products,” he wrote.

In line with more than 80% of startups, according to a 2017 Crunchbase study, Gusto’s three founders are men. Kim and Gusto’s CEO, Joshua Reeves, both 34, met as undergrads in Stanford’s electrical engineering department. They launched Gusto in 2012 along with Tomer London, 33, an Israeli immigrant who got to know Reeves while a Ph.D. student at Stanford. Like its boom-and-bust competitor, Zenefits, which launched the following year, Gusto sells cloud-based comprehensive subscription software to small businesses to help them manage employee records like payroll and health benefits. At the outset Gusto even had a similar name, ZenPayroll, which it changed in 2015 when it started offering a more complete selection of employee-tracking software.

Zenefits attracted $584 million in venture capital and hit a valuation of $4.5 billion in 2015 before running into regulatory problems related to the way it sold health insurance. It sacked its CEO, reworked its business model and saw its valuation slashed to $2 billion. Gusto, meanwhile, grew less feverishly. By late 2015 it had raised $176 million from firms like CapitalG (formerly Google Capital) and General Catalyst, and 75 individual investors handpicked by Reeves, including Ashton Kutcher and PayPal cofounder Max Levchin. That year it broke through to a $1.1 billion valuation. Forbes estimates Gusto’s annual revenue at nearly $100 million.

At the start, Gusto’s founders acknowledge, diversity was on the back burner, and as it grew, they found that it didn’t happen organically. When it came time to hire a chief operating officer in 2015, they made it a priority to find a woman. Lexi Reese, a veteran of Google and American Express, is one of two women on the six-person executive team, and firmwide, women account for 51% of Gusto’s 525 employees. Even after Gusto began its diversity initiative, applications from women didn’t flood in. Gusto assigned two in-house recruiters to the job, and it hired TalentDash, a Singapore-based firm that sources talent, to look exclusively for women.

Though hiring women engineers took more time, Kim says, Gusto never dropped its standards. “It bothers me when people say that prioritizing diversity lowers the bar in terms of the caliber of talent you’re able to hire,” he says. “That is simply not true.” Nor, he says, was there any pushback from inside Gusto.

Gusto also addressed its compensation policy. Since 2016 its salaries have been audited by Mercer, a human resources consulting firm, which has found no gender pay disparity. Benefits include 16 weeks of paid leave for a primary parent, plus an additional $100 a week for groceries and food deliveries, $100 a month for six months of housecleaning and up to $500 for a baby-sleep coach.

Gusto’s women-only recruiting effort lasted six months. It stopped, Kim says, because “we exceeded our goals.” In 2015 Gusto was trying to hit 18% women engineers, the proportion majoring in computer science as undergraduates, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, and it reached 21%. Since then it has started staffing a Denver office, where it aims to increase the engineer head count by at least 25 this year and where the company is reprising its women-only recruiting strategy. Now that 17 of Gusto’s 70 engineers are female, it’s getting a little easier, says Gusto’s HR head, Maryanne Brown Caughey. “It’s kind of a domino effect,” she says. “Women know they’re joining a welcoming community.”

While Gusto has made progress, its engineering team has no Latinos and no African-Americans. Kim says Gusto has two hiring goals in 2018: senior women and racial diversity in engineering. “The way we make progress is by focusing on one problem,” Kim says, “and then we move on to the next.”

 

What do you think of there push to hire more women? Tell us about it in the comments below!!

Weekly Round Up 2/16/18

 

Because plastic surgery and Witness Protection are no longer enough…
Israeli tech firm undercuts facial recognition to bolster privacy.

Swipe left.
This Valentine’s Day, Considering Tech That Keeps Couples Together.

 

It’s nice to see at least one industry embracing diversity.
The Founders Bringing Sex Tech to the Masses

 

Um, they shouldn’t have to prove anything…
Anne-Marie Imafidon: Stemettes prove that girls can flourish in tech and science.

 

Imagine that! New jobs being created that aren’t even related to coal!
Rise of the data protection officer, the hottest tech ticket in town

 

Because they can’t seem to figure out how to hire more women themselves?!
IBM and Microsoft battle over top workplace diversity exec

 

Of course we did.
How Women and Tech Took Over Porn: Inside the 2018 AVNs

 

This coming from the guy who made his millions from a piece of stolen software…
Bill Gates: It’s ‘scary to me’ that technology can empower small groups to do great harm.

 

WIT: WWII code-breaker shares ‘can-do’ attitude with aspiring female roboticists

 

 

 

By the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

When Julia Parsons left Carnegie Tech with a humanities degree in 1942, her career seemed prescribed: Women at that time were educated to work as secretaries, nurses, costume designers, homemakers.  

But with World War II raging and all the men in the armed forces, “I thought, there’s got to be more I can do,” Ms. Parsons, 96, recalled. “I wanted to go in the service, too.”

It was the can-do spirit — plus a couple years of German language classes at Wilkinsburg High School — that landed her an elite and highly classified job among an all-women team of code-breakers in the war effort. From a Washington, D.C., communications complex run by the Navy, she helped to unscramble messages that helped turn the tide of the war.

Ms. Parsons, who after decades of secrecy began sharing her dramatic story in recent years, had a rapt audience in a Carnegie Mellon University lecture hall on Saturday: a few dozen teenage girls, dressed in jeans, plaid shirts and red polka-dot bandannas — a la Rosie the Riveter, the famous illustration depicting the strength of the female workforce during WWII.

This was a gathering of the Girls of Steel, the all-female high school robotics team sponsored by CMU’s Field Robotics Center. Since its founding in 2010, the group — whose logo is Rosie the Riveter with a robotic arm — has grown to more than 50 girls from the Pittsburgh region who build robots to compete in regional, national and global competitions. 

It was a place where Ms. Parsons’ message resonated across more than seven decades.

“It was awesome to see her experiences and how they similarly reflect experiences we have — but in a different time,” said Corinne Hartman, 18, a senior at the Ellis School in Shadyside, who sat front and center in the lecture hall. “She was working with a group of women who worked together to help do this really big awesome technical thing.”

Ms. Hartman said she came to the Girls of Steel after trying several STEM summer camps at which she was the only girl. 

“I felt like my ideas or opinions weren’t being heard, that I didn’t have a place there,” she said. Once she joined the robotics team, “I absolutely fell in love and have been here ever since.”

In Ms. Parsons’ time, a woman’s path to find technical work was even more uphill. 

Right after graduation, she worked briefly for an Army ordnance laboratory, fixing gauges that were used in steel mills to produce shells and ammunition. It was a job that women got, she admitted, only because there weren’t enough men. “Pittsburgh was pretty much devoid of men” between the ages of 18 and 40, Ms. Parsons said. “All of them went.”

The work on ordnance gauges was “pretty boring,” she said, and she quickly enlisted in the Navy. She shot up her hand when a recruiter asked if anyone knew German. 

Before she knew it, she was part of a team working three shifts, round the clock, trying to crack the code of intercepted German messages sent over radio waves by ships and submarines.

It was extremely difficult work, even though they had the German-made encryption machine, known as the
Enigma, and some of the code books, which the British had secretly recovered from a sinking German submarine years before.

Just months before the war ended, Ms. Parsons worked for days to assemble a spreadsheet of all the messages and noticed something. The Germans had sent the weather forecast every day at the same time — a crucial mistake that allowed the women to decode a slew of messages and that helped track down an elusive German submarine.

After the war ended, she wanted to keep serving but hit an unexpected roadblock: She was pregnant. That fact ended her military career, she said. “Now, there are maternity uniforms,” she joked. 

So she came home, raised three children and taught English at North Allegheny High School. She told no one of her code-breaking experience, not even her husband, until she found out in the 1990s the government had declassified the team’s efforts.

At the end of her talk, Ms. Parsons had just as many questions for the girls as the girls had for her. “How do you get into this?” she asked them. “Do you know enough about robotics to know what you want to do for a career?”

A key difference, of course, is the publicity of the mission. 

“We try to get ourselves out in the community,” Ms. Hartman, the high school senior, responded. “This has shown me I want to continue doing robotics in the future.”


What do think of the future of robotics being female? Tell us about it in the comments below!

App of the Week: Microsoft Office for Mac

Check Out All the Differences in Microsoft Office for Mac

By Alexander Fox of Apple Gazette

The first time I realized that there were differences in Microsoft Office for Mac, I was waist-deep in a complicated Excel table. I knew that there must be some clever way to solve my data dilemma, so I Googled a solution. And I found one, right away! Only to discover that, mystifyingly, the tool I needed simply didn’t exist. I had the right version of Excel, and the tool wasn’t just somewhere else. That’s when I first found the differences in Microsoft Office for Mac. Turns out that there are many disappointing differences in Microsoft Office for Mac when compared to Microsoft Office for Windows.

Unavailable Applications

There are a number of office applications that you simply won’t find on the macOS version of Microsoft Office.

Microsoft Publisher: This desktop publishing app aimed at beginners isn’t a major loss for Mac users. There’s plenty of other apps that can do the job, from something as simple as Pages to something more complex like InDesign. And there’s plenty in between: one thing the Mac doesn’t lack is creativity software.

Microsoft Access: this database management tool is a much more useful application. It’s often used to take the place of unwieldy Excel databases. While it’s not the best version of the software available, it does come with Office, making it an attractive addition to the normal productivity suite. Unfortunately, Mac users won’t have access to this application.

Differences in Microsoft Office for Mac

 

Here’s a list of the major features you won’t find in Microsoft Office for Mac. It’s not guaranteed to cover everything, but it should hit in the highlights.

Office Suite

There’s some stuff missing from all parts of the Microsoft Office for Mac suite.

Visual Basic: This proprietary programming language is available on the Mac. However, some functions are missing, and the implementation is not as fully-featured as the Windows version. Code that works in Windows might not work in macOS. And it’s generally harder to write and execute.

SharePoint Support: SharePoint is used for sharing files and distributing data in corporate environments. Office for Mac does include support for SharePoint, but some features are missing.

Accessibility Checker: checks your document for formatting or content that might make it difficult to read for users with disabilities. If you have government-mandated reporting styles, or your organization cares about accessibility, this can be a great help.

Office Roaming: Windows users can connect to a streaming copy of Office on a PC for temporary use.

Right-to-left Language Support: Hebrew and Arabic text direction is not supported.

ActiveX: you might be most familiar with these macro-style document plugins as security risks. They also allow for significant programming within the Office environment.

Document Inspector: Scans for hidden data and personal data in documents, helping you stay safe when sharing files.

Word

 

Embed Fonts: When sharing documents on Word for Windows, you can embed custom fonts to display with your document. macOS users instead must save out PDFs, which don’t allow users to easily edit them.

Booklet Printing: Printing for booklet binding is not available in Office for Mac.

Open and Repair: Office for Mac can try to open damaged files, but it won’t do as much to fix them as Windows’ Open and Repair.

Built-in Screenshots: Word for Windows includes a built-in screenshot tool, which can automatically take screenshots and insert them in to your document. macOS has a pretty powerful screenshot tool that can help make up the difference, however.

Smart Lookup: This tool search through Bing for the selected text. Useful for quickly defining a term or acronym you’re not familiar with, but hardly essential.

Digital Ink: this digital drawing and annotation tool won’t be found on the Mac version of Word.

Excel

PivotCharts: these charts work with PivotTables, visualizing information created by your new layouts to reveal patterns. While some of this functionality can be captured manually, the automated features of PivotCharts won’t be available.

PowerPivot: this ultra-powerful add-in version of PivotTables isn’t available on the Mac.

Built-in Database Connectivity: Mac Excel cannot sync with data from external databases. Some data can be imported from external sources, but updated sync is not possible.

Customized shortcuts: You can’t assign your own keyboard shortcuts in Excel for Mac. All the modifiers are different too, so your muscle memory is probably shot.

Outlook

Outlook users might have a problem that’s more annoying that missing features. The email and calendar app is not super compatible with iCloud calendar, especially not when it comes to the iPhone and Windows machines. So if you’re a big iCloud user, you might look elsewhere.

Google Security: Outlook for Mac is not as secure as its Window’s counterpart when it comes to Gmail addresses. You’ll need to explicitly permit less secure apps to get Outlook to interface with your Gmail address. This is not so for the Windows version.

Email editing and exporting: tables in email and composing emails in Word are both excluded. “Save As…” for emails is also not present.

Exchange: In general Exchange is supported, but certain features like managing distribution lists or supporting all Exchange Server versions are not.

Voting Buttons: not available in the Mac version

Social Connector: likewise, not available in any Mac version of Outlook

A Solution?

These missing features will almost certainly not be added to Office for Mac in the future. If you absolutely require the missing features, you can install Parallels to run the more complete version of Office or install Boot Camp on your Mac. Just keep in mind that single-license users can only install the suite on one machine. Multi-license users could install Office on both Windows and macOS. But pure cross-compatibility seems to be out of the question for now.

You might also like the following posts:

Microsoft, Apple and Burying the Hatchet

Why Apple’s Productivity Apps Should Replace Microsoft Office for Mac Users

 

What’s your preference? Microsoft’s Office suite or Apple’s iWork suite? Sound off in the comments below!

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