Making progress towards equality
This year has been no small feat for women: America nominated the first female Presidential Candidate for the 2016 election, the Fortune 500 featured 21 female CEOs, and NASA’s Mars team has the first equal gender representation in history. As a woman I must say, I am proud.
However, these feats can make it easy to forget about gender inequalities that still exist in the work place today, such as imbalanced maternity leave policies, pay discrepancies, and promotional inequalities.
Solving these issues is imperative to achieve gender equality, but means companies must first recognize their specific problems as actual problems.
Consider these your 2017 goals
Fairygodboss conducted a report detailing issues women have in the workplace based on anonymous data from thousands of women and third-party research. We detail their key findings below. If you’re a business owner, take notes. If you are employed, send this link to someone in management.
Clearly outline benefits, culture, and policies
Achieving gender equality in the workplace starts at the beginning of the job process — the application. Female job-seekers report that employer’s description of their culture, practices, and benefits are often ambiguous, causing them to move on and apply to more clearly defined job opportunities.
It is therefore important for businesses to include concise expectations and descriptions in their job outline, as they are understandable deciding factors for anyone applying for a job, women especially.
Enforce fair pay
Although businesses have made significant strides to close the pay gap between men and women, it’s no secret compensation inequality still remains an issue.
There are several ways for businesses to correct this issue though. Conducting a full pay audit can shine light on any disparities. If a business can’t afford a pay audit, they should at least ensure and encourage consistent pay across the same job titles.
Diversity gender in management
Diversifying management along with other decision making positions can increase women’s job satisfaction. If your team is lacking in diversity, consider investing in some changes to better reflect your company culture and priorities.
Ensure women are promoted just as much men
Along with pay inequality, promotional discrepancies between men and women in the workplace exist. Women don’t typically move up the hierarchical ladder as fast or equally as men. To improve business practices, companies should reevaluate their promotion and succession plans to ensure everyone has access to the same advancement opportunities.
Improve maternity and parental leave procedures
Women with young children often leave the workforce to raise their children full-time. Reentering the workplace after such absence can be difficult. Businesses should include policies that allow ample time away after childbirth. Displaying such commitment to something as natural and necessary exemplifies that a business cares about supporting women and families.
Maintain flexibility and work-life balance
Women have reported being unhappy with official policies as they relate to work-life balance and flexibility. This doesn’t mean companies should give everyone three-day weekends, but they should utilize and outline a well thought-out flexibility plan that leaves their employees satisfied, while also attracting qualified talent.
Create mentorship and sponsorship opportunities
Access to senior leadership is an issue I’ve personally experienced along with other women across the country. We may see senior executives in the break room or in passing, but accessing them for career advice or opportunities seems almost impossible.
To alleviate such alienation from senior staff, businesses should consider enforcing formal programs to encourage mentorship, sponsorship, and an overall support system regardless of gender.
Demand the same fairness from other business relationships
It is illogical for a company who supports gender equality to do business with other companies and vendors who do not. Demanding the same respect and diversity from other business relationships will not only help to achieve gender equality, but also demonstrate to women employees and potential candidates both male and female how serious equality is, and how unwavering the company’s morals are.
Include men in the conversation
Gender equality in the workplace symbolizes unity and harmony which is unobtainable without the input and help of our male counterparts. While many men support gender diversity, they are understandably unaware of the biases and issues women face daily.
Honest conversations, brainstorming, and interaction between female and male peers will help businesses on their journey of gender fairness.
You can view the full report here.
Not just for gaming: How virtual reality can save PTSD patients
(TECH NEWS) Thanks to its ability to simulate situations safely, virtual reality technologies are proving effective in therapy for PTSD patients.
Over the last year, a great many people have developed a new and sometimes dangerous relationship with a new emotional state, anxiety. I know that personally I’d never had a panic attack in my life until the middle of the pandemic. For many these emotions have taken the form of actual disorders. Actual mental influences which affect everyday life on a large scale. One of the most common forms of which is PTSD.
This disorder has many different aspects and can affect people in a number of different and debilitating ways. Finding treatments for PTSD patients and other anxiety disorders – especially treatments that don’t involve drugging people into oblivion has been difficult.
A lot of these disorders require exposure therapy. Putting people back into similar situations which caused the original trauma so that their brains can adjust to the situation and not get stuck in pain or panic loops. But how do you do that for things like battlefield trauma. You can’t just create situations with gunfire and dead bodies! Or can you?
This is where VR starts coming in. Thanks to the falling cost of VR headsets, noted by The Economist, psychologists are more capable of creating these real world situations that can actually help people adjust to their individual trauma.
One therapist went so far as to compare it to easy access opioids for therapy. This tool is so powerful that of the 20 veterans that they started with, 16 of them no longer qualify for the categories of PTSD. That’s a 75% success rate with an over-the-counter medicine. I can think of antihistamines and painkillers that aren’t that good.
I’ve grown up around PTSD patients. The majority of my family have been in the military. I was even looking at a career before I was denied service. I have enough friends that deal with PTSD issues that I have a list of things I remember not to invite certain people to so as not to trigger it. Any and every tool available that could help people adapt to their trauma is worthwhile.
Tired of email spam? This silly, petty solution might provide vindication
(TECH NEWS) If you struggle to keep your inbox clean thanks to a multitude of emails, the widget “You’ve Got Spam” could provide some petty catharsis.
We’re all spending a lot of time behind our computers and inside of our inboxes these days, so it makes sense that some people—not naming names—might be sick of seeing several unsolicited emails a day from marketers and other unsavory businesses.
While we can’t recommend a mature, adult solution that hasn’t already been beaten to death (looking at you, “inbox zero” crowd), we can recommend a childish one: Signing solicitors up for spam.
If you do decide to go the petty route, “You’ve Got Spam”—a free email widget from MSCHF—has you covered. Upon installing the widget, you can configure it to respond automatically to incoming cold-marketing emails with tons of subscriptions to spam sources, thus resulting in overwhelming the sender with a crowded inbox and cultivating a potentially misplaced sense of catharsis for yourself.
The widget itself is fairly simple: You only need to install it to Gmail from the MSCHF website. The rest is pretty self-explanatory. When you receive an email from a person from whom you can safely assume you’ll never be receiving favors ever again, you can open it and click the “You’ve Got Spam” icon to sign the sender up for spam lists galore.
See? Petty, but effective.
The developer page does fail to make the distinction between the promised “100” subscriptions and the “hundreds of spam subscriptions” discussed on Product Hunt. But one can assume that anyone who dares trespass on the sacred grounds of your squeaky-clean inbox will rue the day they did so regardless of the exact number of cat litter magazine subscriptions they receive.
Of course, actually using something like “You’ve Got Spam” is, realistically, a poor choice. It takes exactly as much effort to type, “We’ll pass – thanks!” as a response to anyone cold-emailing you, and you’re substantially less likely to piss off the actual human being on the other side by doing so. Services like this are heavy on the comedic shock value, but the empathy side tends to lack a discernible presence.
That said, if you absolutely must wreck someone’s day—and inbox—MSCHF’s “You’ve Got Spam” is a pretty ingenious way to do it.
Clubhouse finally made it to Android, but has its time passed?
(TECH NEWS) Social media felt the impact of Clubhouse, but the internet moves fast, and even though it is finally on Android, it’s time may be waning.
Clubhouse finally got an Android release, and while many people clamored for such a thing months ago, others argue that it’s too little, too late.
If you aren’t familiar with Clubhouse, it’s an audio-only “social platform” that encourages discussions through live chat rooms. Users can drop into various rooms and listen to people talk, request the option to chime in, and follow a variety of rooms (or “topics”) to stay engaged over time. Users can even create their own rooms that feature them as speakers.
Clubhouse also has a certain allure to it in that the app requires new users to put their names on a waitlist that creates an “invite-only” culture of exclusivity.
But while iPhone users have had access to Clubhouse since its inception, Android users have been not-so-patiently waiting for their own release—and, now that Clubhouse for Android is available, it may have outstayed its welcome.
Part of the problem is the launch itself. The Android Clubhouse app launched with limited functionality; Android users weren’t able to follow the topics they like, change their account information, and so on. This made the release feel underwhelming, further highlighting Clubhouse’s affinity for Apple users.
A more complicated problem is the prevalence of audio options in other social media services. Slack, for example, recently released their audio-only rooms, and services such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have placed a spotlight on voice-only mediums of expression.
Initially, Clubhouse was the only app to incorporate audio as a strong central focus, but the ubiquitous fascination with voice-posting has expanded to comprise most major communication platforms. As such, Clubhouse’s sought-after exclusivity is no more—something that was also arguably damaged by expanding to Android.
It should be noted that interest in the app itself is decreasing, and not just on Android. Social Media Today reported that, in March of 2021, Clubhouse downloads were down 72 percent from February’s 9.6 million downloads. The publication also pointed out that difficulty finding rooms was a substantial issue that is unlikely to do anything but worsen with a surge of Android users, necessitating some back-end fixes from the owners.
As it sits, Clubhouse is still very much in use, and Android users are poised to reignite interest as iOS users stagnate. Whether or not that interest will persevere in the current social media ecosystem remains to be seen.
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