women

Sexist SATS – how primary assessment is reinforcing gender stereotypes in 2019

I received this email from a Chair of Governors of a London Primary School this week.

No wonder we have issues with girls and STEM if ten year old children are already seeing girls stereotyped as “getting maths wrong” 😦

This should not be happening now in 2019!

How can we get a copy of the test paper?

I’m Chair of Governors of a Primary School and the Head asked me to observe the administration of one of the SATS. So this morning I was there for Mathematics 2. ( I think it is called “Reasoning”).
One question involved a drawing of a child who was making a mathematical statement.  Pupils had to explain why that statement was wrong.
A second question showed a problem accompanied by a drawing of a child giving the answer.  Pupils had to say why that answer was wrong.
 
In both cases the child who was wrong was a girl.  I think there was only one drawing of a boy and that was neutral.  (e.g. John has £10. He spends  etc.) Every state school year six child in England, who sat that paper this morning, saw the stereotype of girls who can’t do maths.
I have asked my Head to complain, if Heads are given that opportunity, and I am working out to whom I should write.
Obviously I don’t have the paper, as all spare copies have to be accounted for, but if what I am saying can be verified, it would be terrific if the Academic Maths and Computing Community “kicked up a fuss”.

Mesh scandal whistleblower stopped by UCLH from saving women

Incredible UCLH surgeon Suzy Elneil was a whistleblower on this situation, and is now being stopped by UCLH from practicing.

Her work is saving lives, helping women in ridiculous amounts of pain caused by mesh implants.

Suzy is the UK’s top mesh removal surgeon, she removed around 400 mesh implants last year. No one else in the UK has this amount of experience.

Thousands of women, some suicidal from the amount of pain, need their mesh removed urgently.

The FDA in the US have banned mesh operations.

The FDA have told medical device companies to stop manufacturing and selling mesh.

Mesh kills, maims and injures, but mesh implants are very lucrative for medical device companies and implanting surgeons.

What can be done?

NB Thanks so much to #slingthemesh for supporting mesh injured women and men

This is why I do what I do, empowering #womenintech is so important

Please see below email just received today, I have anonymised it and its not related to these lovely ladies in the photo.  I get lots of email/messages like this all the time. We must provide more opportunities for #womenintech.

 

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Dear Sue

Firstly, I know you are incredibly busy so I definitely do not want to take up too much of your time. I’ll try and be as succinct as possible!

I was looking to see if you could advise me on retraining as a software developer and if there are any schemes, grants, bursaries available. I am a single parent of 3 and left an abusive relationship (my children’s father) just over a year ago. Whilst I have a degree in xxxxxx, I work as a xxxxxxxxxxx in the voluntary sector- which is neither well paid or guaranteed. I am currently renting and with maintenance money not being provided, huge childcare costs and soaring rent rates, myself and my children are incredibly vulnerable. I recognise that it is up to me to do something about this and I am nothing but determined.

A friend suggested coding, the past two weeks I have spent my evening having a go at small intro courses to java and python. to my surprise I was able to complete the tasks and enjoyed them! I understand these were just introductions- and by no means do I think this is coding! Nevertheless I would really like to retrain in software development. I have no savings, and realistically can’t take time out- unless I get some funding- in order to retrain.

There is a 16 week full time coding course running in xxxxxxxxx (where I Live which I have been recommend) It begins in February 2019 and I would really like to join it. I applied for a career development loan but my credit rating was not good enough to qualify.

I wondered if you could advice of any funding that may be open to me? Or just general advice of courses or options that you know of?

I also just wanted to say that you are an amazing woman, who is so inspiring to so many people. It’s a joy to listen to you on Late night Women’s hour and other podcasts.

Many Thanks and warmest wishes

XXXXXXX

 

The two Sue Blacks!!

I was delighted to finally meet the “other Sue Black” a few months ago at Dundee University ❤️ we’ve known each other for years online but never met in person until Sue invited me up to Dundee as a digital expert.

We are often mistaken for each other, I’m a computer scientist and Sue is a forensic scientist, and congratulated for each other’s work 🤣

It was so wonderful to meet, I’m really looking forward to next time.

Why is it harder for women to be leaders? I spoke to Lauren Laverne on BBC Radio 4 Late Night Woman’s Hour #leadership #culture #diversity

twitter.com/bbcwomanshour/status/1019839333379997696

Turbo charge your career #womenintech mastermind

Turbo charge your career!

I’m always being asked for advice on how to approach particular situations at work/university/college particularly by women and particularly in the tech sector. I want to help as many people as possible so I thought “Why not set up an online group where I can help more people get to where they want to go more quickly?”

So that’s what I’m going to do!

#comingsoon I’m starting a #womenintech Mastermind featuring an online discussion group, webinars, advice sessions, one to one mentoring and a lot more. Add your email here if you are interested:

tinyurl.com/DrBMaster

Talk to you soon!

#tech #mentoring #careergoals #careeradvice #gettingpromoted #skillsshortage #technology

Honorary Doctorate from Royal College of Art presented by Jony Ive

I had a wonderful time today receiving an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art ❤️🙏❤️

Massive congratulations to all students graduating today at TheAlbertHall and my fellow honorands Siobhán Davies and Peter Gabriel

#RCAconvocation #lifegoals @siobhandavies #petergabriel

30 years ago I escaped from a violent marriage… #DV

www.youtube.com/watch

30 years ago I escaped from a violent marriage, I ran down the road with my 3 small kids + a suitcase of nappies.

I rebuilt my life after 6m in a @WomensAid refuge, went back to school, changing my/my family’s lives forever. Here’s some of the story…

Amazing #changeforgood hackathon at #CannesLions and party with Kylie, Idris Elba and Fatboy Slim

I had an amazing birthday here in Cannes yesterday, judging a tech #changeforgood hackathon with some awesome people from Global Citizen, Huge, and Amazon, and one of my all time heroes @garyvee.

In the evening I went to an amazing party at a chateau, met more awesome people and lots of friends mainly from London. Crazy.

Idris Elba and Fat Boy Slim DJed and Kylie did a set. It was amazing. Thanks so much Angie Moxham for the invite 🙏❤️🙏

Computing is too important to be left to men…

dr-sue-black_2

Ada Lovelace invented the idea of software in 1843 at the age of 28 when working with Charles Babbage on his Analytical engine. The first pioneer in computing was a woman and we have had many more female computing pioneers since then: the women at Bletchley Park; Dina St Johnston who set up the UK’s first software house in 1959; Dame Stephanie Shirley who’s company employed women, mainly working from home in the 1960s, training them to write software including the Concorde black box flight recorder; and Karen Spark Jones, a pioneer in search algorithms who’s quote “Computing is too important to be left to men” is the title of this piece. And that’s just in the UK, there are many women tech pioneers across the globe.

I first realised that I needed to get involved in supporting and raising the profile of women in tech during my PhD in software engineering in the 1990s. I found out that talking to men at conferences about my research could be misconstrued which led to me not finding tech conferences an enjoyable experience. Attending a women in science conference some months later I was amazed to find that I could enjoy conferences, meet some great people and have interesting conversations. Being in the majority makes life so much easier. Being in a minority can make something that seems simple difficult.

I set up BCSWomen, the UK’s first online network for women in computing in 1998 as a result of my experiences. The idea being to provide a space for women to discuss the topics we cared about in technology with other women. I’m very proud of the fact that BCSWomen still provides a women only space where anything and everything related to technology is discussed. BCSWomen has supported hundreds of women over the last 19 years.

I’m so delighted BCS continues to take a lead in investigating, researching and publishing data around the situation not just for gender but diversity in general in our industry. We need a more diverse industry so that we can create better products and services for everyone. Take the example of the automated point of sale machines in supermarkets. I’m sure we have all experienced the “unexpected item in the bagging area” moment of frustration. Do you think the team that developed those automated POS machines was diverse? Do you think there were people on the team that shopped regularly in a supermarket? I’m guessing not.

Diversity is important for everyone. Only when we have diverse teams, diverse workforces, diverse experiences contributing to creating diverse products and services will we be creating products and services that are fit for all of us. Diversity brings strength.

Technology is such an exciting area to be in. Working in the tech industry we understand the world and the opportunities around us in a way that many others are as yet able to see without our help. We owe it to everyone else to take a lead in this area, so that they can follow.

You could say that this report paints a dismal picture in terms of diversity and women in tech, we are nowhere near 50/50 male to female in the industry. But I believe that we are at a tipping point of a revolution in technology and also in awareness of the importance of diversity. I’ve seen massive change over the last few years in attitudes towards diversity in tech, from being asked when setting up BCSWomen in 1997: “Why are you ghettoising yourself?”

I now regularly get asked: “How can we encourage more women to work in our tech department?”

sue black ghc 2

Things are changing and this report gives us the data we need to measure and evaluate progress highlighting areas of concern and areas of success that we can celebrate along the way.

Let’s take our lead from this report and use it to create a a more diverse, more successful tech industry in the UK. We owe it to Ada, Dina, Dame Stephanie, Karen and everyone who has worked hard to make the UK tech industry what it is today.

Dr. Sue Black OBE FBCS

 

BCS report: Diversity in IT 2017