There’s a Gender Gap in Internet Usage. Closing It Would Open Up Opportunities for Everyone
We have all heard about a gap when it comes to participation of women in the tech industry. Facebook, Google, and Apple have 17%, 19% and 23% women in their technology staffs, respectively. Multiple surveys, such as the “The Elephant in the Valley,” have documented systematic discrimination against women. And there’s a continuous barrage of news stories regarding the challenges that women face across a raft of iconic Silicon Valley firms. No more than a quarter of U.S. computing and mathematical jobs are held by women, consistent with the data that around 26% of the STEM workforce in developed countries is female. In developing countries, those differences are even greater.
But the gender gap problem doesn’t stop there. There’s also a shortage of women using some of the industry’s products. The International Telecommunications Union reports that the proportion of women using the internet is 12% lower than the proportion of men; this gender gap widens to 32.9% in the least developed countries. And even when a woman gets on a phone or is online, she might face additional hostility. A World Wide Web Foundation report says “women around the world report being bombarded by a culture of misogyny online, including aggressive, often sexualized hate speech, direct threats of violence, harassment, and revenge porn involving use of personal/private information for defamation.”
What this speaks to is an opportunity for the tech industry — both to address internal diversity issues and to address how companies think about the products they create around the world.
Read the full piece from Dean Chakravorti in Harvard Business Review
The latest edition of “Fletcher Reads the Newspaper” tackled the thorny question: Is Brexit a “house of cards” that threatens the stability of the world order? After introductions by Bhaskar Chakravorti, Senior Associate Dean of International Business and Finance at The Fletcher School, and Lisbeth L. Tarlow, Chair of The Fletcher School Board of Overseers, the two debaters kicked off.
Lord Michael Dobbs Speaks to the Fletcher Audience as part of Fletcher Reads the Newspaper
Lord Michael Dobbs, introduced as “Westminster’s baby-faced hitman,” wasted no time attacking the premise of stability to begin with. He claimed global stability disappeared at least twenty years ago. The seasoned debater laid out the three-part argument that a) there is no stable world order b) the EU is the cause of instability and c) the EU failed the challenge of changing internally due to its undemocratic nature. Countering the common narrative that the UK left the EU for economic reasons, Dobbs insisted that the UK left to reclaim its sovereignty, which has been compromised by an “arrogant, authoritarian, inefficient, ineffective, and elitist” EU that refused to reform itself. According to Dobbs, the democratic deficit generated by decision-making in Brussels by unelected representatives is irreconcilable, and the EU itself is in danger of becoming a “house of cards.”
Dr. Amar Bhidé, after excusing himself for this “hopelessly mismatched debate” took a different approach, borrowing a page from British economist John Kay to illustrate the perils of Brexit using the example of regulation on jam. Bhidé demonstrated how the trade and safety regulations so lamented by the pro-Brexit camp in fact will not be eliminated by leaving the EU, and are actually made less burdensome by unifying standards across the region. He went on to extend the jam example to immigration, claiming that Brexit is really about the flow of people, which also will not end with Brexit and is arguably much more important to the economy than the flow of jam.
Watch the full debate between Lord Dobbs and Prof. Bhidé on the Fletcher School Facebook page