Before writing this post, I wanted to look at a few of our classmates posts. Amanda’s post, Why won’t programmers wear shoes?, caught my attention. I received an email earlier in the day from Harvard College Women’s Center. They listed an event called “How to Look Corporate AF* (and fashionable).” I was kind of appalled when I saw this title. It made me think about the gender gap in the workplace and how women are judged based on physical appearances vs. demonstrations of knowledge. This thought should be taken with a grain of salt because this is not always accurate, however it still caught my attention. I do also think that the event is interesting because I am always slightly concerned about what to wear when I have work related events.
To echo Amanda’s post again, I also noticed the lack of mention of women in our readings about the history of the Internet. This is obviously something that has to be changed, but the path to balancing the gender gap is challenging. From my experience, I have participated in many computer science specific programs geared to empower women that only teach women. However, the program that I felt was the most successful at empowering me was a coed program. Personally, I do support the all-girl programs, but I believe that coed programs have a better end result. And, in the end, women will be working with a majority of men in the workplace, so they might as well have the experience from an early age.
Moving onto the news and this week’s discussion, we talked about how Uber also happens to be sexist (and kind of “sleazy”). What struck me as odd about our discussion regarding Uber is that Uber is avidly looking for a female CEO. I don’t know the whole story, but searching for a female to fulfill a role for seemingly no specific reason beyond the fact that the company can say, “Oh, we have a woman as CEO so we can’t be sexist,” is quite odd and immoral. This shows me that Uber does not necessarily understand the gender gap situation. Women do not want to obtain a job just because one of the requirements is “being female.” We want jobs because we are qualified for them.
This topic brings me to the article, Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor. The web inventor and author of this article, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, talks about three current challenges including the ease for misinformation online. This connects to my above thoughts on Uber because I could have the story wrong since I am just making judgements based off of what I heard in our discussion. Berners-Lee also essentially mentioned “clickbait,” that sites are making money from misleading information that makes people click on links. The 28th anniversary of the Internet seems like an odd time to write an article which makes me think that today’s political climate dictated the publication of this letter. This also connects to another article I read this week about Bing starting to include a fact checker plugin on news articles (https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16318924/bing-fact-check-label-added-search-results). This seems to be a useful tool that will help aid the need for online transparency mentioned in Berners-Lee’s letter. At the beginning, he says that the Internet was created to act as a tool to serve all of humanity. In the end, he calls the readers to action in equalizing the power and opportunity that is accessible on the Internet. Along with the Internet, other aspects in humanity and our society need help managing power and opportunity.