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Blog, Diversity & Inclusion
Paradigm for Parity is a women-led effort to increase organizational recruitment, sponsorship, and mentoring for women executives. Founded by three women: Jewelle Bickford, partner at Evercore Wealth Management; Sandra Beach Lin, former president and CEO of Calisolar; Ellen Kullman, former CEO of Dupont, the goals of the group are to provide thought leadership and an actionable roadmap for change regarding issues of gender parity among senior leadership. 19% of the top executives in corporate America are women. Gender parity in the workplace has been discussed informally and among networking groups, and in the popular media. But working for change on an organizational level has been problematic. Paradigm for Parity has partnered with 27 companies who have publicly agreed to address gender parity as an organizational goal, and to use Paradigm for Parity’s action plan. The action plan is critical, because the pieces all need to work together to accomplish the goal. The action plan includes the following:
  • Minimize or eliminate unconscious bias.
  • Significantly increase the number of women in senior operating roles.
  • Measure targets at every level and communicate progress and results regularly.
  • Base career progress on business results and performance, not presence.
  • Identify women of potential and give them sponsors and mentors.
A critical piece of an organizational goal for gender parity and other issues of diversity and inclusion among the workforce is transparency and communication about results. Sharing numbers internally about participation, promotion, recruitment, and other commonly measured metrics for diversity keeps this issue in the forefront, and measures progress. Paradigm for Parity hopes to have 50 companies agree to develop organizational goals for gender parity using their action plan by March, 2017. Some companies that have already committed to the plan are The Huffington Post, Cargill, Coca-Cola, LinkedIn, Nordstrom, and Bank of America.

Blog, Women In Tech

Jocelyn Leavitt and Samantha John look like they could be anyone’s best friend. With easy smiles, casual wear, and incredibly interesting stories, they’re the tech startup founders we’ve all been waiting for. Jocelyn is a self-proclaimed lover of the outdoors, and Samantha is a marathon runner who also taught herself to program.

These two brilliant women teamed up to create Hopscotch, a new programming language so simple, even kids could use it. In fact, children were exactly the demographic that they had in mind when they founded the startup. Their mission is to teach kids to program from a very young age through interactive and fun ways. With a simple drag and drop system, they can make their own mini-games, drawings, animations, websites, and more. Through play, they intuitively learn the core fundamentals of programming that are further developed later on. What’s best, this is the first programming language that is mobile-friendly, so kids can use it on their tablets and smartphones.

It’s difficult to underestimate the power of this startup. Not only is it making programming accessible to children, it is also bringing women into the forefront of the tech startup scene. With numerous awards and recognitions, they are breaking the mold of what successful entrepreneurs look like, and setting an example of professional women being awesome. Perhaps more importantly, however, they are also sending a message to children that programming isn’t a “boys only” club, and that women have a lot to offer in the tech industry.