Tag Archives: women entrepreneurs

I have no mouth and I must linkspam (18 December 2012)

  • On Software Startup Culture: “So how do startups come to be even more white and male than even the general software industry? And should they be as celebrated and glorified as they are in software culture? I can only speak of my experience as a white trans woman working for a small ~6 employee startup but for me it comes down to risk and the way privilege mitigates those risks.”
  • The Woman Charged With Making Windows 8 Succeed: “As the head of Windows product development at Microsoft, Julie Larson-Green is responsible for a piece of software used by some 1.3 billion people worldwide. She’s also the person leading the campaign to introduce as many of those people as possible to Windows 8, the dramatic redesign of the iconic operating system that must succeed if Microsoft is to keep pace with a computing industry now shaped more by phones and tablets than desktop PCs… An expert in technical design, she also led the introduction of the novel, much copied “ribbon” interface for Microsoft Office, widely acknowledged as a major improvement in usability.”
  • Sexual and Gender Diversity in Physics: Discussion of a session on gender and sexuality issues at the American Physical Society March Meeting.
  • Tide of history must change to swim with Nobel penguins: “The locals call it Penguin Mountain. Each year, on December 10, on the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, residents of Stockholm witness the awarding of the world’s most prestigious prizes in physics, chemistry, physiology, medicine, literature and economics to rows of men in tuxedos. Rows of grave looking, exceptionally clever men in penguin suits. It’s a sobering, thrilling spectacle. But since 1901, only 44 of all 861 Nobel prizes have been given to women.”
  • NASA Johnson Style (Gangnam Style Parody) – YouTube: Replaced “sexy lady” with “Science daily ” and “It’s amazing”. Hilarious and catchy.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious or pinboard.in or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

dreamwidth_d

Wednesday Geek Woman: Denise Paolucci, founder of Dreamwidth

This is a guest post by Elizabeth. Elizabeth is a multivariate geek who blogs at elliemurasaki@dreamwidth and who also posts to Affairs Magazine and The Slacktiverse.

Submissions are currently open for Wednesday Geek Woman posts.

Dreamwidth "swirly d" logo

Denise, in collaboration with Mark Smith (at first) and a plethora of mostly-female coders, launched Dreamwidth in 2009. Dreamwidth is a social journaling platform and a code fork of LiveJournal; differences between the services are listed here. The service is committed to accessibility, to diversity, and to being open-source and ad-free.

Photo of Denise Paolucci, facing away from camera

Denise is also an author, published under ‘Denise McCune’ in the Finding the Way and Changing the World collections of Valdemar stories, and an artisan, whose jewelry and stitch markers can be found at the Faultless Pajama Foundry on Etsy.

Dreamwidth: Denise’s official blog

Creative Commons License
This post is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Wall of Spam, by freezelight on Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0

Hubris, thy name is linkspam (12th July, 2011)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious, freelish.us or pinboard.in or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

The objects of the linkspam gaze (26th April, 2011)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on delicious, freelish.us or pinboard.in or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Kids these days spend so much time linkspamming they don’t know what real friendship is (14th January, 2010)

  • tigtog has some tips for bloggers at How I minimise the online abuse I receive: So here is an assortment of technical tips & tricks whereby bloggers can cut down the volume and the repetition coming from this cyberbullying cadre of keyboard jockeys, making the harassment little more than a tiny hiss of background noise instead of an overwhelming flood of spite.
  • “Amazingly, less than 1 per cent of Silicon Valley investment money goes to women-founded technology companies. Less than 3 per cent of the money goes to companies with women as CEO.” From Melissa Clark-Reynolds’ Diary of an Entrepreneur
  • Eleni Stroulia writes about Women, Computing and Other Minorities “It seems to me that the fundamental reason why there are few women in CS is because our society still (and always) has a gender-specific value system”
  • Shameful Gender Discrimination at UC Davis Veterinary School: I thought at first that someone might be messing with me. It was unbelievable to me that someone would treat a pregnant student this way, leaving her [grades] to the [vote] of her classmates.
  • Syne Mitchell’s History in Code: After this initial taste of programming success, I decided I wanted to learn computer programming “for reals.” I knew that computers thought in binary, but I wasn’t able to find a binary programming book. So I settled for something called Assembly language. Unfortunately, I had no 8080-assembly compiler handy, so it quickly became an exercise of writing PEEK and POKE code calls on paper to store and recall variable amounts and then checking my work manually. Even a truly geeky thirteen-year-old girl will find this dull after a while.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the geekfeminism tag on delicious or the #geekfeminism tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

More linkspam than sense (6th January, 2011)

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the geekfeminism tag on delicious or the #geekfeminism tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

It is the season to be spamming, fa-la-la-la… (23rd December, 2010)

Notice: we currently use delicious.com as a way of getting people to suggest links for these. The future of delicious.com is currently a little unclear, but since they are saying that it will stay up and are currently trying to find a new corporate home for it, we will keep using it for now.

  • Trigger warnings: rape and rape apology. We’re not even trying to stay on top of the discussions about Julian Assange and rape allegations, but Sady at Tiger Beatdown was dismayed by Michael Moore’s support of him extending to publicly belittling the allegations, and thus started #MooreAndMe, a Twitter campaign to get his attention. Her commentary on the campaign starts here. Meg Thornton has an epic linkspam. Sady describes the end result so far here.
  • Virtual 3D world is very bright and tangible – but not pink!: The RapChick’s “pink accents’ did made me see red as it seems that pink plus the branding were the only design differences between the RapChick and the Rapman!… Seriously, I do applaud what BfB are doing but to truly democatise 3D printing (as BfB say they are doing), they have to also appeal to all rapidly expanding, underserved audiences. For non technical groups Rapman and RapChick kits are not the way to do this.
  • Sexual Harassment is Adult Bullying (and It’s Alive and Well): … it’s two days later and I’m still processing the incident. I am confident in my abilities, I am a quick learner, and I love to see others succeed. Rationally, I know these jerks were nothing. Emotionally, though, they shook me.
  • Anna Kreider has done some quantitative analysis of depictions of women in various gamer worlds and resources, such as D&D manuals.
  • A World of Warcraft story: This is a story about a goblin named Mida—Boss Mida <Her Tallness>, to be precise. Boss Mida is no ordinary NPC. Mida was born from a full-throttle player campaign of epic roleplaying enthusiasm
  • Kinect and the Disabled part 1 and part 2 [spam editor note: "the disabled" terminology here was the choice of AbleGamers]: The AbleGamers Foundation took the Kinect into our lab last week for some stress tests and to see if they followed up on any of the suggestions made at the accessibility Roundtable we attended earlier this year. We wanted to give you our impressions of the much-hyped device as it is now, as well as some insight and predictions to what it might look like in the future.
  • Share your or others entrepreneurial successes at Women 2.0′s Female Founder Successes of 2010.
  • Sheryl Sandberg’s TED talk: Why we have too few women leaders

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the geekfeminism tag on delicious or the #geekfeminism tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

Baby and startup? Big deal! Or, perhaps, a big deal?

Years back I read Paul Graham’s How to Start a Startup essay, which includes this footnote:

One advantage startups have over established companies is that there are no discrimination laws about starting businesses. For example, I would be reluctant to start a startup with a woman who had small children, or was likely to have them soon. But you’re not allowed to ask prospective employees if they plan to have kids soon.

Which, well, OK, I’m not in the business of forcing Paul Graham to start businesses with people he doesn’t want to start businesses with. But it bugged me for the obvious reasons, not least because, well, you know, men have small children too sometimes. Thank goodness they don’t have to put any work into them. Phew. Lucky escape there, men. Better make sure we keep that labour division in place.

Anyway, in the last few days, Tara Brown wrote this, in response to a few posts by men about having kids and doing a startup.

I am 35 years old, I have an 8 month old child that I breastfeed full-time and I am doing a startup. Big deal. Who isn’t?

Many women start businesses after having a kid, usually because they want to stay home and have an income. This was what I wanted to do after I had Ripley. I decided I wanted to look after him exclusively for his first year and then get a job as a consultant or something where I could continue staying at home with him. My husband and I took off with Ripley to Singapore and France and during that time somehow I ended up a co-founder of Noot.

I have a 9 month old baby (breastfed a fair bit as it happens, although you should have seen him get stuck into ciabatta bread today), and… I’m not doing a startup. I wouldn’t have been a great business partner or core employee for a while after birth, because it made me sick. I wouldn’t be a great partner or employee right now either, in fact, because he brings home illnesses from daycare and so we’re sick and exhausted constantly. (Not that I’m keen to encourage Paul Graham to add to the people he won’t start businesses with, but my husband gets these too, funnily enough.) I did recover our main fileserver when he was 12 days old. Pro tip: if you have any suspicion your hard drive is failing, replace it prior to the birth of your baby. (But then, I had to do the same thing the other week. Pro tip: mobile 9 month olds get in the way of hard drive replacements more than 2 week olds. Wait, that wasn’t a tip. Sorry. Pro tip: don’t have hard drives that fail.) I work various part-time and casual things now to afford the daycare to finish my PhD.

But Tara Brown isn’t telling everyone’s story: she’s telling hers, and she acknowledges that she has some advantages:

Honestly, I never expected to write this blog post because I just figured this is what every other woman that is working and has a baby must do, not something to make a big deal out of. But when I saw that email from Jason Calacanis and Jason Roberts, I just had to speak up so that more women can tell these guys that what they are doing is not extraordinary by any means. I mean come on, Jason Calacanis is rich, his wife stays at home and they have a night nanny. Not exactly a tough situation. What’s tough is single mothers and fathers trying to raise their kids by themselves. Me and the “Jasons” have supportive spouses who are at home for big chunks of time.

So moms dads out there that are doing a startup, tell the world YOUR story. Please! I need to meet more of you for the support and inspiration.

Starting, running and managing businesses, especially small ones, has been women’s work for a long long time, and that means mothers have done it. Mothers have done it a lot. But at the same time, I’m not keen to uncritically contribute to a superwoman culture: get back behind the desk woman! Sickness, disability, parenting and family and education and money demands and life preferences, these all vary a lot more than I would be reluctant to start a startup with a woman who had small children allows for. Sometimes women need to work with small children. Sometimes they need to not. Often it’s in between.

What’s your experience, if you’ve worked as a mother young children? If you’ve been an entrepreneur or business owner, do you think that that was uniformly harder than being an employee, or in some ways easier, or generally easier?

Linkspam is idealized into powerlessness (29th October, 2010)

  • San Francisco, USA: Women 2.0 PITCH Night, 4th November: Watch the finalists of the Startup Competition pitch live, learn firsthand from successful female startup founders how they grew their ideas into industry-changing businesses, and network with hundreds of Women 2.0 members (entrepreneurs, investors, startuppers, and technologists) at our biggest event of the year!
  • Apple’s tightly controlled App Store is selling a transphobic application, see solarbird’s initial discussion and addenda, including complaint avenues.
  • New Scientist is running a Flash fiction competition 2010: Forgotten futures. 350 words, including the title, and you grant them a non-exclusive right to republish.
  • Also on the subject of fiction, Baen has made the entire Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold , available for free in digital format.
  • hradzka discusses the Bechdel Test: mechanical approaches: On those occasions that a conversation does turn to why a work fails the Bechdel Test, there are basically two ways that conversation can go. It can turn into an activist discussion of sexism and society, or it can turn into a discussion of the mechanics of writing. There have been a lot of the former, but there haven’t been all that many of the latter.
  • There’s a UK geek calendar released as a fundraiser for The Libel Reform Campaign, largely featuring geek communicators (geeks who are writers, TV hosts, and so on). See their about page for image links: on first look it seems not to have really sexualised any of the geeks, including the women, very much. What do you think?
  • People involved in Ubuntu may know Amber Graner and her husband Pete. Unfortunately they lost their house to fire while away at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (their children and pets are all safe and well). Rikki Kite has a fundraiser.

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism” to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.

Linkspam barefoot in the kitchen (10th July, 2010)

  • Mystery and the Modern Woman: Tara Hunt writes about heterosexual dating, and men who are intimidated by heavy social networking “full disclosure” women.
  • Closing the Venture Capital Gender Gap: Astia’s CEO, Sharon Vosmek, writes about why she and Astia promote and support women entrepreneurs.
  • svollga points out a lot of irritating privilege fail in a discussion about the invisibility of queer characters in the current Doctor Who season.
  • Time to Hire a Housekeeper?: The study shows that highly productive faculty members, both male and female, employ others to help with core housework at a higher rate than others — but women do it much more often than men. (Note, there’s no discussion of any of the race, class or disability issues around doing housework or paying others for it.)
  • A Conversation with Ava Pope, physicist: Most physics majors don’t spend months carefully analyzing a few lines of poetry, let alone publish a paper on the research in a national publication. But Ava Pope wasn’t the average physics major.
  • skeptifem: Where are all the female skeptics at?: Anyone who has been in a skeptics group knows this discussion. Some dudes (and occasionally a few ladies) decide that it has something to do with the evolution of the mind and the innate ability of women to understand science or logic… These debates start because there is a noticable lack of women in skeptic groups, but also because statistically women are more likely to be religious or believe in stuff like psychics.

If you have links of interest, please share them in comments here, or if you’re a delicious user, tag them “geekfeminism†to bring them to our attention. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links in comments and on delicious.