It takes more than one CEO’s alleged behavior to cause 56 percent of women to leave technology related fields by mid-career, according to a Harvard Business Review study. That’s twice the rate that men leave the tech industry.
After all, 63 percent of women in STEM industries (science, technology engineering and math) have experienced sexual harassment, according to a 2008 study.
I can’t recommend that women work for startups in Portland.
Startup funders should keep holding executives accountable. Company cultures grow from the seeds planted by their leaders.
These companies need [qualified HR, skilled with workforce diversity issues], and our tech leaders should demand it.
Selena and Pete invite you to a Wikipedia Edit-a-thon! Join us and the Portland wiki community as we dive into editing the biggest, most fascinating, and most collaborative encyclopedia in human history. This informal event will help you get your bearings, create an account, and start hacking in this decade-old project.
Never edited a web page? Never fear! We will give you a background/overview of how things work, and suggest some easy first-timer edits. Or, if you’re an old hand, please join us and share your valuable knowledge! Continue reading →
Otherwise, chickens are laying eggs regularly, I’ve got a delicious looking crop of cherries developing in the front yard, and maybe some strawberries if the sun lasts for a few days. For the moment, I’m taking it easy today, reading a few books and relaxing in warmth that Portland has deserved for quite a few months now.
I wanted to continue talking about the perceptions stemming from the “quality of life” versus “financial success” juxtapositon from this slide:
A friend pointed out that maybe this issue is being framed in the wrong way for “outsiders”. If we’re going to pitch people on Portland being the best place to build a startup, values are certainly part of the equation, but what do investors want to know?
Maybe problem is similar to the process of gentrification… And as far as Portland’s software scene is concerned, we’re out of the blight, well into the “artists and weirdos make a home” phase and maybe just about to transition into “developers buy up a lot of land and artists start moving on” phase. But capital investment is in companies rather than land.
Maybe the story we as a city need to tell is that we want early adopter investors and more “artists and weirdos” who are passionate about what they do.
It’s a tough analogy, because we don’t have the same geographical or physical world indicators. When gentrification occurs, there aren’t always clear signs in the beginning. But as the process unfolds, people physically move in and out of a tight geographical area.
To put a spotlight on what’s going on with the tech industry, we need for some better indicators! Have a look at the employment graphs like the Oregon tech job employment indicator:
I don’t think it tells the whole story. There are also indicators about VC, but again, I don’t think it is capturing the nature of what is happening in Portland.
To start, I’m interested in a finer-grained look at the jobs associated with small software and IT firms. I’m not sure if there’s a way to pull that data out of what is typically tracked, but I’m going to try.
What indicators do you think we should be tracking?
Here’s an edited version of Thompson Morrison’s presentation about the software industry’s response to a series of surveys. The original presentation is available here. One of the key slides was about what folks here value:
The point I appreciated about this clip is that Portland’s software community *is* our competitive advantage.
I edited the video most for audio coherence. Sorry about the audio being a little out of sync.
Open data is really only as interesting as what we can do with it!
One sweet thing about ScraperWiki is that it enables quick creation of visualizations called ‘views’ from inside the wiki. They’ve got templates that use Google Visualization to help the process along.
I don’t have the entire data set, but this graph indicates that the recession had a significant negative impact on the creation rate of new businesses in Oregon.
I just started a new scraper job to pull more information about people and the places where the businesses are located. When that job is done, I hope to create a few more fun visualizations with this data.
UPDATE: I’m playing around more, and here’s the embedded version of the graph if you click through (takes a while to load!). Continue reading →