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River Publishers, 2016) – Short Version

Female scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians worldwide are making historic contributions to their fields. The modern workforce is closer to gender-equal than it has ever been, and many efforts are in place to support further progress. The Internet of Women provides an exciting look at personal narratives and case studies of female leaders and cultural shifts around the globe that illustrate this promising trend.

From the United Nations’ emphasis on girls and technology education in the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to the increased female labor force in Zambia, a policy change that was inspired by the MDGs (UN Millennial Development Goals), The Internet of Women captures stunning examples of progress from around the world and men working hand in hand with women advocating for cultural change.

Scholars and practitioners lament the lack of women leading and working in leading organizations in the technology industry. Gender equality and female participation in the tech field is critical to both developing and developed economies; nevertheless, this gap remains a global phenomenon.

The lack of female leadership is particularly extreme at the highest echelons of leading technology organizations. Few publicly traded tech companies have female CEOs – in fact, most nations have zero female leadership in the tech industry.

This gap does indicate a slow pace of progress for gender equality in tech employment. Women’s pay still lags nearly a decade behind, according to the World Economic Forum, meaning that women’s on average pay today is the equivalent to that of similarly qualified and similarly employed men in 2006. Without significant progress, the current rate of change will not lead to parity for 118 years, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

However there’s significant work being done to shift this tide. Take for instance Michelle Lee, the first female Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reflects on her childhood Girl Scout badge in sewing and cooking and how that memory inspired to create an IP badge that exposes young women to the process of invention. Social entrepreneur, investor, and Malala Fund co-founder Shiza Shahid shares her efforts beginning from mentoring young women in Pakistan to her current work directing more investment to women innovators around the globe. And Elizabeth Isele, a senior fellow in Social Innovation at Babson College, shares her research on women and ageism saying we need to retire the word retirement.

The book is divided into six parts, each with unique areas of focus:
•    Millennials Leading: Exploring Challenges and Opportunities Facing the Next Generation of Women in Technology
•    Men and Women Empowering One Another
•    Bold Leadership: Women Changing the Culture of Investment and Entrepreneurship
•    Educating for the 21st Century
•    Breaking the Glass Ceiling: A Generation of Women Forging into Technology Leadership
•    Emerging Fields of Technology
The Internet of Women gathers examples about the increasingly inclusive and progressive gender culture in technology from over 30 countries. Stories range from an entrepreneur in Dubai partnering with private and public sector entities to accelerate blockchain technology to a young British woman moving to Silicon Valley to launch an artificial intelligence platform and incubator.

The book is intended for corporations, academic institutions, the private sector, government agencies, gender experts, and the general public, and its key benefit is to let the reader understand a path towards implementing diversity overall globally. It also showcases the strategies, tools, and tactical execution on how create cultural change in all parts of the world.

Comment by Prof. Dr. Susanne Ihsen, Professor for Gender in Engineering, Technical University Munich (TUM)
The Internet Of Women. Accelerating Cultural Change” (2016 River Publishers) is a story book by its best. It demonstrates the strength of women in Informatics and Computer Science but as well in management and leadership in industry, science and society. Stories of and over women in SET from all over the world show impressively, that the integration of a gender perspective in science and technology is unstoppable! That is a very good message in times of backlash against equal opportunities for women and minorities. The book is recommendable for all engineering lecturers to integrate the authors and their stories as role models into their lectures. The message “We would like to invite women for lectures for our next engineering conference, if we would know some” is obsolete now. And it is an optimistic sign for young female students, engineers and researchers, never to give up, but to network and be successful, wherever you are!


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