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Vivek Wadhwa is an entrepreneur turned academic. You can follow him on Twitter at @ vwadhwa and find his research at www.wadhwa.com. First published in The Wall Street Journal.

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industry. There are many stories of women attending conferences and being groped or disparaged. They tell of venture capitalists who ask humiliating questions such as, “What does your husband think about your being an entrepreneur?” Women in business tell of being sidelined. Girls tell of being made fun of or discouraged from taking an interest in engineering and mathematics. Women highlight the common stereotypes such as in the film The Social Network in which men were writing code and many of the women were dancing around in their underwear. But women also said that they believe things are changing for the better. Although the number of women studying computer science has fallen, National Science Foundation data show that girls now match boys in mathematical achievement. In the United States, 140 women enroll in higher education for every 100 men who do. Women earn more than 50% of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees, and nearly 50% of all doctorates. Companies, such as Xerox, that make the effort to recruit women and create womenfriendly workplaces are seeing great benefit. Xerox has had two consecutive women CEOs—first Anne Mulcahy and now Ursula Burns. Its CFO is a woman, as are its controller, its chief marketing officer and its CTO. It also doesn’t have the problem that companies such as Twitter say that they do—that they can’t find women engineers and executives. As Xerox CTO, Sophie Vandebroek, (a co-author of Innovating Women) says: “Incollege hiring, which is most of our engineering hiring, well over 40% are women. Some years, it was even more than 50% ... As you know, in college about 25% [engineering and computer science majors], and in industry about 10–12% of engineers are women. So, if you can create a culture and environment where people can truly be themselves, they can not only bring their intellect to work, but also their passion and their heart to work. Number one they’ll be much more creative, they’ll be much more entrepreneurial. But you’ll also be able to attract people from all different colors, from different genders, different ages.” Maybe Twitter should add one of the great women at the helm of Xerox to its board? Vandebroek comes with my highest recommendation. n

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December 2013 - January 2014 India Currents  

Southern California Edition

December 2013 - January 2014 India Currents  

Southern California Edition

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