What Got Us Talking at Women 2.0 This Week: April 25 Edition

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Check out the latest edition of our weekly Women 2.0 reading guide and join the conversation.

By Betsy Mikel (Editor, Women 2.0)

  • SpaceX, home of Women 2.0 conference speaker Gwynne Shotwell successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon 9 rocket to the International Space Station. As reported by Business Insider, “The Dragon spacecraft is carrying more than 4,000 pounds of supplies and equipment to the space station on the third of its 12 resupply missions required in their $1.6 billion contract with NASA.”

  • In “McDonald's Gave Me the “Girl's Toy” With My Happy Meal. So I Went to the CEO,” Slate reports on the finding of a little non-scientific experiment. They sent boys and girls, ages 7-11, into 15 McDonald’s stores to independently order a Happy Meal at the counter. They found that 92.9 percent of the time, the store, without asking, simply gave each child the toy that McDonald’s had designated for that child’s gender.

  • The discussion about sexim in the new HBO show “Silicon Valley” continues. In the Los Angeles Review of Books, Will Butler poses the question: “Does Silicon Valley the show have the responsibility to portray anything other than the familiar, nerdist, male-dominated tropes that still hold back Silicon Valley the place?”

  • On the Harvard Business Review Blog, CEO Avivah Wittenberg-Cox writes about the results her gender consultancy firm, 20-First, found by studying the top 300 companies in the world across the US, Europe and Asia. “Of the 1,164 executive committee members of America’s Top 100 companies, the ratio is still 83% men to 17% women.” Read more in “Study: Female Executives Make Progress, But Mostly in Support Functions.”

  • The White House created The Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship [PAGE]. And five of the 11 ambassadors are women. “Our PAGE Ambassadors will work to educate and inspire bright minds across the United States and around the world, helping them find pathways to start their own businesses, leading to greater peace, prosperity, and progress,” Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker told Forbes.

  • In “This Woman Is Helping Apple Save The Planet,” Wired profiles Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP of Environment Initiatives. Jackson left her job as head of the Environmental Protection Agency to take the role and is helping Apple green their manufacturing process.

  • We hear time and time again that for anyone to be successful in business and entrepreneurship, they need a good mentor. Turns out that’s not so easy for women. In a new study from the Social Science Business Network, researchers found that professors are less likely to mentor female and minority students. Check out Slate’s take on the news in “Tips for Finding a Great Mentor: Be White and Be Male.”

  • In “Metrics, A Story” Facebook product design director Julie Zhuo beautifully writes her own take on the difference between metrics and the big picture, and how one of those things matters more than the other: “Call it a mission or a raison d’être or a value statement or whatever. It should be summable in a single sentence. There should be one not just for the entire company, but also for every team and every project within that company. When people hear this, they should feel inspired. Like it’s something they’d be excited to get and make happen every morning.”

  • Code.org, the organization behind the nationally successful Hour of Code campaign, launches computer science programs in 30 public school districts. According to VentureBeat, “one of Code.org’s biggest goals is to get state governments and school districts to recognize and treat computer science as a core subject so that its availability becomes wider and more stable.”

  • In case you missed it: President Obama is coming to Silicon Valley to raise money to help Democratic candidates in the upcoming mid-term elections. Check out “Obama to visit Y Combinator because Sam Altman's home is too small.”

  • One of our favorite Women 2.0 posts this week: Our community of entrepreneurs and founders gave us their best hits for “An Entrepreneur’s Playlist; 19 Tracks for the Baddest Founders in Town.” Let us know what music you listen to get pumped up!

Read anything interesting on the web this week? Let us know in the comments!


About the author: Betsy Mikel is the managing editor of Women 2.0 and runs the content consultancy Aveck. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and a lifelong obsession with French language and culture. When she's not biking all over every city she visits to find its best taqueria, you can find Betsy on Twitter at @betsym.