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River Publishers Series in Innovation and Change in Education - Cross-cultural Perspective 

The Internet of Women

Accelerating Culture Change

Nada Anid, New York Institute of Technology, USA
Laurie Cantileno, Cisco
Monique J. Morrow, Cisco
Rahilla Zafar, ConsenSys

ISBN: 9788793379688
e-ISBN: 9788793379671

Price: € 27.00

Available: September 2016

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Additional Stories Open Access  


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.

Endorsements and Reviews:

"The Internet of Women provides genuine, serious examples from over 30 countries of how real life civic engagement, serious investment, and technology training gives women a voice and the means to get stuff done."

-Craig Newmark, Founder craigslist and craigconnects

"In Saudi Arabia and much of the Arab world, women are outnumbering men as graduates in computer science and engineering. The Internet of Women captures this incredible evolution in the region and highlights how technology can be an equalizer globally."

-HRH Princess Reema bint Bandar Al Saud, CEO of Alf Khair

"Our lack of knowledge about how our minds really work continues. We still say things like "right brain" and "left brain" when referring to either creatives or scientists, whereas technology was originally developed, and referred to by both. In fact, in the Victorian era, 'technology' was referred to as "useful arts" this then evolved into the Greek term techne, "science of art" and then came the German term, 'technik, "translated ideas" which became technology. Perhaps in order to be an excellent technologist, one has to be a creative/artistic thinker. The more thought we give towards the emotional, artistic and creative sides to technology will surely result in more of a positive impact in long term versus just short term needs. The Internet of Women, are just that ensemble. Looking beyond the horizon. "

-Amy Redford, President of Boxspring Entertainment
-Clare Munn, CoFounder of Boxspring Entertainment

"For too long, women in the working world have been underpaid and undervalued. This is changing and it must if we are to produce economic growth that will propel our civilization forward in the 21st Century. I am seeing increasing numbers of women in top management positions. Google is forcefully correcting compensation asymmetry as it establishes equal pay for equal work, particularly at the point of entry into the Google workforce. This trend should and must be reinforced - it is irrational to do otherwise. "

-Vint Cerf, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google

"We will soon enter an economy where tailoring jobs for people is more cost-effective than shaping people to fit job slots. From then on, raising the value of people will be the largest service market, larger than the entire world economy today. Because women are so undervalued, the Internet of Women is well positioned to become a frontrunner of economic growth. With a high ROI on gender equality, holding back women from reaching their full potential will come at an ever higher price. The disruptive innovation economy is targeting gender inequality. "

-David Nordfors, CEO IIIJ and co-chair i4j Innovation for Jobs

"We are at a point in history where women are leading the conversations around change from technology, social engagement, consumer products, media, medicine and every vertical you can think of. The Internet of Women amplifies these female voices into a choir that can be heard from every continent around the globe."

-Joanne Wilson, Gotham Gal Ventures

"With the transition to a digital economy, the low representation of women among computer science professionals globally risks leaving not only women, but entire countries behind. The Internet of Women shines a light on the increasingly pressing importance of fully engaging women in building and shaping our online experiences."

-Ann Mei Chang, Chief Innovation Officer and Executive Director, U.S. Global Development Lab, USAID

"The Internet is changing how we communicate and interact in deep and lasting ways. Technology, laws, social norms, and the substance of published materials all define how the Internet will shape society. It's vitally important that we embrace the opportunities the Internet offers, and simultaneously diminish the uglier sides of human interaction it can bring to the fore. The unique experience and perspective of women must play a central role in all aspects of how we build the Internet. If we -- men and women -- want to bring that about, we should pay close attention to what women have already achieved, what has worked well, and what women envision for the future. The Internet of Women presents many compelling examples of women's leadership, and invites us all to continue in that exploration."

-Pete Forsyth, Founder, Wiki Strategies; Senior Editor, English language Wikipedia

"Empowering women is one of the most powerful engines of economic growth, and this book highlights the important role that technology can play in jumpstarting that engine."

-Adam Grant, Wharton professor and New York Times bestselling author of ORIGINALS and GIVE AND TAKE

"I was raised believing you had a moral obligation to make the world a better place, not just for yourself but for others. However, changing the world requires knowing the world, both its histories and the remarkable myriad of its present states. Change also requires patience, persistence and passion. And if you are lucky, you are not alone. The Internet of Women reminds me powerfully that many of us are committed to making better worlds and that our stories and voices matter. The book is an important contribution to our conversations about the role of women in the world, about how technology might help create new possibilities and about the paths that are already being forged."

-Genevieve Bell, Intel Sr Fellow & VP.

"Technology companies need to constantly evolve to remain successful. At Vonage, this is one of our core values, to innovate relentlessly. To live up to that goal, we need to attract the best talent. It's well known that there are far fewer women than men in STEM professions, and to attract more women, we need to show them that there are incredible opportunities. One of the great things about this book is that it brings together the stories of many successful women and highlights not just their accomplishments, but the journey to success. I hope this book will inspire more women to choose careers in technology, which is incredibly important to ensure an ever-growing talent pool of technology experts."

- Alan Masarek, Vonage CEO


Technology Education, Female Founders, Women in Technology, Women in Science, Lifelong Learning, Social Innovation, Gender Equality, Global Case Studies, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Millennial Development Goals, Cybersecurity

Additional Stories Open Access:

#WomenVotes Making History
By Nicole Wild Merl

The History and Opportunities for Women in Technology in South Korea
By Jeannie Kim-Han