Demystifying Cyber: Raenesia Jones Pays It Forward to Young Black Girls

Demystifying Cybersecurity highlights the experiences of Black practitioners, driving a critical conversation on race in the cybersecurity industry, and shining a light on Black experts in their fields.

This month, we spoke with Raenesia Jones, a cybersecurity operations analyst, about how her work keeps people safe and educates the next generation of Black women. “there are pervasive gender biases that have prevented women from going into cyber but I think it’s time we change that. I’d like for little girls to see someone who looks like them doing the work, so that they too can see themselves in this industry.”

Gender Diversity on California Corporate Boards Was Too Good To Last

California broke new ground for women when Governor Jerry Brown signed the first-in-the-nation requirement that publicly traded companies in the state have at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019, and two or three by the end of 2021. But last month, the law was deemed unconstitutional.

On May 23, California Secretary of State Shirley Weber announced that she will appeal the California ruling, which will take time and may not be successful. Without formal requirements, we can only hope a growing critical mass of women can change corporate culture that’s still merrily skating along with those unwritten “majority male quotas” that have been firmly in place for centuries.

Paid Family Leave Act: Get Real on Gender Gaps in Academia Now

There is significant gender inequity in higher education that serves to disparage women’s role and contribution in academia. While women outnumber men in university attendance, they are less represented in faculty and continually paid less than their counterparts.

Many attribute these inequities to starting a family, as the benefits many professors attribute to parenthood, are overshadowed by the challenges to research, funding and tenure recognized by faculty and institutions. Improved paid family leave policies would help overcome these barriers and make strides towards greater equity in academia.

For Women, the Time To Run Is Now

Start your engines, organize your campaign and submit your filing paperwork, ladies—because now is the time to run. Women are critically underrepresented in government, regardless of the level or branch.

Female candidates should be motivated, too. The last two election cycles marked record-breaking numbers of women running for office and ultimately winning. Research in political science (like the work of Jennifer Lawless and Richard Fox) shows that when women run, they win—but they do not run as often as men do. This disparity in declaring candidacies leads to the gender gap in politics. A government “of the people, by the people, for the people” must include the people who aren’t men.

Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation: Black Women Are Already Front-Runners in Statewide Primaries; Efforts to Pass ERA Ramp Up

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation.

This week: Black women establish themselves as early front-runners in statewide primaries; New Jersey must track data on the gender and race of appointees to state boards and commissions; efforts to pass the ERA in 2022; advances for women around the globe; RSVP for RepresentWomen’s Solutions Summit for a 21st Century Democracy; and more.

Keeping Score: NYC’s First Women-Majority Council Takes Office; Only 55% of Non-Parents Want Kids Someday; D.C. Students Get Free Period Products

This week: Nebraskans face one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the nation; New York City’s first women-majority city council takes office; Ahmaud Arbery’s murderers sentenced to life in prison; D.C. Council approved free menstrual products in all schools; the gender gap in higher education widens; and more.

Ten Steps Closer to Parity: Wins for Women in 2021

While the United States has a long way to go to achieve intersectional, gender-balanced governance, progress was still made in 2021. From historic appointments to record-breaking elections, women reached new milestones at every level of government this year.

So as difficult as it may be to find cause to celebrate in challenging times, here are 10 reasons to have hope for a more gender-inclusive future. 

The Government Has a Long History of Controlling Women—One That Never Ended

Abortion is not (just) a health issue. Whether we are willing to let women and people capable of becoming pregnant control their own bodies, for health or any other reason, is an equity issue—a question of who deserves bodily autonomy and freedom to reach their full potential.

Ultimately, abortion bans and restrictions are part of broader legal and societal structures that were unambiguously designed to not recognize women’s inherent equality.