8 Inefficiencies in the Architecture + Design Industry (and possible solutions)

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MRad

LOS ANGELES, California – (February 7, 2018) – Every industry has their fair share of inefficiencies which can stifle production. But once in a while, a leader comes along who can not only identify the problems, but also offer solutions. These thought leaders have the ability to revolutionize an industry. The world of architecture and design is not immune to inefficiencies, but one industry leader has some ideas on how to fix the broken system.

“You never bathe in the same river twice, because things change, which keeps everything fresh and interesting,” explains Matthew Rosenberg, the founder of M-Rad Architecture + Design, located in Los Angeles. “The same goes for the architecture and design field, where for far too long the river was standing idle, becoming stagnant. Our business model and proposed solutions are helping to get it flowing once again.”

As a forward thinker in the field, Rosenberg has identified 8 major inefficiencies in the architecture and design industry, as well as a solution for each of them. They include:

  1. PROBLEM: Brokers. Paying a middleman to find projects takes away revenue for the architect.
    SOLUTION: Cut out the Broker by forming relationships directly with developers and clients.
  2. PROBLEM:Underpaid, overworked designers and architects. The architecture industry is notorious for low wages, heavy workload, stressful deadlines until you “make it” to the top.
    SOLUTION: Allow the designers and architects to take equity in their projects.
  3. PROBLEM:Designing independently from actual community needs.  When architecture firms design a building for a client without considering the needs and wants of the surrounding area, the project may not benefit the community or the client.
    SOLUTION: Use a positioning tactic to understand what the community is lacking and incorporate these ideas into the project.
  4. PROBLEM:The industry is heavily reliant on unpredictable markets. With the real estate marketing and cost of living in constant flux, it’s difficult to predict the stability of the industry, which is reliant on the financial status of the client.
    SOLUTION: Consistency, strategic business moves, and keeping an eye on markets allows architecture and design firms to be proactive and shift their practice to better suit the economy.
  5. PROBLEM:City planning process and restrictions. Sometimes designing or building structures takes many years, as they are stuck in the city planning process. One minor mistake can set a project back months or sometimes even years.
    SOLUTION: It can be difficult to get around or speed up the city planning process, but being involved in the community, town hall meetings, and voting on city measures can help improve the process.
  6. PROBLEM:Politics within the industry. Politics occur in every industry, but when millions of dollars are exchanged, expectations are high, and egos can get in the way of business.  The political elements in Architecture can get sticky.
    SOLUTION: Stay professional and only partner/work with people who have positive reputations.
  7. PROBLEM:The scope of the architect is becoming smaller. Technology advancements cause more complex buildings, which causes increase in liability and legal aggression which prompts architects to hand off elements of the design process to “experts in their field,” ultimately chipping away the responsibility and profits of the architect.
    SOLUTION: Increase the scope of the architect.
  8. PROBLEM:Stealing intellectual property. It’s hard to determine when a design is stolen or original.
    SOLUTION: No real solution. Can try to prevent your design being stolen by trademarking, keeping records, photographing the design progress, certifying the design, and by being careful of releasing designs to public view.

“At our firm, we have gone to great lengths to determine effective solutions to the inefficiencies within the architecture and design field,” added Rosenberg. “By making these changes, we are benefiting those who work in the field, as well as those we build the projects for. It’s a win-win for everyone to create the most efficient field that we can.”

Rosenberg‘s firm is on a mission to create better communities, neighborhoods, and cities. Their system includes a multi-faceted approach that starts with pre-architecture, maintains during the architecture phase, and continues during post-architecture.

Born and raised in Saskatoon, Canada, Rosenberg spent nine years studying architecture and environmental design. Rosenberg has earned bachelor degrees in fine arts and environmental design in architecture, as well as a master degree in architecture. When he was ready to bring his architectural influence back to the West, he headed to Los Angeles to launch M-Rad and start making a difference.

About M-Rad Architecture

M-Rad Architecture + Design, based in Los Angeles, is revolutionizing the industry by revealing inefficiencies and creating solutions to universal problems. Their multi-faceted business model, allows M-Rad to expand the scope of the architect and build resilient communities through enhanced experiences. The M-Rad team is currently working on projects around the world; from apartment buildings in Los Angeles, to a private members club in Philadelphia, to a boutique hotel in Taipei. They have created mixed-use towers, luxury hotels, sports parks, and more. For additional information on the company and to view their unique business model, visit: https://www.m-rad.com.

 

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Here’s How This Latina Navigated Her Transition From Finance To Tech

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Marlene Arroyo may have started her career in finance, but it was the human aspect of any job that always drew her in. From Dell to her current role as Vice President of People Operations at Liftoff Mobile Inc., a high growth tech company in Silicon Valley, she has made it her career mission to champion employees and embrace how their humanity impacts their jobs.It was knowing what her career mission was at its core that made it possible for her to transition from one career path to the next.

“Philosophically, it became apparent to me that human resources was my calling when, as a finance professional, I’d enjoy spending most of my time dissecting costs associated to SG&A, training, hiring and coaching,” shares Arroyo. “Mechanically, the way I was able to make this transition was by having informational meetings with HR executives, taking evening courses, asking for help and being open about my aspirations to my sponsors. While the art of Human Resources came naturally to me, to differentiate myself, I needed to supercharge the impact I delivered by drawing from my finance experience and ensuring that my strategic recommendation were backed by data.”

Now, she uses her skill-set to help others achieve the kind of growth that she’s constantly challenged herself to work towards.

“My biggest motivation [through this journey] has been my family,” says Arroyo. “I feel incredibly blessed to be the daughter of immigrant parents who instilled in me work ethic and resilience. While my parents still do not completely understand what I do, they know I work hard and they are my biggest fans. Each education milestone and career progression has been theirs as well. Their American Dream lives in me and owning that, keeps me motivated .”

Growing up in the Latinx culture and within her own family unit can explain in part why Arroyo has felt the desire to pay it forward to other generations by way of her career.

Below she shares advice for Latinxs who are searching for advice on how to land their dream job, how to self-care if you’re in the position of constantly pouring into others, and how to make sure you’re learning the most from your current job.

Vivian Nunez: How has your Latinidad influenced your career?

Marlene Arroyo: Passion, humility, honor, perseverance – are all a part of my core values that I hold because of my Latinidad. Knowing that there is a lot more work to be done to help young Latinas see that they, too, can achieve their goals, keeps me in the arena.

Continue onto Forbes to read the complete article.

UCLA neurosurgeon named to National Academy of Medicine

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Election honors Dr. Linda Liau’s contributions to health care and science

Dr. Linda Liau, an internationally renowned neurosurgeon-scientist and chair of the neurosurgery department at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has been elected by her peers to the National Academy of Medicine, one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine.

Membership honors people who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievements, commitment to service and contributions to the advancement of the medical sciences, health care and public health.

A scientist in UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, Liau has devoted the past 25 years to developing and refining treatment strategies for glioblastoma, the most deadly form of brain tumor. Her research in the early 1990s led to her creating one of the first personalized vaccines, using a patient’s own tumor specimen and white blood cells to activate the immune system to fight off cancer.

“I have always had a huge drive to prove that things that seem impossible can actually be possible someday,” Liau said. “When I first started working on brain tumor immunotherapy, everyone told me that you can’t mount an immune response in the brain. Now we know that’s not true.”

Recognized for her expertise in complicated tumor surgery, Liau attracts patients from around the world and has performed more than 2,000 brain tumor surgeries. Her research has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health for the past two decades, and she has written more than 160 research articles, along with several book chapters and textbooks.

She also is a trailblazer in her specialty: Just 6 percent of licensed neurosurgeons in the U.S. are female, and Liau is only the second woman in the nation — and the first Asian-American woman — to lead an academic department of neurosurgery. As chair, Liau directs a clinical team of more than 60 neurosurgeons, neuroscientists, residents, fellows and other specialists in the UCLA Department of Neurosurgery, one of the world’s foremost centers for neurosurgical research, clinical care and education.

Continue onto UCLA Newsroom to read the complete article.

30 brilliant networking conversation starters

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Networking

When it comes to conversation, you’re a natural. You can chat up a storm with just about anyone, you’re a pro at listening, and you love meeting and connecting with new people.

But when it comes to starting that networking conversation? That’s a different story.

This is one of the most common concerns we hear about networking: How do you just walk up to someone you don’t know at an event—and start talking?

Well, it’s a tad easier than it sounds. Fact is, no one’s going to turn you away if you walk up, smile, and say, “I’m so-and-so. Nice to meet you.” In fact, others will probably be relieved that someone else started the conversation!

But, the process is definitely a lot easier when you have a few go-to icebreakers in your back pocket. So, we’ve put together a handy list to refer to before your next event—some of our own lines, a few favorites from our career expert friends, and icebreakers our Twitter and Facebook followers have used, too!

The Classics

When in doubt, just try the basics: asking what someone does, inquiring why he or she is at the event, or even just reaching out your hand and saying hi.

  • 1. “What’s your favorite conversation starter at a networking event?” – Connie B.
  • 2. “So, what do you do?” It gets them talking first and you can think about how to approach the conversation or how you could possibly work together. – @GrowSouthwest
  • 4. “Hi there! I’m Michelle. What are you passionate about?” – Michelle E.
  • 5. “What’s your story?” It always sparks a fascinating and non-generic conversation. – @leslieforman

Location, Location, Location

No matter what, you’ve got at least a couple things in common with every person in the room: the event you’re attending, the place it’s being held at, and the food and drink you’re consuming. Use that to your advantage by striking up conversation about what’s going on around you.

  • 6. If I’m at an event with food, I’ll often use that as a conversation starter, à la “I can’t stop eating these meatballs. Have you tried them?” – @erinaceously
  • 7. “How did you hear about this event?” – @myuliyam
  • 8. “It’s so hot (or cold) in here.” Hey, maybe it is, maybe it isn’t, but the person will either agree or disagree, and pretty soon you’re talking about weather patterns, your best umbrella, and then your career goals. – Jessica Gordon for The Muse
  • 9. “I’m feeling pretty overwhelmed by the deluge of info that’s being firehosed at us today. Is there one nugget of brilliance that’s really resonating with you?” – Alexandra Franzen
  • 10. “What a beautiful venue. Have you been here before?”

The Newsworthy

Another thing you have in common with, well, everyone? What happened in your city or the world today. While you don’t want to start up any hot political debates, some light-hearted headline sharing is a great way to break the ice.

  • 11.“What do you think about [insert topic germane to the event or person here]?” I’m biased: News is a great engagement tool. – @thatsportsgirl
  • 12. “Wow, I just can’t believe all the crazy news headlines today. What a week!”
  • 13. “Any chance you read the news today? I missed it, and I’m dying to know what’s happening with [insert news topic here].”
  • 14. “So, was it a pain for you to get here?” The mode of transportation and location in the city are always on peoples’ minds. There’s bound to be a story about it. – Jessica Gordon for The Muse
  • 15. “Did you catch the game last night?” It’s a classic, but it’s a classic for a reason

The Introverts

If you’re an introvert, walking into a room full of unknown people can feel extra intimidating. One of our favorite approaches is to look toward the outskirts of the room and find someone who looks a little lonely. Maybe that woman sitting by herself at the table doesn’t know anyone and is just hoping that someone will come talk to her. Be that person, and try one of these lines.

  • 16. “Man, these networking events can be so crazy. Mind if I join you over here where it’s a little quieter?” – Careerealism
  • 17. “As we’re both here at the (buffet, bar, waiting room), I feel I should introduce myself. I’m [name] from [company].” – @ainegreaney
  • 18. I like to compliment people on their clothes and accessories. I find this approach to be more friendly and less about professionally connecting, especially if you’re at a networking event. I believe both men and women can compliment each other on their choice of attire and use it as a conversation starter! – @MsMeganGrace
  • 19. “Excuse me. Do you know how much a polar bear weighs? Enough to break the ice! Hi, I’m Andi. Nice to meet you.” – Andrea M.
  • 20. “Man, I hate networking.” If you sense a fellow party-goer has similar misanthropic tendencies, walk up and start a conversation about your mutual distaste. – Jessica Gordon for The Muse
  • Continue on to The Muse to read the complete article.

    Applications Open: City Will Offer Free Design Assistance To Promote Commercial Corridors In Low-To-Moderate Income Communities

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    New York – NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) Commissioner Gregg Bishop recently announced that the City will offer free design assistance to promote commercial corridors in low-to-moderate income communities. Design services will be offered through SBS’ Neighborhood Design Lab program, which has already helped community-based organizations (CBOs) successfully implement branding campaigns worth up to $20,000 each.

    Neighborhood Design Lab teaches CBOs how to design marketing campaigns that promote local businesses, engage local residents, and attract customers.

    While visual design is a key component in boosting neighborhoods, many CBOs lack the necessary funding to put towards design expertise. CBOs can apply now through October 12th, 2018 to join Neighborhood Design Lab’s second cohort.

    “Neighborhood Design Lab supports community organizations in promoting their neighborhoods in their own words,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services. “Through visual design, community organizations can share the value of their neighborhood with fellow New Yorkers and global visitors.”

    About Neighborhood Design Lab

    Neighborhood Design Lab works in partnership with the Worldstudio to pair CBOs with a professional designer to brainstorm, plan, and carry out a creative design event or campaign that connects to a long-term vision for a commercial corridor. The following fiscal year 2018 participants successfully completed design projects.

    • Alliance for Coney Island launched the Coney Island for Everyone! marketing campaign;
    • Kingsbridge-Riverdale-Van Cortlandt Development Corporation created a logo and branding for the newly established Marble Hill Merchants Association;
    • Northfield Community Local Development Corporation introduced a marketing campaign highlighting Port Richmond Avenue on Staten Island aka “The Avenue”; And
    • Union Settlement built the East Harlem | Working Together marketing campaign.

    For more information or to apply, visit nyc.gov/neighborhoods. Four CBOs will be selected to participate in this next round of the program.

    Neighborhood Design Lab Success

    Union Settlement joined Neighborhood Design Lab with a long-term goal of branding East Harlem as a destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike to explore the longstanding history, culture and tradition. Union Settlement found that East Harlem was being perceived as unsafe by potential visitors, which hurt local business. Through Neighborhood Design Lab, Union Settlement launched a promotional campaign called East Harlem | Working Together which included banners, information brochures, and window decal to create a welcoming environment. The campaign created a East Harlem | Working Together YouTube channel to promote local businesses. Pablo Guzman of Union Settlement’s Business Development Center stated the following regarding Union Settlement’s experience with the program:

    “It was a great pleasure for Union Settlement to be part of this program,” said Pablo Guzman. “The beautiful design materials created through Neighborhood Design Lab help us bring merchants of East Harlem together.”

    About the Department of Small Business Services (SBS)

    SBS helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building vibrant neighborhoods across the five boroughs. For more information, visit nyc.gov/sbs or call 311.

    Donna Strickland is the 3rd woman ever to win the Nobel prize in physics

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    “I thought there might have been more,” Strickland said, reacting to her win. She shares the prize with two other laser physicists.

    The 2018 Nobel prize in physics has been awarded to three scientists — including one woman — for advancing the science of lasers and creating extremely useful tools out of laser beams.

    The winners include Arthur Ashkin, 96, a retired American physicist who worked Bell Labs; Gerard Mourou, 74, now at the École Polytechnique in France and University of Michigan; and Donna Strickland, 59, now at the University of Waterloo in Canada.

    These scientists are responsible for two important inventions. One is laser tweezers, which allow scientists to manipulate microscopic particles (often viruses and bacteria) within a laser beam. The second is a technology that led to the rapid increase of laser beam intensity, which has allowed for myriad laser-based tools, including the beams commonly used in laser eye surgery.

    Ashkin, who took half of the $1 million prize, invented the optical (i.e., laser) tweezers in his work with Bell Labs in the 1980s. Mourou and Strickland worked on laser amplification at the University of Rochester, also in the 1980s.

    Astonishingly, Strickland is just the third woman to have ever won the Nobel prize in physics. The prize has not been awarded to a woman since 1963 when Maria Goeppert-Mayer won for her work on atomic structure. That was 55 years ago! The only time a woman was awarded the prize before that was in 1903 when Marie Curie won for her work on radioactivity.

    During the Nobel Prize press conference Tuesday morning, Strickland was reminded by a reporter she was the just third woman to win, and immediately responded, “Is that all, really? I thought there might have been more.”

    She went on: “We need to celebrate women physicists because we’re out there. Hopefully, in time, it will start to move forward at a faster rate.” The Nobel committee has long been criticized for neglecting to honor women (who have been denied prizes, despite being behindsome incredible discoveries in recent decades.)

    Why laser physics is worthy of a Nobel Prize

    The Nobel prizes award discoveries and inventions that lead to the betterment of humanity. Strickland, and co-inventor Gerard Mourou, did just that. After lasers, which are focused beams of light, were first invented in the 1960s, the power and intensity they could reach quickly plateaued. That’s where Strickland and Mourou came in.

    Continue onto Vox to read the complete article.

    Digital Skills Help Narrow the Workplace Gender Gap

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    woman-typing and talking on phone

    Digitally savvy women are helping to close the gender gap in the workplace.

    And digital fluency, the extent to which people embrace and use digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective, plays a key role in helping women achieve gender equality and level the playing field.

    A new research report from Accenture—Getting to Equal: How Digital is Helping Close the Gender Gap at Work—provides empirical proof that women are using digital skills to gain an edge in preparing for work, finding work and advancing at work. The report provides ample evidence that digital fluency acts as an accelerant at every stage of a woman’s career—a powerful one in both education and employment and an increasingly important factor for advancing into the ranks of leadership.

    If governments and businesses can double the pace at which women become digitally fluent, gender equality could be achieved in 25 years in developed nations, versus 50 years at the current pace. Gender equality in the workplace could be achieved in 45 years in developing nations, versus 85 years at the current pace.

    “Women represent an untapped talent pool that can help fill the gap between the skills needed to stay competitive and the talent available,” said Pierre Nanterme, Accenture’s chairman and chief executive officer. “There is a clear opportunity for governments and businesses to collaborate on efforts that will empower more women with digital skills—and accelerate gender equality in the workforce.”

    Although digital fluency clearly helps women train for and gain employment, the relationship between digital fluency and women’s advancement is not as significant. This is expected to change as more millennial women and digital natives move into management; the research found that in the United States, six in 10 millennial women surveyed aspire to be in leadership positions.

    While the research determined that digital fluency is having a positive impact on pay for both men and women, the gap in pay between genders is still not closing. Men are, by far, the dominant earners by household across all three generations—Millennials, Gen X, and Baby Boomers.

    “There are many ways to narrow the gender gap in the workplace, but digital is a very promising avenue,” said Julie Sweet, Accenture’s group chief executive for North America. “This is a powerful message for all women and girls. Continuously developing and growing your ability to use digital technologies, both at home and in the workplace, has a clear and positive effect at every stage of your career. And it provides a distinct advantage, as businesses and governments seek to fill the jobs that support today’s growing economy.”

    Source: Accenture

    The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing is going on now!

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    The Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC), going on now through September 28 in Houston, TX, is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. It is produced by AnitaB.org and presented in partnership with Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). More than 20,000 people from around the world have joined for three days of networking, learning, and hearing from an incredible lineup of speakers.

    Speakers include: Justine Cassell, Associate Dean of Technology Strategy and Impact, Carnegie Mellon University–School of Computer Science; Jessica O. Matthews, Founder & CEO, Uncharted Power; Padmasree Warrior, CEO & Chief Development Officer, NIO U.S.

    If you weren’t able to secure a registration, subscribe to the GHC General Newsletter to get information about how you can participate via livestreaming, viewing parties, social media, and blog posts from community members. Find out more about Anitab.org here. Look for event highlights at ghc.anitab.org.

    “We envision a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build it.”

    Preparing Students for Science and Technology Jobs

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    student looking through microscope

    Verizon launched #weneedmore, a national campaign to call attention to the millions of students across the United States, especially those from underserved communities, who lack technology in schools and exposure to careers in the science and technology sector.

    #weneedmore is driven by a rallying cry that “we need more” kids—starting in middle school—to receive technology tools, resources, and instruction so that they can compete for jobs of tomorrow. As of today, there are more than 4 million jobs in science, technology engineering, and math fields. Verizon’s efforts build on five years and more than $160 million invested in building and sustaining programs across the country that provide free technology, access and immersive, hands-on learning to students and teachers, particularly in underserved and minority communities.

    “I’ve met hundreds of kids across the country who want to create a better future for themselves, but many don’t know the first step in acquiring the science and technology skills they need to compete in a digital economy,” said Rose Kirk, chief corporate social responsibility officer, Verizon. “We want people everywhere to participate in ‘weneedmore’ to show these kids that we’re behind them and give them an equal shot at success.”

    The #weneedmore campaign is powered by a vibrant content hub (weneedmore.com), along with a yearlong series of events and social activations to spur campaign engagement. The online hub is a destination where students, parents, and teachers can view, share, and interact with content designed to spark students’ curiosity and interest in science and technology. Additionally, select Verizon retail stores will offer opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience in virtual reality, 3-D printing, and robotics from experts.

    To learn more about #weneedmore and how to support bringing hands-on learning in science and technology to students across the country, visit weneedmore.com.

    JP Morgan Chase for LGBT inclusion

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    Bill Kapfer Recognized for Going the Extra Mile

    The National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) presented Bill Kapfer, Global Head of Supplier Diversity with a special recognition—The Champion of Enterprise Award. The organization wanted to recognize Bill for his tireless efforts in fostering success for LGBT business owners and executives.

    The Champion of Enterprise is among the highest honors presented by the NGLCC and recognizes an LGBT or allied person that has gone the extra mile to support LGBT equality & business opportunity.

    As Bill has stated before, “True inclusion goes beyond being an equal opportunity employer — it requires everyday actions to encourage and foster authenticity, building a culture that includes all people.”

    This continues to reign try as JPMorgan Chase Receives the HRC/NGLCC Apex Award

    At the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 Conference in Philadelphia, JPMorgan Chase was recognized with the 2018 Apex award.

    This award recognizes companies that are living the values embodied by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) and Human Rights Campaign (HRC).

    Women in Computer Science: 6 Assumptions to Avoid

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    women-computer-science

    The shortage of women in computer science is no secret. It’s been a hot topic in recent years, with numerous organizations and campaigns rallying to increase the number of women in jobs related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

    But the facts remain. Though interest and aptitude in STEM courses are about equal for both genders in lower grades, by the time kids hit high school, The National Science Board reports that male students take Engineering, Computer Science and Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science classes in much larger percentages than female students.

    The disparity only widens from there. Less than 20 percent of all bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Engineering are earned by women. The reason for this, according to research published by Frontiers in Psychology, is partially due to social barriers—both real and perceived.

    The study argues that many women choose not to pursue Computer Science because they believe stereotypes about the kind of people who work in the field—and don’t see themselves fitting in with those stereotypes. In this way, perceptions can shape career paths.

    But STEM careers can be lucrative and full of opportunity. Some reports indicate the demand for Computer Science graduates is higher than universities can churn them out. Additionally, computer scientists have a hand in creating the very tools that shape society. With more women at the helm of those inventions and decisions, other areas of implicit gender bias might be neutralized.

    As you can see, there are more than a few good reasons for women to get into STEM careers. We connected with some prominent female tech professionals to get their views on some of the commonly held beliefs that may be keeping women away from the field.

    Common misconceptions keeping women from computer science jobs:

    1. The math is impossibly difficult

    This misconception thrives for both genders, but in a society where girls have been historically discouraged from pursuing mathematics as an academic interest, it disproportionately impacts women.

    “Super advanced math isn’t necessary to be good at computer science,” says Milecia McGregor, founder of Flipped Coding. “The real focus is on logical thinking skills.” McGregor explains that designing algorithms or an architecture depends more on being able to see how the current state is going to affect the next state. While math is definitely still involved, McGregor says many computer scientists don’t need more than college-level algebra to get by.

    “The problem is usually that equations get really long or have a lot of different symbols, and it makes things look more complicated than they are,” McGregor says. “As long as someone is willing to take the time to really analyze what’s happening logically, they can figure out how to do their calculations without a lot of math knowledge.”

    1. The work environment is hostile to women

    “Especially today, with the media focused on the lack of women in tech, I think young women might expect a hostile work environment,” says Margaret Groves, founder of Engineered Process Improvement. “Or they at least expect to be a stranger in a strange land.”

    Groves says while it’s true that women still stand out in many of the STEM fields, that high level of visibility doesn’t mean the work environment will be hostile. “I remember being 24, on a work trip and calling my mother saying, ‘This is a meeting of 50 people, and I’m the only woman.’ She said, ‘Well, at least they’ll remember you!’and she was right.”

    Drawing visibility and standing out from the crowd automatically gives you some extra power. “You’ll stand out in meetings, in presentations and in projects,” Groves says. “No one will be able to forget who you are. In business, that’s extremely valuable.”

    This is not to say that women won’t experience any hostility. Groves says the early days of her career were sprinkled with men talking over or ignoring her. “I’d wonder if my whole career would be like that.” But Groves soon realized much of the problem was just with certain individuals.

    In these cases, Groves advises everyone to document offensive instances and individuals and recognize that the bias is their issue, not yours. Bias cuts in many directions as well. Groves points out that people of color, and even professionals who are younger than average also face barriers.

    1. Tech careers are antisocial

    “I thought that all technology roles were very numbers-driven and antisocial,” says Jennifer McDermott, consumer advocate at Finder. A common stereotype is that Computer Science majors stay inside on their computers, avoiding other people as much as possible. Another is the idea that computer science-related careers aren’t often depicted as collaborative or full of teamwork. But many of them are exactly that.

    If you prefer to work alone, then you can probably find a job situation to suit you. If you love to work with others, then you can find that too. “Now that I have been working in technology for some time, I have met women from all different walks of life, with different personalities, values and cultures, doing a gamut of work accessing a wide range of skills and experience,” McDermott says.

    For a better look at what these careers are like, McDermott recommends asking professionals in the field about their jobs. “The people you canvas will give you real insights into and, often times, encouragement for their line of work. It is a highly rewarding industry with plenty of ongoing opportunities I think many women would love.”

    1. Computer science isn’t ‘feminine’

    “I’ve heard plenty of misconceptions about women in tech. We’re somehow supposed to be isolated or exceptionally nerdy or somehow less feminine because of all the men in the field,” says Dasha Moore, founder of Solodev.

    “It has developed this undercurrent where young girls don’t feel like there’s a place for them in technology.” Many stereotypes of people in STEM careers—often reinforced by TV shows and movies—involve men working and gaming. But Moore points out how strange it is to assume that certain hobbies or likes and dislikes automatically come with a love of technology or computer science.

    You can be an absolute rock star in a software engineering job and also love being in nature, going dancing, reading literature or gaming. “Accept that we are multitudes. Female technologists can love pink and coding at the same time,” Moore says.

    1. Women in STEM careers don’t have time for relationships

    “I had a lot of assumptions about the women in computer science before I became one,” McGregor says. “I was one of those people that thought if you went into any STEM field that you wouldn’t find a boyfriend.” Women who want to have a family also worry that their plans are incompatible with computer science-related careers.

    Part of this assumption might come from female role models in technology who’ve been the subject of criticism, McDermott points out. “The ones that have received a lot of attention, for example, Sheryl Sandberg or Marissa Mayer, have been largely criticized for holding demanding positions while raising a family.” McDermott says this makes young women believe they will have to choose between a STEM career or their personal lives.

    So many women in these fields do have it all, McGregor emphasizes. “These women have the job, the family, the looks and the brains to back it up.” The idea that you have to sacrifice personal relationships or forgo having a family to be a woman in computer science is just mistaken.

    It is so important that the perception of women in STEM careers changes, McDermott says. “Young girls need to be exposed to more females in tech, from senior positions down to the [front lines]. We need to normalize women in tech instead of representing their careers as an anomaly.”

    1. A computer science major limits your career options

    Even those who feel confident about their career path can get nervous at the thought of closing out all other options. If you like computer science, but worry that you are limiting your career choices, lay that worry aside. Computer science is much more versatile than people think.

    “When you graduate, you’ll have more options than most of your friends, and you’ll have a skill that can literally take you around the world,” McGregor says. “Everything after graduation will be drastically different than what you experience in college, and when you have a computer science background, you can go anywhere. Companies will almost kill to hire you.”

    A Computer Science major gives you a skill set that companies in every industry want. And if you decide to move on from a programming-heavy role, other employers will love your background. “These days with internet-based services pervading all parts of our life, anyone who pursues a tech career has a ton of opportunities in fields such as internet marketing, sales and tech reporting,” says Nirupama Mallavarupu, founder of MobileArq.

    We need women in computer science

    These commonly held beliefs about the computer science field may be deterring women like you from pursuing promising careers. While there may be a kernel of truth to many of these beliefs, that doesn’t mean women should avoid computer science. By taking on this currently challenging, yet shifting environment, you can set a strong example for other women to pursue and excel in STEM fields.

    “Keep asking questions. Keep challenging the status quo,” Moore says. “If this education is what you want, have an unshakable passion for your classes. And remember—you can do it.”

    About Rasmussen College

    Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college that is dedicated to changing lives and the communities it serves through high-demand and flexible educational programs. Since 1900, the College has been committed to academic innovation and empowering students to pursue a college degree. Rasmussen College offers certificate and diploma programs through associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in seven schools of study including business, health sciences, nursing, technology, design, education and justice studies.

    Author: Brianna Flavin
    Source:rasmussen.edu/degrees/technology/blog/women-in-computer-science-assumptions-to-avoid/