以“科技没有性别”为主题的2020 Ladies Who Tech 年度大会将于8月29日在上海举行。在精彩纷呈的演讲与分享环节中，您将与作为嘉宾的女性领导者们共话多个议题。
本期文章我们将分享其中一位女性领导者——Shawni Chen的故事。Shawni目前是普华永道上海的合伙人，她同时担任Ladies Who Tech的顾问。如果您想了解更多其他嘉宾，请访问：https://www.ladieswhotech.cn/2020-convention。
2020 has been unpredictable, to say the least. But the one thing we can count on is our determination to persevere and to emerge stronger from this crisis. When it comes to closing the gender gap in STEM, the show must go on.
In anticipation of our Ladies Who Tech Convention in Shanghai on Saturday, August 29, with the theme "Tech Has No Gender", we spoke with several women in leadership – including Shawni Chen, who is a partner at PwC Shanghai and advisor to Ladies Who Tech. To see our list of guest speakers this year, please visit: https://www.ladieswhotech.cn/2020-convention.
从电子游戏玩家到软件工程师 From video gamer to software engineer
“上世纪80年代末，中国学校的计算机技术能力很是薄弱。在日常生活中很难看到数字化。作为孩子，最能让你接触到计算机科学世界的渠道就是电脑游戏。”Shawni告诉Ladies Who Tech。
Shawni Chen is a partner at PwC Shanghai's Accelerator Center, which has nearly 1,200 engineers focusing on technical implementation solutions and business strategies for client projects. Her interest in computer engineering stemmed from her childhood days of playing on a Nintendo.
"Back in the late 80s, computer technology capabilities in schools in China were very minimal and rudimentary. You don't see a lot of digitization in everyday life. As kids, the closest thing that would expose you to the world of computer science was computer games," Shawni told Ladies Who Tech.
"There weren't any game development courses available. In college, I worked on 3D modelling and simulation projects, and that ended up being the closest I got to creating a computer game – and I realized there is so much more to the field," she said, adding that she got her first job as a software engineer at State Farm insurance in Illinois for actuarial and claims applications.
解决不安全感，学会向前一步 Addressing your insecurities and learning to lean in
“向前一步 (Lean In)”这一短语是Facebook首席运营官Sheryl Sandberg所写的一本书的名字。2013年，她的自我赋权理念引起了数十万女性的共鸣，并引发了一场全球性的社会运动。
在她的书中，Sandberg写道，女性应该在职场和家庭中为自己发声。她们应当扔掉不必要的歉疚感，去为更高的薪水和福利进行谈判，去支持自己的项目和想法。她特别建议那些考虑怀孕的职业女性：“Don’t leave till you leave”，意思是她们不应该因为想要成为母亲而放弃工作。
"During the early years of my career in the States, I felt insecure and less confident about myself," she said. "Because I am Asian and I am a woman. And that made me ask, 'do I even have the right to speak up?'”
But Shawni quickly realised she was being held back by her own gender and racial biases. As she progressed in the corporate environment, she came to let go of these stereotypes.
"I think a lot of times, as women, we are unconsciously holding ourselves back from professional advancement and doubting ourselves," she said. "We need to fix those insecurities. We need to learn how to lean in.”
The term, "Lean In", is also the title of the book by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, whose self-empowerment philosophy resonated with hundreds of thousands of women and sparked a global social movement when it came out in 2013.
In her book, Sandberg writes that women should advocate for themselves at work and at home, and that they should negotiate unapologetically for better salaries and benefits, and champion their own projects and ideas. Specifically, she advises working women who are considering pregnancy: "Don't leave till you leave," meaning they shouldn't step back from work just because they anticipate becoming a mother.
"We need to be pushed out of our comfort zones – but at the same time we also need to realize the blind spots within ourselves and reach for these opportunities," Shawni said.
But leaning in doesn't work all the time. Because, in the end, gender equality is a collective and systemic problem – not just an individual one, and it requires collective solutions.
Specifically, in the case of working mothers, maternal wall bias exists. Studies in US show that for women who have children during the prime childbearing years of 25 to 35, their earnings never recover, and their salaries often drop abruptly after having a kid. All of this does serious, long-term damage to women's economic prospects.
A study published in the American Journal of Sociology has found that when job candidates were equal in every way except for a subtle indication that the candidate was a parent, being a mother reduced the chance of getting a job offer by 37 per cent. What's more, this hiring bias doesn't affect fathers at all.
Even when there were no outright and explicit bias against them in the office, working mothers are constantly suffering from self-inflicted guilt.
"It's a constant battle, from the day your child is born," said Shawni, who has a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son.
"Do you go to your kid's piano recital or a client meeting with your boss? If you picked one over another, you worry that you're either a bad worker or a bad mom," she said. "You just have to know your priorities at that point in life and know that you've made the best decision for yourself.”
支持所有母亲，而不仅仅是新妈妈 Support ALL mothers, not just new mothers
Shawni指出：“女性在生活的不同阶段需要不同的支持。因此，企业如何才能持续参与并为女性提供支持，以确保她们拥有成功，更重要的是可持续发展的职业？” Shawni本人积极参与相关活动与倡议，如Ladies Who Tech的活动组织，联合国HeForShe运动。她还主持了普华永道全球科技女性倡议。
Forty per cent of employees who work at PwC's acceleration centre are women, Shawni said, indicating a near 50/50 gender ratio. But as their career progresses, the "leaky pipeline" effect takes place as a majority of women drop out of the work force due to family obligations.
An 8-year-long study published last year showed that after having children, 43 per cent of new mothers stopped working full time in STEM, as compared with 23 per cent of men.
"A lot of companies cater their initiatives to mothers who had just given birth, providing excellent maternity leave policies, nursing support and daycare facilities – and that's great – but for mothers with older children, these support policies are non-existent," Shawni said.
"Actually, a mother's needs never stop. When their children are in elementary or secondary school, mothers actually need to spend more time on their personal development," she said.
Gender equality isn't just a number on a company's annual report. To truly address the issue, organizations need to take an active role to understand what their female employees' struggles are.
"Women need different support at different stages of their lives. So, how can corporations continually engage and provide support to women to make sure they're having a successful and, more importantly, sustainable career?" said Shawni, who herself is involved in Ladies Who Tech, UN's HeForShe movement and chaired PwC's Women in Tech global initiative.
One suggestion is for companies to develop extra-curricular activities for children or collaborate with different organizations to host summer camps. They can also consider carrying out mini intern programs or Take Your Kids to Work initiatives, where children would be given an opportunity to see how their mothers work, which could even spark their interest in the STEM.
Most importantly, Shawni suggested that companies implement programs to help female employees design personalized long-term career plans, which will take into account their needs and goals at different stages of their lives – from graduation to when they start a family to when their children grow up. This, together with a value-based evaluation system, can definitely help retain more women in the workforce.
"In this 10-year plan, give female employees the chance to work part-time, work from home or take time off, without the fear of penalization. And when they're ready to return to the office, provide training and resources so that they could stay relevant," she suggested.
"It's been a long time since we started talking about closing the gender gap in STEM. But sadly, some issues remain unresolved. I have no doubt that we're heading in the right direction, but perhaps we should take a step back and reassess our methods," Shawni said.
Ladies Who Tech相信教育是赋权女性的引擎，也是女性未来成功的基础。我们希望，通过研讨会、年度大会与各种活动将女性纳入STEM话题中，企业与组织将受到鼓舞进而制定更多包括女性在内的变革政策。让我们一起努力建设一个更美好的未来，在那里我们的女儿们可以毫无障碍地成为她们想成为的人！
你还在等什么？加入我们8月29日星期六在上海举行的Ladies Who Tech年度大会。大会当天我们将安排一整天的主题演讲、炉边聊天、小组讨论和研讨会！非同寻常的活动体验使我们从众多大会中脱颖而出——敬请期待互动性强与和技术含量高的一天！
At Ladies Who Tech, we believe education is an engine to women's empowerment and the foundation for a future of success. We hope that through connecting women in STEM through workshops, conventions and events, companies and organizations will leave inspired to enact changes that are more inclusive of women and mothers.
So, what are you waiting for? Join us on Saturday, August 29 at our Ladies Who Tech Convention in Shanghai where we have a full day of keynote speeches, fireside chats, panel discussions and workshops planned! This is not your average convention – expect an interactive and tech-filled day!
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