The Friday Nooner: Gender Quotas In Tech, Plus NC State’s Lewis Sheats

With the three-day CED Venture Connect Summit wrapping to a close on Thursday and GrepBeat’s March Mugness competition heating up, there was a lot to take in this week. Elsewhere on GrepBeat, we covered highlights from Day 1/Day 2 and then Day 3. But for live comments and hot takes on plenty of other tech-related news, here as always is The Friday Nooner. Some highlights from this week’s episode:

  • GrepBeat’s inaugural March Mugness competition is currently in the Final Four—sorry, we mean the “Final Four(score),” in deference to our sponsor, Fourscore Business Law. You should go vote now for the semifinal matchups between Cocoa Cinnamon and La Farm on one side of the bracket, and Morning Times and Guglhupf on the other. One “game” is tied as this story goes to press. (You’ll have the watch the episode, or vote, to find out which one.) The polls for this round close on Monday at noon. (05:30)
  • In a TBJ story this week, Vineet Jain, the CEO of Engyte—which is based in Silicon Valley but has a growing presence in Raleigh—announced that the company is installing a new hiring gender quota because they have not been reaching their desired gender diversity numbers. Especially for software companies, Joe said it’s not only important to be conscious of the overall gender ratio, but amongst functional teams and in leadership roles as well. Certain teams like HR might have a higher female-male ratio than engineering, for instance, which is a disparity started not necessarily in the hiring process but much earlier in the pipeline because the majority of students in majors like computer science and engineering are male. (11:00)
  • This week’s guest was Lewis Sheats, the Executive Director of the NC State Entrepreneurship Clinic. Lewis joined in on the gender conversation by noting that part of the clinic’s objective is to build the entrepreneurship skills of women and other groups across majors and disciplines who are typically underrepresented in entrepreneurship. “We focus on developing the student, not the concept, so whenever the ‘aha!’ moment happens they are ready for it,” Sheats said. The clinic is also currently accepting grant applications until April for its summer Andrews Accelerator. (27:00)

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