Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University | Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2019

Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University | Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2019

October 15, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


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>>Narrator: From Miami Beach Florida, it’s theCUBE, covering Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2019, brought to you by Acronis.>>Hello everyone, welcome to theCUBE, we are in Miami, Florida for the Acronis Global Cyber Summit 2019. I’m John Furrier your host of theCUBE, we’re here for two days of
coverage around Cyber Security and the impact to the
enterprise and society. We have a great guest here
to kick off the event, Linda Babcock, professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon university, author of the book “Ask for it”. And she has a new book she’s working on, and we’ll get into that. Thanks for joining me,
thanks for coming on.>>I’m really happy to be here thanks>>So Carnegie Mellon,
great, great university, they stole a bunch of
people when I was in school in the computer science department. Very well known for that as well.>>It’s kind of a revolving door>>Economics, math, machine learning, all that good stuff there. What’s going on at Carnegie Mellon, what’s new in your world?>>Well it’s just actually
a great place to be because of the focus on
interdisciplinary work. You know, problems in the world
don’t come as disciplines, they come with multiple
perspectives needed. So it’s just a place
where people can flourish, attack ideas from all kinds of angles, and so it’s a really great place to be.>>You know, one of the
things I hear a lot about, and we cover a lot about the skills gap, certainly there is more job
openings than there are jobs. And interesting, a lot
of the jobs that are new haven’t been skilled for before in the classic university setting. So, a lot of these jobs
like Cybersecurity, cloud computing, Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics, Token Economics, all kind of have a math,
economic theme to them. So you got computer
science, you got economics and policy seem to be the key
areas around these new skills and challenges we face as a society. What’s your take on all this?>>Well actually, there’s
a lot going on in this area at Carnegie Mellon. Actually the economics
group at Carnegie Mellon is been proposing a new
major that really focuses on this interface between
economics, machine learning and technology. And I think it’s going
to train our students for the next generation of
problems that the world of tech is going to have. So it’s very exciting.>>So lets talk about
your book, “Ask For It”.>>Okay>>It’s not a new book, its been around a while,
but you gave a talk here, what’s the talking
track here at the event?>>Yeah, so I have a couple
of themes of research and it focuses on women’s
barriers to advancement in organizations. And so, most of the work
that I did with this book, and my first book, “Women Don’t Ask”, was looking about, how men and women approach
negotiation differently and kind of the bottom line is that women are a lot less likely
to negotiate than men over all kinds of things like pay, like opportunities for advancement,
like the next promotion and it really harms them in the workplace because men are always
out there asking for it. And organizations reward that, so the book was really about shedding light on this disparity and what organizations can do about it. And what women can do about it themselves, how they can learn to
negotiate more effectively.>>What did you learn, when
you were writing the book, around some of the use
cases and best practices that women were doing in the field? Was it more aggressive
style, more collaborative? You’re seeing a lot more solidarity amongst women themselves, and men are getting involved, a lot of companies are
kind of talking the game, some are walking the talk. What are the big findings
that you’ve learned?>>Well I’d say that the
approaches that women use are a lot different than
the approaches that men use. And it’s because our world lets men do a lot of different things. It lets them engage in a cooperative way, it lets them be very competitive, but our world has a very narrow view about what’s acceptable behavior for women. I often call it a tightrope because women are kind of balancing
that they need to go out and assert themselves but they have to do it in a way that our society finds acceptable. And that tightrope constrains women and doesn’t allow them to
be their authentic selves. And so it makes it difficult
for women to navigate that.>>What’s your take on the
balancing of being aggressive and the pressure companies have to keep the women population, certainly pipe lining in tech, we see it all the time,
and the whole me too thing, and the pressure that goes on. Because norms are forming, so is there any new data
you can share around how, the norms are forming and
what men can do particular. I get this question a lot
and always ask myself, what am I doing, can I
do something different? Cause I want to be inclusive, and I want to do the right thing but sometimes I don’t know what to do.>>Yeah, of course, and it’s really important
that men get involved in this conversation as allies and, like you said, sometimes men don’t know what
to do because they feel like, maybe they don’t have standing to be in the conversation when it’s about women. And we all need men as allies, if women are going to try to
reach equality at some point. But the new data really suggests negotiation may be playing a role, the work that Sheryl Sandberg, “Lean In”, but the newest work that we have shows that actually the day to day
things that happen at work, that’s holding women back. So let me tell you about that. So what we find is, if you think about your calendar
and what you do all day, there are tasks that you can
classify as being promotable. That is they are really your
core job responsibility, they are noticed, rewarded but there are
lots of other things that happen in your organization that are often below the surface, that are important to do, valued,
but actually not rewarded. And what our research finds, is that men, spend much more time than women at the tasks that are
these promotable tasks, that are rewarded. Women spend much more time
than men on these tasks that we call non promotable,
that are not rewarded, and it’s really holding women back. And, how men can help, is that the reason women
are doing these tasks is because everyone is
asking them to do these tasks and so what men can do
is start asking men to do some of these things that
are important yet not rewarded because their portfolios now, are really out of balance and women are really
shouldering the burden of these tasks disproportionately.>>So get on the wave
of the promotional or the promotional oriented things more and the men can come in pick
up the slack on the things that were, quote, delegated to the women because they could order the
kitchen food or whatever meals>>Or help others with their work, someone has to hire the summer interns, someone has to organize events, someone has to resolve
underlying conflicts. Those are all really important things women get tasked with them and that really doesn’t
allow them to focus on their core job responsibilities and so men can step up to the plate, start doing their fair share of that work, and then really then allow women to reach their full potential.>>You know, I’ve been thinking
a lot about this lately, how collaboration software
and collaborative teams, you’re starting to see the
big successful companies like Amazon, they have this
two pizza team concept. Smaller teams, team-oriented, if you’re on a team, these
things, you give and you get, so I think it’s probably
a better environment, is that happening?>>Well, it’s unclear how
teams kind of shake out for women in this setting, because there’s actually
some research that shows when a team produces an output, and the supervisor tries
to figure out who really made the output, who was the
valued player on the team, they often overvalue
the contributions of men and undervalue the contributions of women, so actually team projects
can be problematic if women don’t get their
fair share of credit.>>So the bias is everywhere?>>The bias is everywhere, and it’s not that people are trying to discriminate against women, it’s just that its a
subconscious, implicit bias, and so affects our judgements in ways that we don’t even realize.>>It’s actually probably
amplified in the gamer gate, and a lot of the things
on digital communities, we see a lot where people are
hiding behind their avatars. That’s also a pretty bad environment. So, we’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reporting around communities and data, and I wanted to get your thoughts, because I never really probed at this, but is there any economic incentives, and obviously you’re
an economics professor, you seeing things like Cryptoeconomics and tokens and all kinds of new things, is there are potential
path towards creating an incentive system that’s cutting edge? What’s the, is there
any progressive thinking around any incentives systems for organizations, or individuals?>>Well, when you think about incentives, and me being an economist
I think about those a lot, and I merge those with
my work on the barriers to women’s advancements. I think incentives is one area you can actually play a big role. And that is, that organizational leaders
should be incentivized to see that they have equal
advancement for their male and female employees in their workforce. Because if they don’t, it means they’re losing out on this potential women have
that they aren’t able to fully be productive. And so, that’s I think, a place that incentives
can really be important.>>I was talking to a great leader, and he said, and I’m quoting him, and I feel the same way, he
said, our incentive is business, we get a better outcome
when we include women, and I said, Okay, can you give data? And he goes, yeah, we make software and half the people that use
our software are women so, and I’m like, oh that
makes a lot of sense, that the bias that should
be in there for women, created by women for women.>>Exactly, and women spend
more money as consumers than men and so having women on
teams allows them to see perspectives that men may not see. And so it can really add
to new innovative thinking that hadn’t been there
before by including women.>>Well I’m excited that there’s a little bit of movement in check. We’re starting to see,
certainly in venture capital, you’re starting to see a
lot more women come in. Still more boardroom work to do, but I think there’s a nice
sign that there’s more jobs that are computer related
that aren’t just coding. I mean, that’s male dominated
and still is for a while, but there’s a lot more skills, there’s all kinds of range now in computer science that’s interesting. How is that affecting some of
the new pipe lining of women?>>Well I think the good
news is that there is increasing levels of women’s
attainment in stem fields, and so there are more
and more female workers entering the labor market today. We just have to make sure
that those workers are valued and feel included when
they do join tech companies otherwise they will leave because what happens
unfortunately sometimes in tech, is it doesn’t feel inclusive for women and the quit rate for
women in tech is over twice the rate for men, and some of the reasons are they’re not feeling valued in their positions, they’re not seeing their advancement so, with this new wave of female workers, we have to make sure
that those workplaces are ready to accept them and include them>>That’s great. Well “Ask
For It” is a great book. I went through it and
it’s a great handbook, I learned a lot, it really is a handbook around just standing up and taking what you can. You got a new book you’re working on, what’s that going to look like? What is some of the
themes in the new book?>>Yeah, so the new book is
on these promotable tasks. And the way I like to think about it is, there’s so much attention
to work life balance, how do you manage both of
those with your career, your family, how does that work? But our work actually
focuses on work-work balance. And what we mean is paying attention to the
things that you do at work. Making sure that those
things that you’re doing are the things that are most
valuable for your employer and are going to be most
valuable for your career. So it’s a really different focus on the day to day ways that
you spend your time at work and how that can propel
women to the next level.>>That’s awesome. Linda thanks
for coming on, appreciate it. What did you think of the event here Acronis Global Cyber Security Summit?>>Well I’ve got to say
it’s not my typical event but I’m having a good
time learning more about what’s happening in the
tech industry today.>>Cyber protection, certainly
a cutting edge issues, certainly on the east
coast and Washington D.C., certainly with National defense and all kinds of things happening. Ransomware’ a big topic
that’s kicked around here. The towns getting taken out like, oh my god, wanting Bitcoin in return, taking new systems out.>>Learning all kinds of new
stuff to add to my toolkit.>>Great to have you on. Thanks for your insight, thanks
for sharing, appreciate it. I’m John Furrier here with theCUBE, we are here in Miami Beach for the Acronis Cyber Protection Conference, thank you for watching. (soft music)