I’m the Editor in Chief of Glamour magazine and glamour.com, which together reach more than 17 million readers each month. If you’re like me, technology threads through everything you do these days—and women are making a lot of it happen, which is why Glamour published a big feature on women in tech in our November 2014 issue. But as is well documented, females are still woefully underrepresented in tech, making up just 26 percent of the computing workforce. Why is that? And what can women do to succeed in an industry that’s often not welcoming to them? Let’s talk about the challenges and opportunities for women in tech—or anything else you’re curious about. AMAA!


Thanks for your great questions, everyone--loved hearing from you and talking to you! Signing off now. Leave any other comments on the story above at glamour.com.

Comments: 130 • Responses: 24  • Date: 

birdwontquit27 karma

Having worked in Silicon Valley the last few years, at ground zero of the supposedly hostile environment to women, alongside many women in tech leadership positions, I consider the meme that the industry is "not welcoming to [women]" to be significantly overblown. Women are not well represented in technology long before they don't enter "the industry", but rather are not present in college engineering and computer science classes, and fail to show a significant interest in "tech" well before the professional level. This may well be due to social factors, culture, nurture etc. but I don't think it's reasonable to place the blame on "the industry", which exists within the larger framework of a culture with well defined gender roles, as has been done. Your expose seems to be a rather shallow exploration of the issues at hand, and that may be by design, I understand it is Glamour and not the NYT, but do you really think the answer to the "issue" of the lack of women in tech (I should note no one seems to mind the lack of women in garbage collection) is simply to shove more women into tech positions, rather than address, if possible, the cultural issues that cause this disparity in the first place, assuming it is one of nurture and not nature?

cindi_leive8 karma

you are right that it starts early--I just heard a study of elementary school kids where the girls were three times as likely as the boys to say that math was not for them! That's not the WHOLE problem, but it's part of the problem, and one reason that a lot of women in tech are reaching out to young girls to tell them that yes--math is cool, and it IS for them.

birdwontquit8 karma

Maybe it really isn't for them. I understand that will sound, on first reading, incredibly sexist, but if women don't want to go into tech, why do we have a responsibility to collectively encourage them to do so? If girls don't want to do math, why do we know better than them that they should? Also, let me tell you firsthand, math isn't that cool lol.

cindi_leive5 karma

I don't think anyone is suggesting that women who don't want to go into technology should be pushed into it. I just happen to think that if girls were encouraged in STEM earlier, more MIGHT want to go into it.

Besides, technology is a huge, burgeoning, growing field, and in uncertain economic times, I think any woman would be smart to at least consider it. We use technology in our lives; why shouldn't we at least be creating it?

TeamRedRocket12 karma

Do you think print still has a big future for you, or do you think your magazine will be mostly digital?

Also how hard will it be to monetize online and charge for access with so many sites being free with similar content?

cindi_leive9 karma

I think for Glamour, the future will be both print and digital. Women still love print for lots of reasons--it's tangible, beautiful, luxurious. But of course our lives are digital now and that means that the future of Glamour will be about mobile, video and a million things we haven't thought of yet. For many magazines, the future may be wholly digital. And as for monetization--many advertisers are intensely interested in video and mobile. Right now the focus for us is on connecting with viewers and continuing to build audience.

badjuice10 karma

Does it bother you that your magazine largely depends upon the insecurities of women for it's success?

cindi_leive0 karma

I don't think that it does! I think it depends on the ambitions and hopes of women, to live their dreams. This conversation is about the ambitions of women--how we get where we want in life.

Sophiac19819 karma

One of the weird, difficult aspects of being a woman in tech is dating… Can you talk about that a bit?

cindi_leive8 karma

One of my favorite lines in the piece is that if you're a woman in tech looking to date, "the odds are good but the goods are odd." The women in our story said that they either had a hard time meeting guys who would take them seriously OR they were constantly being hit on by their coworkers. But some of them also said they loved meeting partners who shared their interests…"it takes a coder to love a coder."

ashes61137 karma

How is Glamour magazine different from Cosmo? What does Glamour have to offer women that Cosmo doesn't?

cindi_leive-9 karma

I don't compare magazines, but I can tell you what Glamour offers women: a 360-degree view of their lives, from fashion to career to politics, on every platform. We always want our readers to feel great about themselves and their lives once they finish reading the magazine or log off our site.

retrominge7 karma

What would be your feelings if people with cameras followed you around taking photos of you all the time?

How does fashion work?

Tell me some gossip that I'm missing out on.

cindi_leive-21 karma

I think the whole idea of being trailed 24/7 is a little five years ago!

ashes61135 karma

Can you give us any horror stories about a cover shoot or interview with a stuck up/entitled celeb?

cindi_leive10 karma

I have taken a solemn vow not to tell tales out of school, but i will tell you that our entertainment director says that her job description is "negotiating with terrorists"

noemi_narbona5 karma

As the editor in chief of Glamour Magazine, what would you recommend to study (taking into account that tech is gaining ground) to another girl who wants to be an editor?

cindi_leive8 karma

I don't think journalism school is a must, though it can be terrific. you definitely need a familiarity with tech, though to be an editor you don't need to know how to code (at this point!). But make sure you incorporate people in STEM into your network as you enter the job market--you don't want to close yourself off, and you'll get a million good ideas.

the_sea_ward5 karma

As a student graduating with degree in Magazine Journalism in the Spring, what can I do now that will help me make it as a journalist in the magazine world? It's very intimidating!

cindi_leive4 karma

I would suggest you do something entrepreneurial before graduation--even if it's just start a site on something you're interested in. as a boss, I like to hire people who have initiative, and that shows me you do (and also that you have basic tech skills). Start writing any contacts you have now, too, and keep following up with them. Tenacity is by far the most important quality a job-hunter in magazines can have now. I can't tell you how many people give up after a month or two, and NO ONE finds a job in a month or two these days. Stick with it and you'll automatically have an edge. Good luck!

DressJack4 karma

Do you think Glamour magazine will stop photoshopping it's celebs/models ? It seems that many celebs are unhappy with being photoshopped and want to look natural (Renee Zellweger)! It's part of empowering women allowing them to look like and be themselves? Just think Meghan Trainor's song "All About that Bass" - this is all over pop-culture so why not DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!!

If you really wanted to stand out from your competition keep Glamour photoshop-free - give it a shot- advertise you are doing this - MAKE A STATEMENT THAT EMPOWERS WOMEN!!

Also, the question about women being underrepresented in tech should really be directed to the CEOs in tech. We can debate this all day long BUT the people who can actually make a difference are Mark, Marissa and Reid.

cindi_leive6 karma

on the subject of women's body image, we actually don't retouch women's body size at all--we instituted that policy several years ago at readers' request. We have a great feature with Meghan Trainor in our November issue: http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/blogs/vitamin-g/2014/10/our-body-image-inspiration-all On the tech question, yes, I agree, ask CEOS---but you also need more women entering technology to begin with, so those people have a good field to hire.

Frajer4 karma

What inspired you to make the article about women being underrepresented in tech? How did you come across the story?

cindi_leive7 karma

We cover careers all the time, and technology is obviously where the action is--this is a GREAT field for women to enter. The salaries for women vs men are actually closer than they are in most other fields, and technology has an especially high number of female CEOs (though still probably too low). But in covering these topics over the years (we did a big project with Kara Swisher in 2011) it kept striking me that the numbers of women in technology are not rising, and the percent of women getting computer science degrees is falling. We wanted to dig into that!

SmellLikeDogBuns4 karma

My question: are you hiring?

But in all seriousness, I'm a recent graduate looking for work as a copywriter/editor, and I'm having trouble finding work with just a year of experience as a copymanager at my college's newspaper.

Do you have any advice for something I could do to improve my resume or on where the best places to start out are? I just started teaching myself HTML/CSS so I can be more appealing for web-based companies, but I don't know if that's enough to get a foot in the door.

Edit: I thought of another question. There is a lot of gender stereotyping and superficial pressuring in magazines for certain body types. What is Glamour magazine doing to help mitigate that extremely pervasive issue?

cindi_leive2 karma

you're on the right track--the coding move is smart. If you're not involved in local groups or meet ups (with Girls Who Code) or another coding group, that would be a good move. Try expanding your network--that might help.

dcsportshero4 karma

Did you ever figure out who the mysterious pooper was?

cindi_leive4 karma

No, but let me know if you do!

eyes19904 karma

How, as a girl in tech, can you deal with sexism and misogyny without jeopardizing your job (sad that this even has to be a question)?

cindi_leive7 karma

I think first of all, every expert will say, don't be intimidated. Don't let anyone haze you out of a job you're fully entitled to have. Next, reach out to other women in positions above you and find out how they handle similar situations--they'll have good advice for you. And do report something really egregious to HR.

chooter3 karma

How did you decide the various women to represent in your feature?

cindi_leive4 karma

We interviewed top entrepreneurs, coders, engineers and STEM educators, and our writer, Donna Fenn, who's been covering tech for 25 years, culled their recommendations down to the list of 35.

trigunned3 karma

weird question, but I am really curious:

do men sometimes write articles for Glamour?

cindi_leive4 karma

Because a good conversation has a lot of different voices! The preponderance of writers in the magazine are female, but fundamentally we go to whoever is the best writer for a particular piece.

mbgold3 karma

One of the women in Glamour’s November issue said, "How come more women don’t know how awesome the startup world is?" Why do you think that is?

cindi_leive5 karma

Probably because women are still a minority in those companies.

teegasaurusreyex2 karma

A lot has been said about startup investors and venture capitalists overlooking women. How do we change that?

cindi_leive2 karma

it's definitely a problem, but the women in our story say you have to be creative. Look for VCs with a good track record of funding women. Or go outside the usual channels--some of the women in our story with the most successful businesses actually used crowd-funding to get their businesses off the ground when the traditional investor route didn't work.

katehalliwell2 karma

Do you consider yourself a feminist?

cindi_leive13 karma

Yes, I'm a feminist. (And so is my husband!) I was raised by a strong mother, a strong stepmother, and a lot of good men in our corner. I don't think there's anything radical or extreme about feminism; to me it means just that women and men should have equal opportunity, which frankly I think is common sense.

kat89020011 karma

As a current college journalist (junior, University of Florida), what's the best advice you can give me to make myself competitive in the magazine industry job market? What are the skill sets you look for in hiring recent graduates? I love Glamour, and I always tell people that it's my dream publication! Thank you so much!

cindi_leive1 karma

See my response to the_sea_ward in this AMA. And at Glamour, we like to hire people with strong cross-platform skills--and people who love our content. Good luck!

annabanana881 karma

What's your advice for getting more leadership at work?

cindi_leive1 karma

Do you mean, how do you take on a larger role at work? If so, my advice is to look for things that need doing, and then raise your hand to do them. Try to have the back of the people on your team, too--then they'll want to work with you again.

Johnson_Bellic_2012-1 karma

My girlfriend wants to work for a magazine like Glamour. She has a BA in journalism. What advice do you have for a young women trying to get into the industry?

cindi_leive4 karma

see response to the_sea_ward

hrdrockdrummer-3 karma

How much do you make a on a yearly basis?

cindi_leive13 karma

20 pairs of shoes and five handbags :)