Editor's note: Weili Dai is co-founder of Marvell Technology Group, a leading global technology company that makes chips for smartphones, Google TV, cloud services and other connected consumer devices. She is the only female co-founder of a global semiconductor company in the world.
Technology is one of the key drivers of female economic empowerment, but the fields that women choose to participate in are still decidedly gendered.
In science, technology, engineering and mathematics, men far outnumber women in the classroom and the boardroom. In the United States, less than 20% of engineering and computer science majors are women.
It is pure mythology that women cannot perform as well as men in science, engineering and mathematics. In my experience, the opposite is true: Women are often more adept and patient at untangling complex problems, multitasking, seeing the possibilities in new solutions and winning team support for collaborative action.
To rectify this imbalance, I believe we must give young girls access to tools and devices that will implant an early desire to learn about technology. In the long term, toys, games and devices that challenge girls academically will help them contribute to the scientific ecosystem.
I believe it is in the world's interest to develop environments that fully engage women and leverage their natural talents.
When Kyle Puttkammer opened his comic book shop 21 years ago, he didn't know he was witnessing an event that would change the industry forever.
“Back in 1991, there was a wave of interest in superstar artists," said Puttkammer of Galactic Quest Comics, Games & Toys, which has two stores in Georgia. "All of these artists were generating a following."
Six of these superstars – Marvel Comics illustrators Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, and Jim Valentino – left Marvel to create Image Comics. Their attempt to get full creative control sent shockwaves through the industry. (Whilce Portacio and writer Chris Claremont, of "Uncanny X-Men" fame also left Marvel at that time, but eventually withdrew from the Image Comics project.)
How important was Image in the 1990s? The company made a "huge difference in our business," Puttkammer said.
(To be sure, Puttkammer noted that Dark Horse Comics allowed creative control six years prior to Image Comics' launch, but Dark Horse mostly concentrated on established franchises, with a few exceptions like Mike Mignola's "Hellboy.")
“Image was the first to say, we’re artists, we want to put our best foot forward when it comes to presentation," Puttkammer noted. "It might cost a little bit more but the paper quality’s gonna be better. It’s gonna be glossy, heavier stock."
The company was an overnight sales success.
"In the past, having that 'i' on a book guaranteed a strong seller," said Puttkammer. "A lot of Image Comics would get on the cover of Wizard magazine (which carried a price guide for investment comics). Retailers wouldn’t order enough. The price would go up in value. If you can take $2.00 and turn it into $20.00 within a year, that’s a no-brainer." FULL POST