Women in Tech Panel at Web2.0

I’m very honoured that Suw has asked me to contribute to her “panel” in Berlin on the tech gender gap (taking place on the Thursday afternoon).

Here’s the description:

“It is undeniably true that there aren’t enough women in tech, that women are not well represented at conferences, and often don’t get the promotions, rewards and acclaim they deserve. We also know that the issue of gender is not a simple one: there are complex societal and psychological pressures that influence how we all behave, men and women, and we’re not always clear on what drives us to do what we do. This participatory session will attempt to unpick some of the threads around gender and will aim to produce ideas for how we can collectively act to level the playing field.”

I have no opinion on the numbers of “women in tech” really – I don’t know enough about it at the sharp end, but I do know that I sit in many conferences listening to men (in suits) drone on, often about something that a bunch of other people have done. I find tuttle encouraging in terms of our gender mix – and there were plenty of women leading sessions at socialmediacamp last week.

But I’m also aware that these are just my perceptions and are subject to gender bias too, so I’m looking forward to exposing my views and experience to some debate and discussion that will hopefully lead to some action.

If you want to take part, of course you’ll be very welcome, but you’ll have to come along to the conference. Which means you’ll have to sign-up. And there’s no better way than to use the 35% discount code webeu08gr43 on the registration page.

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2 thoughts on “Women in Tech Panel at Web2.0”

  1. I have quite a long standing experience on this from 3 sides: as a woman in tech, speaker at conferences (tech and business) and as a lecturer to compsci students.

    First demographics of students in science and computer science. The numbers are abysmal – ratio remains around 1-10 women to men in the classes I see. What is more, at least 2/3rd of women in the class are of Asian or other non-Caucasian ethnic origin. This is about the same as I encoutered when I came to do my PhD in UK. Puzzling when you look at GCSE and A-Level girls vs boys results. Any ideas?

    As a woman working in tech, as is my sister, I have to say that without doubt there are double standards at play. Not necessarily always consciously enacted but informed by peoples (men’s as well as other women’s) prejudices. From the social events that team outings are going on, to drinking parties and working hours (where presentism counts for more than effectiveness), as well as self-promotion vs sheer hard work and getting things done without causing great fuss.

    On the conference circuit the issue is also that organisers delegate booking speakers to young women (!) in the main, who follow existing models and look for speakers positioned at particular rings of corporate ladders. Guess what – few women crop up. So, self-reinforcing loop here at play: not enough women in high positions, not enough visibility, few women invited as speakers, few women role models, few girls take up tech , and so it goes.

    What did your panel conclude? And how to go forward?

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