This is not another post about the “issue” of why there are fewer women in business and technology. This is a post about doing something about it.
To be fair, if we’re talking raw numbers women are still at a disadvantage. There are fewer of us, especially if we’re talking about hands-on, up to your elbows in code technologist work. The numbers on the business side are better, but there still isn’t anything really resembling parity.
My question is: Why on earth should that be a problem? It shouldn’t.
My bigger question is: Can we PLEASE stop complaining and just start doing the work? From the response I’ve heard in the last week to the Wall Street Journal post it would seem the answer to that may well finally be YES!
Sparked by a post penned by Michael Arrington, a litany of women stamped down their collective foot. The time has come to grab the glasscutters and storm the ceiling. Is there chauvenism? Yep. Is there misogyny? You bet. In continually talking about these things, we’re wasting time. I for one am done wasting mine and on Wednesday, September 15 I’ll be joining about 800 other women who feel the same way. The gathering is the third annual WomenWhoTech Telesummit.
Started in 2007 by Allyson Kapin of RadCampaign in response to the lack of opportunities for qualified female speakers, WomenWhoTech takes a decidedly proactive tone in its content. Rather than commiserating about how challenging it is to be a woman, this one-day virtual conference tackles topics like launching start-ups, diversifying founding teams, best practices in open source development and female ferocity as a business asset.*
Speaking about the premise of this Telesummit, Kapin notes that if you wait for the challenges to go away, you’re wasting time. She said, “Sexism … racism … all the ‘ism’s. Are they going to disappear any time soon? Probably not, but if we band together we can address the issues. Instead of being reactive, it’s time to be proactive and productive and become part of the solution.”
Some additional related articles on this subject:
- The perspective from a “real” geek, Leah Culver
- Jon Pincus gathered a great set of links stemming from the recent Arrington/WSJ debate.
- The Geek Feminism blog (penned by a collection of great female and male geeks) offers some reading materials
*Disclosure: Cathy Brooks is moderating the WomenWhoTech panel discussion on female ferocity.
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