Women Who (Do) Tech: Moving Forward, Seizing the Future

by Cathy Brooks (@CathyBrooks, CathyBrooks.com)

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.

You would think based on coverage, like this article last April in the New York Times and this more recent post in the Wall Street Journal that women had made little to no progress in Silicon Valley.


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:

*Disclosure: Cathy Brooks is moderating the WomenWhoTech panel discussion on female ferocity.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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  • http://SquareSyndrome.com LisaRau

    I'm so glad to hear you echoing Arrington's sentiments, because complaining only further validates the idea of oppression. Thanks, for this. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seiji-Kato/631878571 Seiji Kato

    I am not much of a speaker, but I would just like to wish you the best of luck. It is much easier to sit down and complain about a situation, I can admit that as I have done it a number of times rather than be pro-active, something I regret deeply. I do hope that you are able to make a difference.
    It is still rather embarrassing how unfair things are still. When I was in Japan and looking for work, the number of times i found (in tech related jobs) that the companies had a nearly 4:1 or 5:1 ratio of male employees to female employees…still rather sad how things are in this day and age.

  • Arvind Panwar

    Women do really great if you are an internet user and know about some unique things like twitter youtube collecta and most important slideshare which is unique in itself ( no doubt now there are many site like that) was also output of a great WOMAN -Rashmi Sinha.

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  • http://viettelonline.com USB 3G

    Nice, that’s helpful for me!


Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.

His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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