Working towards never writing this blog post about “women at tech conferences” again
Over the last couple of days there has been another round of focus on the despicable way that woman in tech and digital design are treated by some men in the sector. Sarah Parmenter blogged about a shocking thing that was done to her under the title “Speaking up”. In rapid succession Relly Anett-Baker and Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman also spoke up.
As a response I saw someone say “Girls should just stop complaining about it for their own good.”
Stay classy, men, stay classy.
If you are the kind of person who hears people like them and myself chuntering on about this and thinks, “Yeah, well men get criticised about stuff too” then a) read those blog posts and b) get yourself a clue.
And whenever I write or talk about this, or link to someone talking about it, someone in the comments or on Twitter is always full of “But what are you doing to help change things”, so I keep linking to these resources:
- Aral Balkan’s definitive demolishing of straw-man arguments around diversity at conferences.
- Sarah Milstein and Eric Ries: “Solving the Pipeline Problem”
- Relly Annett-Baker talking about the kind of information that would help all speakers feel more comfortable about travelling to an unfamiliar town to speak at an event.
- Articulate network — Articulate aims to raise the profile of women speakers in the technology and the creative industries by offering public speaking training, developing partnerships with event programmers, and giving better access to talented female speakers.
There is no law of nature that compels us to treat our colleagues in our industry so badly. So here is the deal — if we all stop allowing some of the men amongst us to act like sexist pricks, I’ll stop writing this blog post, OK?