One of the biggest mistakes I see conference organizers make is not making a public statement on gender equality. It’s a very small thing to do, but the effect can be huge.
I had been meaning to write this post earlier, but in August it’s easy to get sidelined by the summer weather. And I was looking for a good example. Luckily, yesterday I was sent a link to the Diversity Statement for PyCon 2012, the largest annual conference for the Python programming language.
One of the first things you should do if you want more women at your tech event, is put a woman in charge. Tech events usually have an organizing committee and there should be at least one woman on that committee. You could even try two or more!
But what does “in charge” mean? It means having a woman organizer who will have some authority, who will have the power to say no and to implement positive measures that appeal to women. Yes, I’m telling male event organizers that they have to actually cede some power to women. Continue reading →
This is what a tech event looks like when women are welcome.
This is a photo of me, taken by the talented Eva Blue at PodCamp Montreal 2010. I also brought my baby to WordCamp 2010 about two weeks before this photo was taken. There were at least two other babes in arms at that event. Their dads brought them. Continue reading →
After I wrote my last blog post on women in tech (or more accurately the invisibility of women in tech), both organizers of Startup Fest emailed me. They weren’t happy with the article. And (surprise!) they wanted me to MC the Granny Den.
They offered to let me help organize the Granny Den, make it more respectful and I’d also get to go to StartupFest for free.
For those arriving late to the party, Startup Fest had planned an event where startups would pitch their ideas to grandmothers. Their reasoning: that if even a grandmother could understand it, anyone could and it would made good business sense.