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I'm used to being in a certain 10% of the population minority, but not for being female. This morning it struck me as strange that at #10 (update, 7/6: #13), I'm the most followed woman on Google+, as per http://socialstatistics.com/. Even though I've definitely interacted with/seen more men on G+ than women, 1 woman in the top 10 still seemed too low. (Oddly I have more followers than +Marissa Mayer. That just ain't right.)

Corroborating its top 10 list, this site also reports that 10% of all G+ users identify as female (see right sidebar). It also says "Just add yourself so we can start tracking your own Google+ statistics too." Now, I didn't submit myself to that site for tracking. Maybe someone else did? If the numbers are based on self-submitted IDs, it's possible more men than women are interested in their follower ranking, hence the very low 10% number.

Or!

Maybe only 10% of G+ field testers really do identify as female. If that's the case, picture my face in my hands in a dramatic gesture of disgust.

I've put in a private inquiry to the Googlers I know about this number. So far, silence.
See the The Top 100 most popular Google+ users and add yourself to the list to get more followers too.
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114 comments
 
One word, Gina: TWIG -- you have Google Friends
 
I personally find you more interesting but I don't consider gender when adding follows.
 
I think that number, too, is delayed... I've seen many women join in the last day or so
 
I think it will even out a bit as invites start rolling... Maybe females have been less likely to add their profile number to that site as well?
 
When I went to add myself, I didn't make the list... even though by my current numbers, I should be in the Top 50. Maybe it's slow to update? Maybe more women have tried to add themselves and it hasn't worked properly?
 
I ended up making a Circle just for women on a site I frequent because I wanted a nice oasis from the testosterone. It's kind of overwhelming.
 
I agree with Ryan - I don't think it's a gender issue in WHY I follow you. TWiG visibility gives you credibility on all thing Google.
 
+Ryan Zeigler agreed. i would love for gina to make the argument for marisa mayer. it is not like i have seen evidence other than her association with google products that she is a good follow. she doesnt interact with the media outlets i follow.
 
You know what is really disturbing? Search for users with the keywords "pretty" and "cute", you will still find 90% male users.
 
+Gina Trapani Like others said, it's a lot to do with TWiG. I just hope this is the real +Gina Trapani. :P In my defense, sometimes Celebs will have a PR firm post for them on Twitter and Facebook and the like.
 
I started out following anyone who followed me. Okay, that number got too high real fast. So now I'm un-following anyone whose posts aren't consistently interesting. Nothing to do with gender or other affiliation. It also means I tend to un-follow anyone who Shares (re-posts) rather than puts up something original. I really don't need to see the same animated gif from dozens of people. It might as well be a flashing "Un-Follow Me. I have nothing to contribute here." If you like something, a +1 or comment should suffice. Gina, you're in my Following circle because your posts are interesting.
 
You are so much cooler than Marissa Mayer.
 
I posted this comment in a similar conversation, so I'll just put it here as well.: to make a vast, sweeping generalization: I suspect it has more to do with men being more aggressive about leaping at new technology, while women aren't going to fuss with it until it's proven to have some worth--they gain less satisfaction from being a technology pioneer.
 
+Marissa Mayer hasn't been very active on G+ so far, which would account for her relatively low following. I'd expect her to have about the same as +Matt Cutts (11k at last count) once everything shakes out. Don't sell yourself short though +Gina Trapani , you're still one popular geek :D
 
That's because I am attracted to your mind Gina..
 
+jacob bayless Watching TWiT regularly it seems that it is close to an even male/female split in staffing.
 
http://socialstatistics.com/ is self submitted or at least it was so using it as a gauge to measure the demographics of G+ is flawed to begin with. Are there more men here? Of course I doubt anyone suspected otherwise during initial roll out. Are only 10% female? I doubt it, but maybe not significantly more. I hope and believe Google has much more than 10% women in the work force and aren't nearly all google employees using G+. Those women alone I would think were enough to equate to more than 10% of G+. And I know I have more than 10% women in my circles. I think the numbers being shown around the blogosphere are wrong because they are taken from a tool that users must submit themselves to. So what we really find out is men care more about their social ranking than women. And yes Gina others can add you to that list.
 
Gender proportions on G+ certainly relate to the propagation of invites from Google and then invites that came from the first invitees. There are certainly gender differences that contribute to acting on invitations; certainly men are more aggressive about things that relate to attention (at least my experience with undergrads suggests this).

But I would take this thread and turn it a bit: where are the Hispanic Americans, the African Americans, the other people in tech from underrepresented backgrounds. Isn't this what +Gina Trapani is really talking about. What measures of diversity are there on G+.

I've heard that Google sent initial invites to people that represented a variety of languages and countries, and I've seen some on here. But I would like G+ to be well represented by people who are elsewhere underrepresented in tech. Is there anything that Google could do to help make that happen?
 
Another thought: several hundred of us came crashing in from a forum community that is slanted towards a heavier male demographic. What's interesting is that of that split, which I'm estimating at 1/5, the ones that came over to G+ break down closer to 1/50. So far, anyway.
 
as I wrote elsewhere, plenty of Italians and a few other groups in here, as fast as I could get invites out ;-)
 
+Aaron Kasten Fewer than one in ten (undergraduate) computer science graduates are women. So if G+ membership consists largely of tech geeks, then a 10% number is reasonable. Do not underestimate the present and future gender (and diversity) problem that faces the tech industry.
 
I have 30% females in my circles (I am "following" some Devs and Bloggers like yourself), among the users who have me in a circle it is 10%! (most real-life friends)

And there are some more females I know are using G+ but which i do not follow because I only know them as FOF and from seeing them at Uni.
 
Gina I am with you on this. It disgusts me to that the percentage of women is so low. I am making a conscious effort to invite more women. I mean, if we are testing this thing, let's do it right.
 
I followed you because you were so prominent in Gwave with your book etc, so I thought if anyone is going to know about G+ it will be Gina! Nothing to do with Gender. I wonder what the gender bias in the industry is anyway?
 
I will have to say that MOST of the people in my circles are women. Why? Ravelry.com is full of a bunch of extremely tech-savvy knitters that have invaded G+.
 
I think one reason for your popularity on G+ is because people know who you are. At least among the circle of people who can get their way into G+ in the first place. For example, you are the founder of Lifehacker, your on TWiG, as well as other tech podcasts/shows. Your internet famous. Few people know who Marissa is. I would say you are more famous then her despite her position. Even if they recogonise the name, they may not be familiar with it enough to want to follow her.
 
Given that this is a field test among the geekiest of the geeks and given your role on TWiG, it should not be surprising that you're in the top ten. (Don't sell yourself short. You're awesome and a role model for people of all genders.) Sadly, it's not surprising -- but should be -- that there are so few women on. Once this opens up to the world at large, hopefully some balance will be restored.
 
and maybe we can start by "seeing" and getting to know some of the other women on here
 
+Doug Kaye I am now tempted to create a "Un-Follow Me. I have nothing to contribute here" animated GIF... (Though I hope no one reshares it.)
 
Isn't g+ still populated by early adopters, and by that I mean geeks (and I wear that badge with pride) which are a group dominated by males. I know my cs course was 90% male, and the it department I work for is maybe 80% male. Both of these ratios seem to be improving and when g+ goes open I'm sure we'll see a huge swing towards a more normalised demographic as the 'geek' contingent become the minority.
If however the seed invitees were entirely male I would be very disappointed and honestly would have expected more from them. 
 
Hey, I'm #5341 but I bet I'm the only Nuclear Facility Site Inspector here :)
 
On the other hand in the spirit of testing I would say they should actively select and promote the use of the service among women to get the feedback a service such as this requires. Even if that means picking prominent women and giving them invites for women only to further the spread. (Don't expect discrimination comes in to play here I wouldn't expect) 
 
+Tay Internationale It's human nature to resist change. But that's the lizard brain talking. Our Paleolithic brain. Let's do what we can to engage our peers and have them employ modern rationality and equanimity in issues of diversity.
 
+Gina Tripani Hey more females should have jumped on the invites when their friends sent them. No one is being bias here.

I don't complain that more black people aren't on here. It is what it is.
 
Does anyone know what the benchmark gender ratio is over at the other social network?
 
I think it is that more people are familiar with your name. When it comes down to it I don't know who marrisa is.
 
+Gina Trapani I'd love it to be balanced, but let's be real, hardly any black people are even in social media on a high level to begin with, +Baratunde Thurston being an exception. :)

That being said, I'm just saying that I honestly don't think Google was trying to be bias. I'm confident it will even out; remember there are more women active on Facebook than men anyway! :)
 
It's safe to say that the initial g+ field test is heavily slanted towards us geeks, and I think your statement about g+ is really a statement about IT/Computer Science/Geek Culture in general. We need more girl (as well as other minority) geeks across the board, not just on g+.

Thank you for blazing the trail in this regard. Your excellent work, in both technology and as a public figure, is an inspiration to many women in this field; but make no mistake, you're breaking new ground everyday.
 
+Tay Internationale - I hear you, brother. (FWIW, I looked at your profile to establish your gender of record.)
 
In my experience the geek culture should be easiest of the male dominated groups for women to increase in numbers. Most of the geeks I know will embrace another of their kind irrespective of race religion or gender. 
 
Mike Montiero and Katie Gillum had a nice discussion of diversity in an episode of 'Let's Make Mistakes' (episode 5). I highly recommend those concerned about diversity take a listen. What these two say about diversity in Design can be translated immediately to diversity in tech. +Dan Benjamin
 
+David Bowes Not my experience at all. Have you been into a 'Intro to CS' classroom before? Talk about a testosterone enriched environment. There are subtle cultural factors at play there, too. Geeks may embrace diversity, in principle, but pre-geeks (or geeks in training) may have a hard time doing so.
 
I must say that I do not read, comment on, etc. based on gender. I look at the content. If I like what is being said or said then I continue to read other items from them. If there is only one in ten that is a woman then I say that the other women are not providing content that is resonating with the viewing audience.
 
I did my cs degree a little whole ago but that might be because while geek is a strong social identity 18 year old boys are still 18 year old boys :-)
I guess I'm talking post university sort of geeks. Plus as a group, not so good with the talking to girls thing. Gets easier with age perhaps. 
 
I'm thinking theres just less women seeking invites. And certainly less that know about Google+ at all, as many aren't interested in all things techy, unfortunately.

I had to get a share from a complete random to get in. Can't imagine most of my girl friends bothering to be honest.
 
I think is because you give a voice to the nerdy women, your followed because your the beacon for the voice.
 
+Lamarr Wilson and +Gina Trapani I have no idea how many black folk are here on G+. My experience is a LOT, but my circles may be drawn with darker ink than the average. As for black folk not being on social media, that's definitely wrong. Twitter is super black as just about everyone should know by now. Given the limited access to G+, how the service caters to the super tech literate and elite, i would not be surprised to find that the percentage of black folk here is low, however
 
+Baratunde Thurston I think you misunderstood me; I said black people on "high level" or more noticed. I mean, besides you and OhDoctah, I haven't seen any other blacks on TWiT or other high profiles shows or ranks on Twitter, Revision3 (they did just get SolderKnowsBest so that's a start), etc.

We are there, but just not pushing for a higher place in the tech industry. I have to work twice as hard on YouTube to get recognition, but it is what it is. I try not to place the race card and hope that one day my hard work gets noticed and appreciated. :)
 
+Mike Handy I meant it as she is an example of a woman who is into tech, doesnt make it taboo to be as nerdy as the boys. I listen to her on twig and as a developer she gives a voice to what she does, she doesnt sugar coat her wants in programs and I believe she is the voice of a regular user.
 
now on the the black discussion, that can also be said for any other population. I look on my suggested friends feed and I hardly see anyone of color, I think im a minority being Mexican. I saw 3 people on here lol. I believe it is because they are not represented during the field trial. I do hope that once it is opened to the regular public, more people of color do come in and bring their cultural backgrounds on here. Right now the majority of people I consider them the tech community are here, early adopters, pioneers or what have you.
 
10% really? wow...I'm actually speechless at this.
 
Sounds like we need a people of color / women role call on G+. in that case, double check. 
 
Gina your still #1 to us! Tops even over Leo!!!
 
I don't see why it's surprising that so few women are on G+ yet. It's been hard to get invites, and mostly people in the tech field were even aware of it till very recently. Take that gender disparate population, then further narrow it by the slice of people who care enough to track down an invite? Mostly guys. I won't be concerned with the gender imbalance until G+ has been fully public for a month.
 
Are early adopters mainly geek or geek inclined (disregarding celebrity). If so, the geek culture tends to be male dominated. As i explained to a group of female students at an open day for young women at the UNi where I am a researcher , the reason it is that way is them - they don't enrol, we stay male dominated.
Google+ could merely reflect that...:(
 
I spoke at a mobile conference this spring and there were about 90 CEOs - all male!
 
+Leann McArthur I don't understand why your gender is required to be public. That's kind of offputting. Not that I care for myself, because I'm a public kind of person, but I know a lot of people who would like to keep that information private.
 
Leann - Valid point. I was really turned off Buzz for that reason. And mandating that profiles be public is a little distressing. I don't have any exes who threaten my safety, but I can think of at least one I'd rather keep away from personal information. And for a variety of legit reasons, everyone has their own comfort levels regarding privacy. I admit, I HATE how Google requires linking everything together. My YouTube browsing, my email, my social networking, and my real name--I'd prefer not have those connected by any line that can be followed. The cumulative information is a spooky level of knowledge about a person.
 
Well with G+ I guess it's just everybody looking for the "G spot"! ;-)
 
LOL very funny, lets keep it clean tho
 
+Cheryl +Stephanie - I started an official, public role call on my profile - spread the word and let's get a better picture. #answerthecall 
 
Well, I just posted a photo with myself +Patrice Yursik +Luvvie A and +Nichelle Pace from last fall in Miami at a conference and not only are we all women, on Google+ but we're all Brown women too!
https://plus.google.com/108592111659880309890/posts/9JbmmjXvsxv

There were actually two discussions going on about the "lack of women on Google+". One by +Quentin Hardy over on the Fortune site called, "Sex Problems At Google+" and then +Robert Scoble wrote, "Why yo momma won’t use Google+ (and why that thrills me to no end)" so I wrote a blog post to respond to these called:

Hey! Where’s My Google+ Invite? Oh, But You’re A Girl
http://butyoureagirl.com/10163/google-beta-invites-guys-women/

Tomorrow will be a week since I got my invite (from an ex Googler) and I continue to see women I know adding me to their circles so I'm visiting their profiles and giving them shout outs to raise visability. In the last 24 hours, I gave a shout out to +Cathryn Posey +Erica Mauter +Cheryl Contee +Denise Jacobs +Meghan Wilker +Tiffani Bell and +Mary Tolbert - all are involved in technology one way or another either engineering, design, development, project / product management and I've met them all in person.

We're here! We exist and we're connecting on Google+
 
As others have said, you're the TWiG girl.

Ask Leo Laporte what the demographic of the TWiG listeners is.

As usual we may have to blame one, two three or all of the TWit Army, Habermas, Chipotle or Glee.
 
By the way, are we forgetting the ginger people too?
 
+Jason Miller oh, Brown people are on Google+. One thing I wish sites like YouTube and social networks would ask is race. I'd gladly provide it.

+Lamarr Wilson I know you already gave me heck about the "women on Google+" but I'm going to speak up on race and Google+ invites.

You don't need to be "high up" in social media or tech to get beta invites; you need to get out and connect with people. My roommate used to work at Google and not only did he invite me, he invited several other women to Google+.

I met you because I physically went to Seattle to attend Gnomedex. I came over to you because you were, gasp!, Brown like me and I wanted to connect! I met +Cathryn Posey the same way...at the same conference. We're pretty tight and I would bend over backwards to help Cat out with something. Oh, I already have on several things and it's improved our friendship.

I just read Sheryl Sandberg's piece that will be in the New Yorker next week and it is both sobering to know that almost no women hold seats on the boards of successful social networking companies or VC firms and encouraging to see how much effort and investment Sheryl puts in to encourage and nurture women to keep reaching. I'll gladly extend my hand for that opportunity.

I pay it forward whenever I can and sometimes it just means saying "hi" to other women on a new social network like this one ^_^
 
This comment thread on Gina's status is a good example where Wave-like comment to comment nesting would be fantastic.

Anyone at the Big G reading please consider bringing that part of the Wave-magic to comments on posts.
 
The fact that this has sparked such a detailed discussion seems good to me, acknowledging a problem is required to fix it.

Whether it's selection bias, demographic, or some other reason. Talking about it helps. It energises some people, and makes the rest think about how they might be helping or hindering.
 
As much as I hate to lengthen this thread, I have to say, isn't it obvious that Gina is hugely prolific and followed, nay, beloved. There are many brilliant women out there, but not so many at the same visibility. Is the top N list thing of any use, anyway?
 
I'm just going with my personal experience here but where I grew up most of the nerds were male and the females had nothing to do with anything tech outside of having the newest cellphone and a myspace with one of those annoying backgrounds that took two hours to load. Maybe that's the issue, but I have to agree with everything +Tino Kremer said, let's at least wait till it's out of Beta to start worrying about that issue.
 
o/
I'm a girl. Although I don't blog or host a great show with amazing Leo Laporte :))

As for different nacionalities and languages being represented in Google+, I can vouch for spanish. Here in Mexico we had some invites early on. Most of the early users were the tech oriented bunch that also were early adopters of Twitter. Mostly dudes. But right now I think the male to female ratio must be around 3:2

The thing I would like to see in Google+ is more people and bloggers from fields like Graphic Design and Photo. So far I have only seen +Fabio Sasso from Abduzeedo. Know of any designers to follow?
 
So what you're saying is, I should stop following you?

Kidding, really. I get your point. I'm just an ass sometimes.

All the time. 
 
Google Profiles don't know/care/ask about your gender.
 
Just like Tom comes standard with all MySpace accounts, I feel like Gina, Jeff and Vic should come standard with a Plus account (sorry Leo).
 
I agree, you talk a lot of sense and I follow you because of TWIG. In my sphere you are one of the most prominent women.
 
Its got more to do with what you post. Who you really will only help if you post good stuff. I follow you cause you are a G+ powerhouse apart from other things. What about them?
 
That's because you're awesome, Gina! (The "most followed" part.) I admit I was a little miffed that I only got added to G+ a couple days ago. I wonder if they're aware of all the women in tech they are missing who could be doing a good job testing this for them.
 
Not to mention Lifehacker fans, Smarterware fans, ThinkUp fans, etc, etc. :-)
 
You may be the top woman on Plus now, but I predict soon another female icon of the tech world will join you: CNET's Molly Wood.
 
I refuse to give G+ my gender, don't think it's any of their business, as for who I have on G+ it's pretty balanced, I think we're getting too tied up using this like twitter, I don't intend to have anywhere need as many people on here as on twitter... just not the same thing this is more personal
 
If Justin Bieber and Snookie ascend to the top, will we still love G+?
 
I'm following because I'm a big Lifehacker fan :)
 
There's a bigger question here. Who uses Google services (Gmail, Docs, Sites) more, men or women? I think men use Google services more but not because of any intentional reason on Google's part.
 
Well I did my part today to invite every woman I am friends with, just to try to help improve the %.
 
You're back in the top 10 (at #10). Yay, having a woman in the top 10 again! :)

(And as for you specifically being that person: Congratulations and/or condolences, as appropriate. ;) )

Meanwhile, within my own circles, approximately 45% of the listed people are female -- a percentage which I hope and expect to grow in time.
 
Looks like Gina and +Felicia Day are battling it out for the #10 spot! Good to see another female make the top 10 list.
 
I'd share a spot with amazing Gina any day :)
 
don´t be so surprised...not many women rock in tech as u do..that´s a fact...and no, i´m not flattering nor looking for sex..just in case..
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