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From teeshirt to tech

Google and all the other tech companies really need to get their head out of the sand when it comes to how women are valued in tech fields. This is dead simple people - while there are plenty of men that are making change, the fact is until there is an equal number of women in positions of decision and influence the up-and-coming women in tech will be marginalized.

I have about 600 ideas and solutions right now that could be put into place now and in the near/long term future to give women in industries and at events more equal footing when they find themselves in the gender-minority. This isn't about wanting to take anything away from others to gain traction ourselves, it is about making the pie bigger so more women can get a slice. Holy hell my head hurts for thinking and dealing with this for OVER TWO DECADES.

PS / EDIT : The title that the +WIRED site pulls for this article is total garbage. Thanks for making it look like the 100 women in the sea of 6,000 men at #io12  where throwing a fit over fashion. #headlineFAIL  

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dawn m. armfield's profile photoNick Dean's profile photoLynette Young's profile photoChristine Cavalier's profile photo
19 comments
 
I get tired of the connections male writers (for the most part) make between women and fashion when they are supposed to be reporting on technology or politics. 

I'm listening to a segment on BBC Global News about getting more girls interested in technology and sciences as I write this. :-)
 
Power to EQUALITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 <^3!^)
 
I prefer all of my fellow techs in t-shirts.  Male or female, when you are a tech I care about what is in your skull, not what is between your legs or how you dress it. 
 
The things about tech conferences is the undercurrent (as a women) of feeling like an after-thought. I have begun to speak at women-dominated conferences like +Type-A Parent Conference and +BlogHer that really are a mix of tech, blogging, social, and marketing. I am blown away at the gender specific considerations that are taken into account.
 
+Vivian Friess see, for me, Women 2.0 is very Valley-based. I'm in New Jersey (or Philly / NYC....) and while there are a lot of great organizations such as Geek Girl Dinners and Girls in Tech, there aren't a whole lot of professional business structures. I am ALL for getting girls involved in tech & helping them stick with it (I have a 10 year old geek girl daughter), but women need not only support systems but real business and financial education and assistance. Same as the boys in the Valley.
 
Ha! It's the little things that count, right? A T-shirt!
 
I've known a few competent women in my line of work.  Not enough though.  No idea how to change that.
 
So I'm curious everyone's take on the last paragraph talking about the hard and fast hiring rule where any woman being interviewed must be interviewed by at least one woman.

What is more insulting, getting interviewed by all men, or getting interviewed by someone who does work completely unrelated to what you are going to be hired for? If I were getting hired to be a teacher, and the PE teacher was the only male at the school so he had to interview me because of policy for an English teaching position, I'd be offended.

Am I making sense, or am I diverting?
 
YES +Vivian Friess YES YES! I would love to put together a REAL leadership conference for women, not just talkie-talkie people on a stage. That may come after my workshops & bootcamps for advanced-plus level social media & tech <grin>
 
+Andrew Eva  You are making since to me.  I'd rather interviewers be chosen by duty regardless of gender.  So if you have some one interviewing to be a storage admin, other storage admins interview that person.  I don't think gender should enter the equation.  I also accept that this may be a slightly unrealistic view of the world.  It is, however, how I personally choose to operate.
 
That is a stupid article... they really could have addressed proper issues rather than more than half about t-shirts. The woman who made the statement was probably just using the easiest example anyway.

I think the biggest problem is that you need to start at a young age introducing girls to the possibility of being in tech. My guy friends don't believe me that I landed here completely by accident after being forced to take a programming course in university and, not only being good at it, loved it!

Programming had simply never crossed my mind before, and had it, I would have been in the all-male programming class in high school.  Totally missed out :( Least I'm here now!
 
I think the t-shirt issue is OK to bring up. It's just one of those subtle messages sent to women in tech: We don't bother about you. It's like "flesh-colored" band-aids. Did you ever see one of those on a dark-skinned person? It looks ridiculous. A few years ago I went searching for multi-shade bandages and could find NONE. What does that say to a person of non-white skin? WE DON'T THINK YOU HAVE ENOUGH MONEY OR RELEVANCE TO BUY THAT PRODUCT IF WE MADE IT. The t-shirt thing is the same message: you are irrelevant. It isn't about fashion. It's about being acknowledged.
 
+Andrew Eva to address your idea of having at least one woman do an interview... I would absolutely welcome this! There are things as a women that I would love to ask (or be asked) about a company or work environment that men just can't answer. 
 
+Lynette Young as someone who worked in systems administration (For the uninitiated read: server technology, programming, infrastructure design, maintenance, installs. UBER tech), I'd love to speak or help with a conference like you mention.
 
+Lynette Young it was discussed in the article, as much as I'd like to take credit for it. 

They were saying that it is Google's policy, unless a hiring rush is on, in which case they push past it.

My question was more around wondering if you were being interviewed by a woman who would be working beneath you, or in a completely different department, or not even on that campus, just because she was a woman.

I can understand being able to ask about work environment that men may not be able to answer, but I would hope the focus would be on skills and abilities. I suppose that is the crux of the issue though.
 
A conference would ROCK, but better yet, I'd love to get inside companies and chip away at the issues from the inside. As a consultant - not an employee. 
 
+Lynette Young I just got into a twitter fight with some ya-hoozie woman who goes around giving car dealerships "Certified Female Friendly" training. I was like, "WHAT?! Tell me who they are so I NEVER go to those dealerships." It's so condescending! "Female" ??? Like we're some anomaly and we can't handle fucking car dealerships? Fuck that shit.

I'd be happy to help you design a program to present to tech companies that highlights their subtle cultural assumptions that are hostile to women and minorities. I won't call it "Female Training" though! LOL!
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