The problem is not just in the tech industries. Many women feel that a “woman’s success” is having a family and raising children. Success is not necessarily j.o.b. related in a woman’s mind.
Speaking for myself: I have no children, but being successful for me is ensuring all the members of my family (and a few good friends) are happy, safe, and cared for is success. It would be a bonus if my web development career or art career goals took off, but they are not the key to my happiness or success.
The other issue I can see is that these women in tech conferences are presented differently. Much of the content is to “empower women” or make them feel like they made the right choice. Most women in tech are not going to want to be treated that much different that men. The conference should present the same information that a all gender conference would, but have the presenters women.
Women in tech fields do not really need to be empowered. We know we are awesome. We want information that will keep us awesome.
Big tech companies are pushing hard to get the word out about their efforts to be more inclusive for women, people of color, and other minority groups.
We recently covered Google’s latest efforts to get women involved in tech, including sending “at least one person each” to upcoming tech conferences via a new scholarship program and committing $50 million over three years to a massive new initiative to get girls into coding.
These are only early efforts. The demographic imbalance in the tech industry is so embedded in its culture that it will likely take years for the initiatives to propagate into wider network effects. The actual interactions between people who’ve been affected by these initiatives is what will lead to more women earning technical degrees and a decline in the rampant “dude-bro” mentality at industry events.
Until that happens, things are going to be awkward. As Google CodeJam Project Manager Emily Miller…
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