The Only Girl in the Room

The news has been filled with stories of sexism in tech. These stories cover major, obvious instances that, hopefully, are not common in our everyday lives. So why is sexism (and inclusion for everyone) getting so much attention? Have you ever thought "I believe that it's tougher and I want to help, but I've never seen it happen?" Our day-to-day definition of normal is not as inclusive as we think it is. Come get an inside look at what kinds of daily things happen that make it very difficult to be a woman in tech. Page

Panel Includes:
Beth Tucker Long @e3betht
Eryn O'Neil @eryno
Gary Hockin @GeeH

Like at least some of the other men in the room, my interest in this talk stemmed from the fact that I have a daughter who’s future I care dearly about. Beth started the talk off with some great examples of where she has personally experienced this issue. Ofter the slides the panel began a discussion with the audience about the issue of sexism in the development community. It was a good discussion and I am glad some people are having it, unfortunately it is a much larger conversation than can be had in just a half hour. I hope to see more people carrying this flag throughout this and all other fields of work and walks of life. Gary raised a fantastic point that a very small thing that we can all do in support of this cause is the boycott any event that does not include a code of conduct. I would definitely attend another talk about this subject and found all three of the panel members compelling presenters.

There seemed to be shared sentiment among many people in the room that they either will not or are concerned about encouraging their daughters to enter the development field because of these issues. From my perspective encouraging or daughters to do so is probably one of the best ways to eliminate this issue from the field. Prejudice, which is what we are really talking about, unfortunately appears to be part of human nature. It exists in every socioeconomic environment in the world, from the richest black women to the poorest white boy. It is my opinion that the only way humans seem to overcome these feelings is to be exposed to them everyday in unavoidable ways. Once you are forced to live and work beside that which is different your blinders are forced away and people start becoming people instead of labels. Tolerance and acceptance become the norm.