This might be somewhat of a controversial subject – especially for the women who are so over the top with what they believe to be a righteous cause – but I have to say that I am feeling annoyed this morning by particular groups online. In the past few weeks I have followed several groups that sounded interesting on twitter, including Women Who Tech amongst others. As a female and a women in tech, I’m not really sure what I hoped to get out of joining these groups. But what has happened is completely the opposite from where I thought my head would land…
Today I opened up my Seesmic web (a little plug for Loic) and was reading through the overnight action. Over the past several days I have seen a few tweets from this particular WomeninTech account that I felt were a little unfair and basically annoying, such as “Wow, looking at colleagues tech firm website and see 0 wmn in senior management. grrrrrrrrr!”.
This morning it continued with a petition to Tim O’Reilly to get more women panelists on the Web 2.0 Summit. Tim O’Reilly and others representing the summit replied with fairly lengthy messages explaining the choices (or lack thereof) and how the panel actually represents the skew of the industry as a whole. I personally think that the panel makeup is just fine, but what I didn’t think was fine was the badgery and harassment (calling it pathetic and creating petitions online) that was happening.
I am all for women’s rights. I am all for women working in the tech industry (obviously). But what I have decided is simply not for me is representing women as victims of the industry. What I am not for is being rude and abrasive to push your cause down someones throat. What I am not for is women who want special treatment in an industry simply because they have a vagina. Don’t blame the fact that universities don’t push females into sciences. Blame your parents for putting pink tutus on you and giving you Barbies instead of an Apple IIC. Blame yourself for choosing to take that BA in Communications instead of Computer Science because you had dreams of being the next Oprah.
Yes, I would like to see more female techies, executives and entrepreneurs. But instead of sitting around whinging about how it is so unfair that there are so few women in this industry – DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE ABOUT IT. Pick up a damned book like I did and learn to code. Apply for those executive jobs. Start your own business. The change starts with you, not with sitting around crying over those mean boys and how they exclude you from the treehouse. And with that I shall unfollow Women in Tech and follow just Tech.
Sidenote: If anyone should be disgruntled about their lack of representation in the tech industry, it should be minority groups. I can’t tell you how few black, latino and other ethnicities I see in working this industry. This doesn’t apply to Asians (India, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese) – we are somehow accepted as universal geeks.