Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

Diversity in Tech

In the technical meetups I've been part of in NYC, I've been noticing a demographics shift from them being practically all-male (e.g. 1-2 women in a group of 120) to them starting to have a little bit of gender-diversity (10-15 women in a similar size group). This is a good thing, and I've seen it across several groups. I don't think the content of the groups themselves has changed much to allow this; the groups are racially diverse and have been for a long time (plenty of Indians and Orientals and a fair number of Blacks), but race and gender don't come up as topics either in official content or informal side-channels (and not that I mind most forms of erasure even as I notice it, but that doesn't seem to happen for any category I'm aware of).

I wonder then why we're seeing this demographics shift, and if we can expect it to shift further. I've heard that Etsy has made particular efforts to bring gender-diversity to its workplace, and while I don't approve of everything it's done (they have a highly obnoxious policy of "you must apologise if someone says they're offended by anything you do", apparently), there's much to be liked in other of their methods and certainly in the result. Maybe other companies are doing the same, perhaps the college-gender-gap's echoes (reportedly women are going into college at higher rates than men and achieving more, nowadays) are making their way into workplaces, perhaps the healthy (and unhealthy) ideas from the various flavours of feminism are having an effect, and perhaps the generational gaps are just smoothly dumping people with past inculturations out of the relevant workplaces and eventually into the grave.

One of the things I like, having briefly chatted with some of the leadership of these groups, is that it's happening without any Tim-Wise-style bullshit. People are just showing up (and hopefully staying) without the need for people to babble about power and privilege. On the rare occasion that people have literally objected to women being in the communities, they've been yelled at, but otherwise it's been a nice, smooth, quiet transition without obnoxious third-wave theory. I'm hoping we keep it that way. This is the kind of feminism that IMO should've won.

It'll be interesting to see if the trend continues, and how.

Tags: feminism

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