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I went to a recent tech conference and a few things came back when I read this article. In particular that the conf had a lot more female talkers than male ones (It was curated and invitation based).

Most talks were good but a handful were nuggets where clearly the deciding factor why that person got the talk was because she was a woman and not her expertise in the area.

Your typical dose of women who code talks were im there too but one that stood our from the rest was a woman who thought she kept having to tell people things like "use your slackbot to tell people to stop using 'guys' and 'team' instead." or "women need remote work so they can cry silently when their male colleagues steal their ideas".

I am not denying that there are gender issues in tech (though in my career path I have yet to encounter them), but I paid good money out of my own pocket for that conference.

I am not going there to see you speak. I am going there to learn and get value for my money.




My wife gave a tech talk locally earlier this year and I didn't even think anything about her gender in regards to the conference until just now. Thinking back, there were very few women giving talks that day, and none of them were about 'women in tech'.

My wife does talk about being a woman in tech, but not in conferences. And in general she says, "Whatever, use the term 'guys' if you want. It doesn't matter." She's more worried about people treating her differently (changing their speech patterns when she's around!) than anything else, I think.

The idea that women should work remotely so they can cry if they get upset is... Horrifying. For many reasons.

First, that women should cry if unfair things happen. And that guys shouldn't, or that they don't have a reaction at all. (Hint: They do.)

Would some prefer it? Sure, but so would some guys, for the same reason. And other reasons.

Anyhow, good on Soledad for insisting on talking about the things that she wants to, instead of being pigeon-holed. In the end, I suspect her talks about actual tech are a lot more effective at raising awareness of the women-in-tech issues than talks on the subject itself would be.


Most talks were good but a handful were nuggets where clearly the deciding factor why that person got the talk was because she was a woman and not her expertise in the area.

And how did you come to "know" this, exactly? As opposed to merely speculating that that's what the deciding factor was?

Really, now -- please do tell.


> clearly the deciding factor why that person got the talk was because she was a woman

Wow, what a coincidence! Every time I'm disappointed by a talk at a conference, I just know intuitively exactly why that person was chosen to present. Until now, I thought I was the only person with that super power.

I'm sorry for being obnoxious, but it's worth thinking about why it's so easy to reach this kind of conclusion. Maybe it's a bias that's so pervasive in our culture that we don't even realize it's there.




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