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I attended a Microsoft developer event in Tokyo today and was surprised that all of the keynote engineer speakers were female.

Might have been a bit of a marketing exercise, but nonetheless it’s a really good thing to see.

If gender doesn't matter, why is it a good thing to see more of a specific one?

If 100% of their engineers are women then yes they still have a problem. If it's a sign that they have a more even balance then it's a good thing because they're not wasting/ignoring 50% of the potential pool of people, and because diversity of backgrounds leads to better decision making and more innovation[1] which presumably as a tech company is a desirable outcome.

[1] See references to papers in this blog posting: http://stumblingandmumbling.typepad.com/stumbling_and_mumbli... and also https://hbr.org/2013/12/how-diversity-can-drive-innovation

It might be a sign of exactly the opposite. Unless we know the method used to pick the speakers, it's all speculation.

Interestingly, I've was unable to attend a developer event in Japan last year due to my gender.

I find all sorts of different types of sexism in Japan, but also lots of young hardworking people who have no time for it.

Can you elaborate? What happened exactly and how were you informed?

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