Bridge of Sighs: Is gender balancing stupid, or what is Google thinking?

Just read a post at kottke.org pointing out that the upcoming Google developer conference has 38 male presenters and one woman. Jason also points out this is no better that the c onference track record in 2006/07 for rations of women to men.
Back in the day, when I was a freshly scrubbed writer/editor/not quite a web developer yet working at Scholastic in NYC, we were taught that it was good business practice to have your development teams reflect the audiences you were creating for. Despite the fact Google has Ellen Spertus, does this mean that they are only building apps for men?
Surely not–and yet doesn’t this speaker lineup send the messages: A)Google doesn’t have enough accomplished women developers to send any to this conference; B) Google doesn’t care about supporting women developers, or they’d understand that any group needs to see their reflection to feel included (and I am not even going to start on the lack of reflection for people of color, etc.)
Google is great at supporting GirlGeek dinners and other external events–isn’t anyone there working with their own teams so they are a little smarter about all this?
Guys, wake up!
(Thanks, Viv iane)

Latest Comments

  1. Jory Des jardins says:

    Are we stuck in a vortex or what? I just got back from SES and was the only woman on my 5-person panel. There were three female keynotes among a dozen or so. I know this because a woman was celebrated for being one of the first ever there. I didn’t think SEO was such a “male” issue. Anywho, I defer to Elisa Camahort’s take, which is howya going to have a decent conference if you only look for people in your own backyard?

  2. dave medsker says:

    I’m so annoyed that the men in charge only care about the men in charge. It seems if you surround yourself with submissive, dependant women that build up your esteem and validation without challenge you’re more likely to only select men when it’s time to do something important.

  3. gregory says:

    if you are still seeing bodies as gender, rather than as housings for souls, this will still be an issue …. same with race…
    me personally, i cannot wait for the world to forget those labels, and decided to start with me…
    hope to see no further mention of gender or race

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