Over on N=Blue there is a great idea to help turn “the perception tide for women in tech”. This isn’t just a great idea from the standpoint of helping to educate and create greater sexual equality in the tech industry, it is also a great idea to make conferences more socially acceptable places and to help break down some of the gender barriers in and industry that still struggles with “the old boy network” image.
I’ve worked in quite a few tech firms, and have worked for both men and women, and would say that the differences I have seen have nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with good management skills and bad management skills. It is time the tech industry took a long hard look in the mirror and realised that the beer-gutted geeks are no longer where the talent, or the dollars, are.
I feel N=Blue’s post is especially timely during a week when the most sexist edge of the tech industry, the video games market, in the Uk claimed that they are having a hard time inding suitable employees from university graduates due to the poor selection of suitably defined degree courses (Skills shortage hits games firms – BBC News). The games industry is notorious for its pandering with sexual imagery to an assumed ‘all powerful’ teenage male market, as seen earlier this week by the new articles reporting a U-turn by the deveopers of the Age of Conan video game over the berast size of female characters (Age of Conan – gamer fury as breasts reduced – Telegraph). However the times are changing as proven by Ninteno’s success with the family, and gender friendly, Wii platform. With news that Nintendo dominates May sales (BBC News) in the US, we can hope that the industry will realise that this isn’t a knee jerk reaction to violent games, but actually a general shift towards games that respect the lifestyle, attitudes, and interests of a wider user base.
So if you’re interested in new ideas, and a potentially beneficial way to encourage young women into the tech industry, then check out the following article on N=Blue: Good Idea #2: Turning the perception tide for women in tech.