My goodness. Aliza Sherman really nails it when she responds to Michael Arrington (Techcrunch) about his post: Too Few Women In Tech? Stop Blaming The Men. She counters his post, effectively and accurately, point by point. She’s calm and she’s informed. She writes in detail. She’s not too angry. She’s right. It’s a long post, so you should take some time to read it and absorb her arguments. I’ve pulled some of the key points that really resonate with me from her amazing post which was written in response to of his original points:
Here she goes:
I’m not a whiner or complainer (except over a glass of wine with friends). I’m a doer. I’m an instigator. I’m an innovator. I’m a leader. I create things, build things, write things. Make things happen.
I cannot believe we are STILL having the EXACT SAME CONVERSATIONS today as we were in 1995 when women made up 10% of the female population
It does matter how OLD you are. Ageism is rampant in Silicon Valley. If you were born before 1970, chances are you are considered "old" unless you are male and can then be considered a "gray hair" which is actually a great position to be in because regardless of your credentials, your gray hair demonstrates wisdom and seasoning. For women, gray hair signifies old
We (women) stand in our own way of our own successes.
You are part of the problem, Michael Arrington. You are a successful, young, white male who has the ear and eye of many powerful men in the tech industry, and you – like too many of them – have sat on the sidelines over the years scratching your heads or scratching your balls. Not many of you have taken positive actions to make positive changes in the system to create more opportunity for ANYONE who is not white and male.
Fixing the system helps EVERYONE, not just women.
This past year, I spoke with several people who run tech conferences and hear the same tired refrains.
One, a very nice male, said, "we keep putting out a call for more women to speak but just aren’t getting the response."
Another younger male said, "we go out of our way to try to get more women, but even when we find them, they end up not submitting anything or they drop out shortly after being selected."
Your circles are far too small, your reach far too narrow. You are missing dozens if not hundreds of women who would qualify to speak at your events. You just don’t know how to find them, how to approach them, and how to remove the barriers for their entry even once they receive an invitation from you. You have NO IDEA.
She is right. So right. I’ve applied to speak at conferences in the US in the past, but because I don’t live on the same timezone, or I’m not American, or in the US inner circle, my submissions get rejected. Fortunately I get enough speaking engagements over in UK and Europe to make me realise that it’s not my presentation style or my tech ability – it’s just my nationality and the Europeans I hang around with. What a shame. Over here we bring a different perspective to things. A non US perspective. A global perspective. Something that Americans might want to hear…
We all need to keep chipping away at this iceberg of negativity and stereotypical perceptions. Men and women. There are some totally AMAZING women out there doing jaw dropping things in technology and telling their story to their female supporters…
The trouble is, some men just don’t want to listen…