That’s the percentage of women at 2010 iPadDevCamp (5 of 500, by my hallway count). 6% is what my friends saw at GoGaRuCon (golden gate ruby conference). I attended JavaOne around 1998/9, and counted around 10 per 1000 (another hallway count). So, uh, it’s gotten better? It’s not that the gender balance made the event awful- in reality I only have a hint of what a diverse tech conference would be like (Women2/Labs)- It’s that I hate being part of a field that’s keeping people out, and, I must have some complicity in it: “I don’t want to be a member of a club that’d have me” – Groucho Marx. Am I a bigot because I find so much in common with the geeks?
At this point I could go on about the people who are working to change things (Women2Labs, RailsBridge), or how it happens (Girls & STEM), or, where to go from now (Darthmouth study on prejudice). But really, we’ve heard it all before. We’re smart people, we made Angry Birds and WikiLeaks (ha). But for some reason we can’t wrap our minds around this.