I’ve noticed that we’re getting a lot of hits from John Gruber’s recent piece, and it’s clear that a lot of you (including John) didn’t understand what it was I was trying to say in my last piece on gender issues, so I’ll try again.
In particular, I was writing about what Lisa Price of Carson Systems said, as quoted here (the comments don’t have permalinks, so look for Jen Bekman’s 02.22.07 / 8pm comment where she quotes Lisa):
…all I can say is we canÃt magic up women developers out of nowhere if they simply donÃt exist. I would ask what percentage of your excellent list of women speakers [Ed: yes, I’m on it] would be appropriate at our web app events? Honestly, we have looked for them in the interests of diversity and because we know that providing role models for the next generation of developers is an important part of redressing the balance, but frankly (and again I refer you back to your list and our attendee statistics) itÃs just not easy.
If women are being held back from positions in the web industry then I would seriously be pissed off about it but I have never felt that this community is anything more than a meritocracy (youÃre only as good as your last job) and that is a rare thing (no matter what your gender).
I’m not talking percentages. I’m not talking strict numbers. What I am talking about is that when someone says that she is looking for women developers & speakers and yet cannot find them, then she isn’t looking very hard. Or possibly, at all.
Once again: I’m not talking about what percentage of speakers at any given conference are women (yes, other people are, but I am not). This also isn’t about me. This definitely isn’t about me applying for speaking gigs (I have, but that’s not what I’m writing about here).
This is about claims that I “simply don’t exist.” This is about claims Shelley doesn’t exist. This is about claims that people like Molly don’t exist — ’cause nobody, but nobody could know that we exist, talk to any of us for five minutes, and still say that
[i]f women are being held back from positions in the web industry then I would seriously be pissed off about it but I have never felt that this community is anything more than a meritocracy
I would love to live in that world, but I don’t. And actually, I don’t believe that any of us do.