I have a theory on why the percentage of participation of women in tech is so painfully low (~10%). Less of a theory on why we are here, but where to go.
Tech is a barn dance, and all the guys showed up first. Right now there is a dance full of 90% guys, and the women are peaking in their heads and seeing a bunch of dudes having a pretty good time drinking and dancing. I would say that:
- Nobody has locked the door
- They were invited
- They have the skills to dance
- The DJ (leadership) is begging them to come in
- The guys will have an alright time without them
- The dance is better if they come in
I hear horrible stories of sexism in other industries, but startups seems to be a very supportive ecosystem (I’ve yet to see a firsthand ‘that is horrible’ story or hear of many). I’ve seen an amazing amount of support, but the numbers are still amazingly low.
I propose that it is time we all stop dancing for a minute, go outside and invite someone in.
It will be a better party if everyone did.
If you need some pointers on organizations that are doing a great job, check out Women 2.0 and BlogHer. Three kick ass roll models would be Amber Case, Tara Hunt and Melanie Notkin (and many, many, many others). Note your favorites in the comments.