To which I cry bullshit.
I agree with the basic premise that women's rights isn't going anywhere until we get buy-in from the boys' club. It is an unfortunate fact of life that just decrying our lack of resources and opportunities will not get us those things until men are willing to fight alongside us. There are just too many male-oriented obstacles in our collective paths. Look at the U.S. Army Rangers, for instance. Women didn't get to go through Ranger school until after a male U.S. President supported the idea of women in combat-related jobs and a male U.S. Defense Secretary told the military to open up Ranger school applications. And even now the two women who graduated this month are going to spend their Army careers sitting around doing non-Ranger jobs until another man (probably a group of generals) says it's okay for the women who passed the training to be allowed in the group itself.
But the point of all-women tech groups and all-women conferences and all-women networking events is not to shut the men out of the process. It is to create a safe space where women can teach themselves and other women how to get into technology and how to fit into a male-dominated field. Technology has far too few women in the industry today. We get called names and lose promotion opportunities when we (doing as the guys do) advance our ideas and assert our ambitions. We don't get hired if we negotiate too hard for our salaries (but the guys do), and we miss out on opportunities if we play the nice girl card. Now, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but the trends are there.
Why shouldn't we have these safe spaces (for a little while at least)? Why shouldn't we take advantage of building our own networks (the Good Ol' Boys certainly have their own) and supporting each other?
On the other hand, we should remember that at the end of the day, we really do need male buy-in to break that glass ceiling. Otherwise all we're doing is singing "Let It Go" at a frozen mountainside with no one around to hear us.
One of many reasons I like the PASS Women in Technology group is that the men are encouraged to join. And several have. They don't see us as anti-male. On the contrary, they want to hear us sing, see us grow, and help make technology a better industry for everyone. So kudos to them!
But to Mr. Rava's point, I still call bullshit.
- Current Mood:slightly annoyed
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