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May 14, 2009

I’m Man Enough To Be At WomenBuild Tonight. Are You?

Weirdly enough, it looks like these LEGO women are Wuxai fighting.

One of the most eye-opening moments for me during the bus tour was seeing the statistics about the decline of females taking computer science AP exams, and the attendant decline of females in the technology industry.

Personally, I have a feeling that most of this trend largely boils down to the typical stereotypes about the computer industry and those who work in IT as being uncool. Trying to get most any kid involved in anything considered “uncool” is harder than trying to sell icemakers to Eskimos.

Of course, the truth isn’t that simple, which means the solution isn’t as simple as having the right kinds of t-shirts printed up for conferences. And it definitely won’t ever change without both men and women figuring it out together.

During the free-form Jam on IT sessions at Tech-Ed scheduled for tonight, some of my best female pals in the tech industry like Elisabeth Vanderveldt and Susan Bradley will be helping deliver a WomenBuild event right here at the LA Conference Center. It’s scheduled to start at 6:30p in Room 518.

And I’ll be there, for sure. Why? Because anyone (male or female) stupid or arrogant enough to ignore the very real influence women have (and will continue to have) on the technology industry will be missing one of the greatest sea changes we’ll see in our industry.

It’s not purely altruistic on my part either. Both Apple of My Eye and Cute as a Button have expressed different interests in technology: AoME from a creative perspective; CaaB from an analytical perspective.

And I’ll pretty much do anything to help them find out what they love and want to do as their life’s work. Including show up in a dress if that’s the only way to get in.

Plus, WomenBuild uses freaking LEGOs! How can you resist that?

Hope to see you there. Guys, I’m talking to you!

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