Tech conferences have been plagued with the problem of lacking diversity. Some conference organizers have worked to address this in various ways. Some steps are to include more women on panels or set up segments that are "women only." This week I had the honor of being named one of 2010 Top Women to Watch in Tech. I flew out to San Fransisco to be recognized and to hang out with some of the women on the list. Some of my experience, as I engaged with those at the conference, soon reminded me of why diversity is still such a challenge.
The challenges with the social web and the aggregation of content is that there isn't a simple way to do it at this point. There are a lot of social media tools and various apps but they may not all be connected to you. Here is an example:
I'm sure most of you have heard about the video “HP Computers are Racist” by now, Desi and Wanda have spoken to Mashable about how they discovered the flaw at work and put the video out in a humorous manner to get other people's reaction and insight on the flaw they discovered.
I was born and raised in the projects of New York City, playing video games before they could be played on televisions and designing BBS boards and gopher sites prior to the Web going world wide. As an early adopter and one of the few women of color web designers in the early 90's, I've been involved with tech and networks for over 20 years.
Yesterday's Washington's Times Article "Girls Encouraged to Enter Tech Field" includes a quote from me about this issue. Getting girls in technology and keeping women in the field is a topic that I am passionate about as I see more young women discouraged to see tech careers as viable options and not just the industry where the boys go to play with their shiny new tech toys.