I was recently struck by a tweet that Steven Sinofsky wrote:
This tweet was highlighting an article that Adrianne LeFrance had written in which she had reviewed her articles for gender bias. I’ve been disturbed for a long time about the lack of the female voice in my arena of Information Technology. As an example, I’m looking at an office of roughly 70 people and there are three women in the room.
Rather than undertake the detailed analysis that Adrianne did I thought I would do something a bit more basic. I took all the feeds connected to my Feedly and went through each one to understand the author, classifying them in four ways:
- Written exclusively by a lady
- Written exclusively by a man
- Written by a collective of people
- Written by a corporate team
I didn’t try to quantify if the voice for collectives or corporate feeds were was predominantly male or female, I suspect most are written by men, but I didn’t want this to turn into a huge venture and the results were categoric enough without this extra classification.
Taking all the blog feeds I subscribe to the female voice is tiny:
With only 6% of blog feeds being written by women and 48% being written by men the corporate and collective feeds would need to be completely dominated by women for it to make any meaningful impact to my inbuilt reading bias.
If I strip out the blog feeds that are not directly work related the situation is even worse:
I’m quite ashamed of this result – 2%, that’s awful. There are 4 feeds that I subscribe to for work related information that are written by women, that’s all.
Information Technology is a field that is dominated by men but it can’t be that biased. Even if it is that bias it’s about time we did something to change it and one step I can make is to listen to the female voice. That’s where you come in, who am I missing? Who are the female writers that I’ve overlooked who are talking about Information Technology or even technology in general?