found drama

get oblique

I told myself I was going to stay out of this…

by Rob Friesel

…but I’d feel remiss for not saying anything at all.

I first caught wind of Google’s JSConf.eu scholarships-for-females program in a roundabout way. I had just started following Rebecca Murphey’s posts1 when I saw this tweet.

At first I thought very little of it but after seeing Nicole Sullivan’s and then Murphey’s more in-depth posts, I followed through to the rest of the thread.

  1. Personally, I’m strongly in the camp the Google is doing the right thing with these scholarships. These sorts of scholarships exist all over the place, targeting all kinds of specific groups. If we2 are going to grow as a community, we need a broad range of voices. Sometimes the best way to get those voices is to give them a boost on the way up.
  2. I feel like this thread of discourse comes up at least once a year. Every time that it comes up and someone cites that we are far from a 50/50-male/female mix in our professional community, I think “there must be some perfectly logical explanation for this” and almost always, when you look at it logically, the sad truth is that sexist pressures drive women out. I don’t know what is going to change this, but it needs to change.
  3. To the women that have spoken up about this; to the men that have come to their support; to Google for inadvertently starting this year’s furor: thank you.

The politics of this subject are complicated and subtle; that doesn’t help. But we can help ourselves to make this a vibrant and productive community by speaking out and speaking up—even if it’s just in some small way3.

  1. In a bit of an ironic twist? What with this women-in-tech thread getting going at around the same time that I start following the blogs/posts of several women developers. []
  2. ”We” here being web developers; but really “we” could be “any community”. []
  3. It’s a start, eh? []

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

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