Thursday, October 08, 2015

Taking The Tech Sector Gender Gap Seriously

The gender gap in the technology sector persists. The facts are available to everyone. Conference photos show far more male attendees than females. I see it myself, not counting the "booth babe" tradition that is either on its way out or destined to be augmented with "booth dudes" for equity. Fewer women pursue tech careers than men and they are generally paid less even when they have comparable education and experience. This state of affairs cannot hold forever in a society that pledges "liberty and justice for all" to its national colors.

I don't always discuss gender seriously on this blog. I usually mention it in the same breath as my awesome manliness, resembling a satirical Stephen Colbert approach to truthiness. A lot of people haven't been getting the joke. I used to think it was because I wasn't funny enough. Now I'm thinking it may not be funny at all. Members of both genders have caused me major problems in my career and that is why I must now work alone. My solitary efforts have provoked plenty of people who certainly deserve ridicule for their poor economic decisions. I have not shied away from criticizing the rich and poor alike. I must now address the unintended consequences of inequitable language.

More men are asking women what they can do to close the gender gap in tech careers. Women experts at the Commonwealth Club in October 2015 let us know what we can do, and I was in attendance to hear the message. Well folks, I am not one to back down from a challenge. If real men are supposed to step up and do the right thing, then by golly I need to be out in front. You won't hear any more sexist remarks on my Web properties in the future. If I need blog photos to illustrate demand for my compelling expertise at tech conferences, the photos won't include booth babes. My raw genius is powerful enough without photographic proof. I will do all that I can to encourage female acquaintances to attend local tech events, and they don't have to thank me. No one ever owes me anything. Paying it forward is supposed to be Silicon Valley's ethos anyway, but a lot of men in the Valley's insular VC culture somehow didn't get the memo.

Revising a few lines of text on the Alfidi Capital main site is long overdue and shouldn't take me more than a couple of days. Making the rest of the tech and financial sectors more accommodating to women will take longer. Men like me who dislike unfairness in business can no longer exclude women who would otherwise be natural allies in changing America for the better. I cannot change our society all by myself. Don't wish me luck; I won't need it. The rest of America needs that luck more.