Recently, I have been reading a discussion regarding gender bias in the tech industry.
I realize it is a problem, but for the past years, it has been more of an intellectual realization than something that hit me in the gut. Perhaps it has something to do with the work place culture where I have been working, combined with the informal technical fora I have seen, as well as the general state of things here in Norway.
However, these things are perhaps not talked about quite as much as they should, and today I re-learned that although things may seem mostly rosy, they are not necessarily so.
Kirrily "Skud" Robert has been active in various open source contexts for years, and should be no stranger to the Perl community. She recently held a presentation at OSCON -- Standing Out in the Crowd -- where she discussed some of the challenges when women are in minority, and experiences with open source projects where they are in majority.
What kicked me in the gut this time was the rather low percentage of women involved in Perl. While better than open source in general, it seems excessively low.
But Skud does not sling mud at the Perl community. Instead -- if I understand her correctly -- she aims to help open source communities -- and I suppose particularly new projects -- to utilize the resourcefulness of women in development, to reduce the gender bias by increasing the overall activity.
I can only recommend that you read the presentation, and contemplate the issue for yourself.
It certainly made me think. Again.