When I think about tech companies that respect women, I think about Apple. No one else in the industry seems to include women in its messaging like it does. The company doesn’t market its products with testosterone-soaked machismo. It doesn’t send embarrassing tweets about booth babes.
No—when you look at an Apple ad, it makes an effort to include women. Apple and its employees talk to us like human beings, and not girls who know nothing about technology. It’s important to me, and it’s why Apple has my business and (I suspect) the business of countless other women.
But it’s very hard for me to reconcile this consumer-facing Apple with the development company that put no women on stage this year for either the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference keynote or the more-technical State of the Union. It’s difficult to connect this Apple I know and trust with the endless sea of white, male faces I saw at Yerba Buena Gardens during this year’s WWDC Bash.
The time I spend on my computer is split between tech (mainly Apple), video games, and (space) engineering. To say that I am privileged is an understatement: as a european white male, I endure no harassment or discrimination of any sort. When setting up this blog or my twitter, I never had to think about whether using my real name would get me threats.
I had realised how sexist Video Games and Engineering were. I’ve seen sexism and heteronormativity all around me during the two years I spent studying Mechanical Engineering1. I’ve been introduced to video games mostly by women and feminists who pointed out to me the rotten parts of the medium.
To me, Apple development was that quiet island in the tech ocean, where most people include women and are aware of the abominations women in tech face. it never occurred to me that, of all the blogs and podcast I follow2, only one include women. I had not picked up the absence of women speakers at Apple keynotes since I started following them about five years ago. If anything, it shows how “normal” our society and community makes it seem that women are highly underrepresented. We need to listen to women way more if we want that to change.
Out of roughly a hundred students, eight of them were women. Any attitude deemed “too feminine” was mocked by a good half of the class, and would get you called a “fag”. Women objectification was a hobby for a sizeable portion of the students. ↩
Daring Fireball, Marco.org, Liss is More, Inessential, ATP, The Talk Show are hosted or written only by Men. Myke Hurley has interviewed a few women on CMD Space. Isometric is the exception, hosted by three women and one men. ↩