As I was following my links through various blogs the other day, I ran across "Women in tech/women near tech" on the Geek Feminism Blog written by Skud.
Since deciding to major in Computer Science three years ago, I have attended a number of women in technology conferences. MidWic06, InWiC08, and GHC08. At GHC08, I learned about BlogHer, because the site and its three co-founders won the 2008 Anita Borg Social Impact Award. As a result, I decided to attend BlogHer09, an annual conference for women bloggers.
After attending so many technical women in computing events, allthough I was aware the conference was about the community rather than the technical aspect of blogging, I still wasn't quite fully prepped for the complete change in the folks surrounding me.
The "Women in tech/women near tech" blog post was able to articulate the fleeting awarenesss I had about why I experienced BlogHer in such a different way compared to previous conferences I have attended. It is the idea of "Women in Tech" as in those programming, doing sysadmin work, or other technical work compared to the idea of "Women Near Tech" as in those using technology.
When these two groups get mixed together, the "Women in Tech" have a tendency to get lost. As Skud states, "'Women in tech' articles and blogs like those make me feel invisible. Not cool."
As I begin to enter the workforce and leave my lucky percentage of 33% CS females at my university, this article makes me appreciate GHC and the efforts of ABI even more.