In contrast, Apple's main event for women took place in a hallway on the third floor of Moscone, on the last day of the conference. While the speakers Apple invited were excellent, having it in the hall made it feel like a disorganized afterthought. Standing in four separate groups, we shouted questions at our presenter over the roaring crowd. I gained insight into the venture capital process, but it wasn't a format that enabled meaningful connections--and those connections are the lifeblood for a female developer.
What we can do
When I was a teenager in the 90s, I had few female role models to look up to in computer science; it's simply not acceptable for this to still be the case in 2014. Next year at WWDC, I want to see at least one woman in a public speaking role during the WWDC keynote. There are many bright, smart, well-spoken female Apple engineers; let's put them on stage and be role models for their peers and our daughters. Or Apple's Angela Ahrendts, who may not be a developer, but her business savvy and presentation skills seem like they would be well-utilized at next year's keynote. And I want to see more women and minorities at WWDC next year. We're a small crowd, but we do exist, and having more of us at the conference will emphasize this.
Getting women into entrepreneurial positions is also critical. My own company, Giant Spacekat, has quickly risen as a powerful voice for women in game development. Not only am I in a position of industry credibility, I'm able to speak to my experiences, to hire women and advocate for other women. There need to be more Giant Spacekats in the industry.
I was recently talking to a friend of mine who's a project manager for New Relic. She was telling me how, as an female introvert, she felt the things she valued also helped her lead a team of introverts—giving people room to talk, keeping the loudest voices in check, and making sure everyone was heard. This is a skill that women are socialized into early, and because New Relic valued it, her entire team benefited.
Change we can believe in
"I'm exhausted talking about women in tech," A male friend who edits news for a major videogame site recently told me. "It feels like a war!" I totally get it. If you're tired of reading about it, imagine how tired women are of fighting for it. But we have to keep talking. Because if we don't, it will be as bad for our daughters as it is for us today.
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