Gender Issues

Anne Zelenka, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Adobe Engage event on Tuesday, adds a valuable viewpoint to the recent gender discussion started reignited by Jason Kottke. (Anne and I have cross-linked in the past…she’s a deep thinker on social issues)

“Gender is an important category of diversity because women experience radically different life patterns and external expectations than men and so by including a critical mass of women you are more likely to get some orthogonal perspectives than if you include more men. Now of course you can go after diverse men too–and you should if you are concerned about overcoming groupthink and echo chamber effects. But if you leave out women almost entirely, you are leaving out representatives of half your potential audience. Even given similar intelligence profiles, career paths, and temperaments, a woman and a man are likely to have very different views on technology… because they come at it from vastly different experiences of the world. We experience more conflicting messages and more ambivalence around working in technology and working with technology than men do. Society expects different things from us, so we in turn may focus on what seems unimportant or uninteresting to men.”

More here

Anne Zelenka, who I had the pleasure of meeting at the Adobe Engage event on Tuesday, adds a valuable viewpoint to the recent gender discussion started reignited by Jason Kottke. (Anne and I have cross-linked in the past…she’s a deep thinker on social issues)

“Gender is an important category of diversity because women experience radically different life patterns and external expectations than men and so by including a critical mass of women you are more likely to get some orthogonal perspectives than if you include more men. Now of course you can go after diverse men too–and you should if you are concerned about overcoming groupthink and echo chamber effects. But if you leave out women almost entirely, you are leaving out representatives of half your potential audience. Even given similar intelligence profiles, career paths, and temperaments, a woman and a man are likely to have very different views on technology… because they come at it from vastly different experiences of the world. We experience more conflicting messages and more ambivalence around working in technology and working with technology than men do. Society expects different things from us, so we in turn may focus on what seems unimportant or uninteresting to men.”

More here

Published: March 1st, 2007

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