Meri Williams makes some excellent points about diversity and gives some reasons as to why most of the really popular technical blogs are written by men, despite there being many women involved in technology and many women bloggers. I completely agree, and have to admit to feeling slightly annoyed by all the “where are the women” type discussion as my answer to that is that we are here … we’re just busy!
I think that many of the reasons are mirrored in the offline world. Individually I tend to get on with men better than with women, however once a month I go along to my favourite business networking group, which is specifically for business women. I love this group because everyone turns up and can openly talk about the fact that they haven’t been able to work today because their child has been ill, or that they have spent all weekend standing watching football games or driving children to dance classes, or have just burned the dinner because a client called and they forgot about it. Then we all get down to discussing business. The fact that we have all of this other stuff going on doesn’t take away from the fact that we all run successful businesses, and sometimes it is nice to be able to talk about it, however I have never been in a mixed networking group where this has happened. Even with men I know well, who I know spend a lot of time doing school runs and so on, they seem to switch into some kind of ‘business mode’ and you wouldn’t even know that they have a family.
I think this is a similar dynamic to that which we see on blogs. Here I will talk about web development, the Small Person’s ballet classes, the study I do with the Open University, post pictures of sprouts … whatever I feel like. I don’t feel the need to partition parts of my life off from one another and this is my personal site, so it reflects me, not just the code that I write or the business that I run.