Let’s stop this now! But how? Reaction to Iris Classon’s blogpost


Being a female in tech for the last 20 years I’ve had some sexist rubbish directed at me or other women around me from time to time. The main reason that I set up BCSWomen in 2001 was to provide a female only online space for techy women to discuss whatever they wanted to without being put down or abused. I set it up after a couple of uncomfortable experiences at conferences which made feel very alone and very stupid. 

Over the last ten years or so a lot of my female tech friends have left full time academia or industry because they have got fed up with this kind of rubbish, or they have realised that they will never get any higher in the organisation. Many have started up their own companies realising that that is the only way they will be able to progress. Such a MASSIVE amount of talent has been lost.

A few years ago a very good friend of mine working at a well known consultancy when asked if there was a glass ceiling for women in tech said,

“There’s not a glass ceiling, there’s a concrete ceiling”. 

I do think that this is now changing, that there is a real recognition that diversity in the workplace is a great thing to have, it benefits everyone. I recently spoke at #Itsnotjustfortheboys which was an event bringing together tech corporates with female tech undergraduates, industry is starting to try to get women to work for them. Which is a good step forward and to be applauded. However…..

This morning @osblues on Twitter kindly directed me to a blogpost by Iris Classon, a developer who obviously loves her job, entitled: 

Stupid Question 107: Shhh… Harassment. Not a problem? Strong content warning

please read it now and then come back to this blogpost. In case you can’t load the link, it’s a post about the ridiculous behaviour that she has had to endure from idiots in our profession. 

It makes me feel sick and embarrassed to think that women in our industry are having to put up with this kind of shit, I’ve experienced nothing like this, but have heard similar before. What a disgrace.

I need to write a longer blog post about this stuff at some point, but for now my main thought is LET’S CHANGE THIS!!

How do we do that? I would love to hear your thoughts/ideas….

One comment

  1. <html> <head> <style><!– .hmmessage P { margin:0px; padding:0px } body.hmmessage { font-size: 12pt; font-family:Calibri } –></style></head> <body class=’hmmessage’><div dir=’ltr’>Absolutely disgusting treatment! I think we need to educate male developers in good manners and also employers have to clamp down on this sort of stuff. I’ve known people lose their jobs for sexual harassment. It should be more common<br><br>&nbsp;<br> Hugh Varilly<br>Director, Varilly Associates Limited<br>RAEng Visiting Professor, UCL<br> Phone: +44 7967 275955<br> email: Hugh_Varilly@live.co.uk<br><br><br><div><div id="SkyDrivePlaceholder"></div><hr id="stopSpelling">Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2012 02:41:33 -0800<br>From: post@drblack.posterous.com<br>To: hugh_varilly@live.co.uk<br>Subject: [drblack] Let’s stop this now! But how? Reaction to Iris Classon’s blogpost<br><br> <style><!– .ExternalClass {padding:0;} .ExternalClass a:link, .ExternalClass a:visited, .ExternalClass a:hover, .ExternalClass a:active {color:#EB7400;text-decoration:none;} .ExternalClass table, .ExternalClass td, .ExternalClass tr {font-family:’Helvetica Neue’, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;color:#333;} .ExternalClass p {line-height:1.3em;} .ExternalClass h1 {;} .ExternalClass h2 {;} .ExternalClass li {padding-bottom:3px;list-style-position:outside;margin-left:15px;} .ExternalClass img {max-width:100%;height:auto;} .ExternalClass #ecxfirst_section a {font-weight:bold;} .ExternalClass #ecxlogo_mobile {display:none;} { .ExternalClass table {width:300px;} .ExternalClass ecxtable[width=&quot;650&quot;] {width:350px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtable[width=&quot;610&quot;] {width:330px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtable[width=&quot;578&quot;] {width:300px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;650&quot;] {width:350px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;610&quot;] {width:330px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;578&quot;] {width:300px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;538&quot;] {width:280px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;435&quot;] {width:230px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;300&quot;] {width:200px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;250&quot;] {width:100px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;20&quot;] {width:10px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[width=&quot;16&quot;] {width:10px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[height=&quot;20&quot;] {height:10px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtr[height=&quot;20&quot;] {height:10px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxp[class=w500] {width:250px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxdiv[class=w500] {width:250px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[class=w20] {width:10px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[class=h20] {height:10px !important;} .ExternalClass #ecxsubs_container ecxtd[width=&quot;435&quot;] {width:200px !important;padding-left:16px !important;} .ExternalClass #ecxsubs_container ecxtd[width=&quot;175&quot;] {width:43px !important;} .ExternalClass #ecxsubs_container ecxtd[width=&quot;175&quot;] table {width:43px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxdiv[class=post_body] {width:300px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[id=sub_title] {width:170px !important;padding-left:16px !important;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[id=sub_title] img {width:170px;} .ExternalClass ecxtd[id=sub_date] {width:100px !important;padding-right:10px !important;font-size:14px !important;} .ExternalClass #ecxheader img {max-width:none;} .ExternalClass ecxdiv[id=logo_container] {width:330px;height:60px;} .ExternalClass ecximg[id=logo] {display:none !important;} .ExternalClass ecxa[id=download_app_link] {font-size:12px !important;} } –></style> <p style="font-size:14px;color:#999999;padding-bottom:15px;text-align:center">This is a private email. Please do not forward.</p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="650"> <tbody><tr> <td class="ecxh20" colspan="3" style="border-top-left-radius:5px;border-top-right-radius:5px" height="20" bgcolor="#EAEAEA"><br></td> </tr> <tr> <td class="ecxw20" bgcolor="#EAEAEA" width="20"><br></td> <td> <table style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px" align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="610"> <tbody><tr id="header"> <td style="font-family:’Helvetica Neue’,Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif;font-size:24px" height="60" width="610"> <div id="ecxlogo_container"> <img alt="Posterous Spaces" id="ecxlogo" src="http://posterous.com/images/emails/design/logo.jpg" width="610"> </div> </td> </tr> <tr> <td> <table bgcolor="#FFFFFF" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="610"> <tbody><tr height="20"></tr> <tr> <td width="16"><br></td> <td width="578"> <table id="ecxfirst_section" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="578"> <tbody><tr> <td></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></td></tr></table></div></div></body></html>

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