Funny how sometimes when you wait to write something a current comes along that illustrates a point you wanted to talk about quite saliently. Women in technology has been an increasing point of discussion across the internet. I’m not an avid consumer of writing about technology and even so I have come across many instances of this issue being discussed. The issue has been pushed once again to the forefront by the SXSW conference and their handling of threats of violence in response to their plan to host panels on gaming and harassment. That’s not what this post is about, and I’m still researching/reading about the situation, but regardless, it highlights a stunning lack of diversity in technological industries and spheres in general. See the below chart for a sobering glimpse of the scenario:
While the panels I attended during Mass Comm Week weren’t explicitly about women, or other underrepresented groups, in technology or media industries, it was definitely a theme that was touched on across multiple panels I attended. Evan Smith touched on it during his talk. He lamented the lack of diversity in journalistic fields, and talked about how out of place people of certain group memberships must feel when they walk into a work environment and see nobody like them. The panel that took place during the time we would normally meet also touched on this. Ashley Hebler was very passionate about the subject when it came up and the other two panelists were both eager to see a more diverse field.
Evan Smith in particular seemed to look towards the future in regard to this issue. It seemed quite tied to generational progress. When he discussed the future of the journalism industry he was very clear that younger people were the solution and not the problem. I can’t recall exactly how explicitly he tied this to the breaking down of barriers in regards to various identities being more represented in the industry. It felt connected, but that could have just been me connecting the dots. I look forward to that being the case. Diversity of perspective always yields better results and a better world.