Tech people

I was recently at a higher education conference for academic advisors where every time the campus tech support office personnel were referenced, they were called “tech guys.”

For example: “Our tech guys are going to be configuring our database.”

I was asked to be on a technology panel on academic advising and Web 2.0 technologies. During what was probably a long-winded answer to an audience question, I decided to point out that our campuses have “tech people” or “tech folks” on staff in our IT offices. I said something about the fact that tech guys is such a sexist phrase as it makes women invisible and centralizes men as being technology experts.

On a related note, Jason Kottke has been keeping track of the gender diversity at some of the most well known and attended web conferences… WebVisions, a web conference in Portland, Oregon seems to contain a bit more gender variation than some of the conferences that Kottke references, but not by a lot. Of 38 total speakers, only 8 are women.