Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

01 Oct 2006, 12:50 p.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2006 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

We Can't Be Equal While reminded me:

Once I was at a party with a lot of tech folk, and talked a bit with a woman, and one of the things we talked about was that we were both in a tiny female minority at our jobs. I happened to mention this while talking about the party with some work people, and Tyler asked, "Does that conversation ever get old?"

At the time, I said, "Sure, if you're talking to a boring person," but in retrospect it's a pretty shocking question. John and I spent a few minutes at the start of our acquaintance establishing that we were the only geeks on our twenty-person Russia trip. US kids who speak Spanish better than English probably swap tips and stories. Immigrants, women in tech, outsiders and minorities of all sorts get a lot out of connecting with the rare people like us.

If I ever work in a tech environment where women are a third or more of my colleagues, the hello-fellow-stranger conversation would lose relevance. If I had it with the same person over and over, it would get old.

The overwhelming male majority in tech, like climate, stupid customers, and lunch, got old decades ago. But that's what we have.