a continuing conversation

Images As I continue to have the same conversation with women from one walk of life to another, I had another today. Of course each take a bit of a different turn.

We were discussing education and technology.  Where are all the women?  My friend is a professor at NYU's ITP program where women are being outnumbered by men.  It used to be 50/50.  The balance completely changes the dynamic of a classroom.  Instead of focusing on topics the class ends up focusing on gadgets.  She says that if you want something done, give it to a woman.  Using the Grameen Foundation as one example.  Even in Haiti where women can't own property, it is under their husbands name ( and their children are the mens not the womens), the money being distributed to men is being drunk up while the women are trying to recreate lives for themselves, their children and their families.

As a scientist, she pointed out something that is so obvious but I never thought about.  Back in the day, men provided the protein, the food.  Still happens in many countries around the globe.  Men literally going out to hunt and provide food. If the warriors, let's say 10 women instead of 10 men had gone out on a hunt, ended up in battle and only one women came back then it would be very difficult for the small community to prosper with children.  Think about the book, The Red Tent, think about the women behind the men.  If the 10 men went out and only one came back and there were 10 women waiting home, the one lone man could still create a prosperous community.  He would be busy but he could do it.

Now a days we don't need to think that way but those early roots just made me take pause.  Women today are not traveling that straight path but weaving and bobbing to create opportunities for themselves be it motherhood, starting a company, running a company or whatever.  Men are on a straighter path. 

In the end of our conversation we talked about a a conference she had been thinking about having about why women are not in technology.  After our conversation she's thinking about a conference, technologically slanted, around what women do.  Cross platform with women in many different professions who are using technology as a medium be it starting an internet company, writing about this topic as journalists or investing in these companies.  I hope to get involved in that.  Putting a bunch of smart women in a room would certainly create a lot of interesting conversation.