For all the times I’ve been critical of O’Reilly about the lack of women participants at the company’s events, I now find myself needing to speak up in support of the organization generally and Tim O’Reilly specifically.
At Misbehaving, Liz Lawley noticed that the number of female participants at FooCamp was only 10% of the total. However, I know that O’Reilly has been working, specifically, to include more women in these events. And this includes FooCamp.
I was invited this year, but, unfortunately, like others, had to decline because I did not have the money to make it to the event in California. Was I a token invitation? No. I believe that O’Reilly invited me to the camp this year because of my work with, my participation in discussions of, and my writing about technology the last several years–not solely because I’ve been critical of the lack of female participation at these events.
I know I would have been very comfortable talking technology with the group that was there, because I have done so with a large number of the participants here within the weblogs. I would have been a peer among peers at this event.
In a way, I feel as if I’ve let other geek women down by not going; by not bringing more of a female presence to this event. If I had the cash to spare, believe me I would have gone. This is just the type of event I would enjoy.
Perhaps O’Reilly will have me do more writing for the company so that I can afford to attend the camp next year.