Track Talk F7

One of the Lads – Things I’m Tired of Hearing about Women in Tech

Sophie Küster

10:00-10:45 CEST Friday 16th June

I’m the odd-man-out. Or rather odd-woman-out, that’s the point. I’m a woman in tech. By the reactions I sometimes get to that simple statement, you’d think I had just said that I’m a talking dog or a flying monkey. Why is that? Why, after all these years of discussing, campaigning and fighting, are women still underrepresented in tech? What can we do to change that?

A lot has been said to answer these questions. Sometimes even clever, helpful, well thought out things! I do not want to add yet another version of “pay us as much as the men and treat us like human beings, please.” I am also very aware that, as a white cis woman, I’m speaking from a position of privilege. I wouldn’t want to assume I know what every woman, let alone every non-male in tech needs or wants.

But still, in the debate about diversity and inclusivity, people have also said a lot of things to us and about us women in tech that set my teeth on edge. I’d like to tell you, from my totally personal, flawed, and biased point of view about the things that I – as a woman in tech – do not want to hear any more about the problem with women in tech, from the well-meaning, the mansplaining and the pet peeves to the straight-up infuriating. There might be swearing.