Nicholas Clark [nick@unfortu.net] quoth:
*>I think that this would be a good thing, but how can it be done?
*>I estimate that in the UK the three perl mongers groups I'm (sort of)
*>involved in have a 6:1 to 10:1 male to female ratio.

Yes, the UK contingent does seem to have a far higher ratio as does much
of Europe from what I understand. I have heard that the Japanese Perl
Conference has as much as 50% female attendees which also is curious
though I don't know anyone from there to ask why or how this might be so
dramatically different.

*>Neither seems easy. What's wrong in my logic? Where do we start?

I don't know. I think of it much like I do when people grumble about CPAN
and passively demand that someone, e.g. those people at CPAN, make it
better by actively imposing rules or QC; that a top-down approach to such
a large body of people will not work and only a bottom-up peer group will
have the desired effect. This is not to say that certain people whose
words have far more influence than others might be helpful but you must
start somewhere I suppose. I also think that people have to really want
more women around. I know at least one woman around these parts who
doesn't really see a problem but I think her viewpoint is that it
shouldn't be about gender, which I respect, but think that the advent of
more estrogen bearing humans would signify a lot of good things for a
community so overwhelmingly male.

Maybe offer Perl Mongers beer for the most well behaved or ones that
convice the most women that hanging out with a bunch of mostly harmless
pedants for the evening over a few beers could actually be fun? :) I'd
personally pony up some cash for a beer fund for that campaign :) I
imagine a lot of guys get into perl or perl mongers by a friend or a
colleague and women don't often have that kind of opportunity.

I once had a woman at a perl conference say the absolutely nicest thing to
me ever which was that she was glad I was around these parts and maybe
making it easier for others. I didn't know how to react and certainly
don't know if that's true for anyone aside from her but it made me feel
good nonetheless. She seems to hold her own too :)

I don't think there is one answer nor do I think there are any simple ones
but some serious conviction would certainly warm a few of the cockles on
my bitter, cranky old heart :) Some 'one' isn't going to do it but a
trendsetting group might. When I hang around some of my old BOFH haunts
for warm fuzzies and supportive behaviour I suspect that something is
pretty wrong in that.


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