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We had around 80 people sign up for our workshop on Friday, on open-source software tools for evolutionary analyses. I kicked things off, once again, with an introductory session on R, and someone took my picture. Here I am, pointing at things on the screen:

Open Source Open Science presentation

A friend and colleague who co-organized the last round with me over the summer was sitting in the back row during this session, and commented on how she was entertained by my weird jokes during the presentation. I can remember mumbling something really dumb in response to someone's question about updating an object that contained a vector of "male" five times and then "female" five times, to be just a vector saying "female" five times, about how it would be the fastest case of gender reassignment ever, but I was kind of hoping that joke would go straight over the heads of the majority of the participants.


The thing that was more awesome, to me, was the fact that the gender ratio was pretty even in the workshop. My department here is male-biased, and I get pretty tired of that environment. I don't know how the more even gender ratio came about, but I think it's a great demonstration that women care about programming when it's relevant to the kinds of work they're doing. Not that we called it programming in this case, heh. Shh, don't tell anyone.


( 4 remarks — Remark )
Nov. 9th, 2014 06:27 pm (UTC)
Women & Programming
Great article in today's WSJ,"Reshma Saujani’s Ambitious Plan for Technology" who founded Girls Who Code.
Nov. 9th, 2014 10:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Women & Programming
Thank you for the tip - I'll have to check it out!
Nov. 9th, 2014 11:51 pm (UTC)
My department here is male-biased, and I get pretty tired of that environment.
Oh? Say more, please?
Nov. 10th, 2014 05:01 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what more there is to say. Traditional power and workplace dynamics are at work, such that ambition and workaholism are emphasized at the expense of quality of life. Friends and I (especially DM) also used to joke about the gang we referred to as the "Social Insect Boys" as grad students at my grad institution, because the guys all enjoyed a certain type of camaraderie that rewarded a certain type of male-scientist persona but felt pretty exclusionary to those who wouldn't engage on their specific level.

For instance: I invested a whole lot of time and energy in helping them with their pet projects (traveling out to field sites, setting up travel arrangements, pointing out ant colonies, discussion of experimental design, help with project organization, etc) and saw no recognition or rewards for my effort (aside from authoritative decisions made by my advisor well after the fact; current boss tends to be more oblivious on this front). When this happens repeatedly, it gets very old, and with the way gender norms work, it's tricky to raise these kinds of points without turning myself into a target. Not the fight I want to fight.
( 4 remarks — Remark )

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