I remember, four years or so ago commenting that a colleague had a new, and better hairstyle. She replied thanks, and since she’d thought long and hard about the change, it would have been nice if other people said so. And off we went into a conversation about how men and women in the work place have to tread so carefully that they dare not pass comment. Another story (which may be an urban legend) was of someone from the North of England who transferred to Microsoft in Redmond, and got called into HR having said “Morning girls” to two female colleagues. Where they came from calling any female over 10 a “girl” would be thought demeaning: where he came from it was quite normal. Perhaps it was just as well he didn’t come from the Southwest of England where “My lover” is a perfectly normal form of address for someone of the opposite sex, or from the North-east where no one objects to being called “Pet”.
I bring this up because, on behalf of the Virtual-Side, I was interviewing two of the organizers of the “Girl Geek dinners” this week, and I wouldn’t dare call someone a girl geek. I’ve videoed Eileen on the subject as well, and I hope to do another with Sarah Blow who runs the dinners in London. Because it’s half term and I was supposed to be looking after my six-year old daughter, I brought her along. Afterwards she asked “What’s a geek ?” I explained. There was a pause. “Like you then ?” she said. Thanks Lisa.
There are Geek dinners are open to men and Women, but the simple fact was very few women came. I can’t think why they wouldn’t want to spend the evening in the company of a load of Geeky men 🙂 Girl Geek dinners are a chance for women who work in technology to network with each other. It’s not exclusively women, but men have to be invited by a female attendee.
This post originally appeared on my technet blog.