Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Top Ten Reasons Not to Publish Top Ten Women Lists

Sophie Germain by Auguste Eugene Leray
I'm guilty of making my own list of women who do great work in tech, but nonetheless there are at least 10 reasons we should stop publishing these "Top X Number of Women in Some STEM or Leadership Role" articles. And that is 10 decimal, not binary. :-)

  1. These lists are really getting old. Get creative. Stop copying everyone else.
  2. Lists of women in tech call attention to the shortage of women, and can be discouraging. 
  3. If we must make lists, let's make lists about top reasons to be a computer professional. Be encouraging! 
  4. An in-depth article about an ordinary woman and her work is more inspirational than a list of sound-bites about "top women."
  5. Lists are often not well-researched. A CEO with no engineering experience doesn't belong on a list of women engineers, for example. 
  6. Sometimes a woman in a "top 10 women" list was actually a man previously.
  7. It's 2015. Maybe it's time to talk about top performers in tech, regardless of gender.
  8. The actual work is being done by the thousands of women and men you left off your list. 
  9. Too often the list includes Ada LovelaceGrace Hopper, or Hedy Lamarr, whom we all love, but there are lots of living women in computing too. 
  10. When the tech workforce becomes more gender diverse, what are you going to do then? Top Sophie Germain prime number of women in tech? :-) 

p.s. To see my list of women in tech, go here

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