Where are the women?

On Friday I attended Collaborate Bristol. I’d like to share some key takeaways and ask you a question:

Jason Mesut talked about the importance of getting to know yourself first if you are going to tackle complex problems and work in complex teams. It was great to see how the audience reacted to Jason’s content as getting to know yourself is a core part of the MA programmes at Hyper Island.

Gavin Strange brought an abundance of energy (as always!) with tales of his side projects and his myriad of interests.  He reminded the audience to try and find time to do things they are genuinely excited about.

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Mike Atherton talked openly about designing things that outlast you and posed the question “What if I’d spent all the hours I’ve spent making websites and apps (that mostly don’t exist anymore) writing a novel?”

Ian Fenn shared Millican’s Law from the comedian Sarah Millican. I’d never come across this and I think it’s great…

This is Millican’s Law. If you have a hard gig, quiet, a death, a struggle, whatever, you can only be mad and frustrated and gutted until 11am the next day. Then you must draw a line under it and forget about it. As going into the next gig thinking you are shit will mean you will die.
Equally, if you nail it, slam it, destroy it, whatever, you can only be smug about it until 11am the next day (in the past, I have set an alarm so I could get up and gloat for an extra half hour) as if you go into the next gig thinking you are God’s gift to comedy, you will die. That is Millican’s Law and it totally works. It means you move on quickly. 

I spoke about how design is changing, why designers are guilty by association and what we can all do about it. I’ve captured the feedback here. Thank you for your kind words.

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If I find myself complaining about something often I try my best to fix it. This is really hard and most of the time doesn’t amount to anything but it feels better than complaining. This isn’t a new mantra, many people have written eloquently about it; Sugru, Swiss Miss and Seth Godin to name a few. I showed a slide saying “don’t complain, fix” so it felt right to share how disappointed I was to be the only female speaker at this event out of nine speakers.

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I’m glad I brought it up because it led to many people in the audience (both male and female) seeking me out to talk about it. Some were angry, others confused and some simply disappointed. The organisers asked for my help too. Although, only one out of the other nine speakers talked to me about it.

Over the weekend I’ve received several messages (from both men and women) who want to talk to me about this and I’ve been thinking of how I can work with the women and men I met who are up for it but don’t know where to start.

There are brilliant women, men and organisations trying to tackle this problem and I applaud the work they do; teams like 300 seconds, Ada’s List and Stemettes to name a few.  Thank you!

Screen Shot 2015-11-15 at 21.48.04My question: Do you want to a) be on stage b) talk to me about public speaking c) generally show support for bringing more women to the spotlight in this community and others d) something I’ve not put on this list?

Please get in touch, you can email (myredjotter at gmail dot com) or tweet me.

I’m not sure what will happen next but if there are enough people who care let’s not complain, let’s do what we can to fix it. We can be the change we want to see.

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