The gender makeup of tech conferences reflect the industry itself: mostly men. The bathroom lines at conference venues invariably bring that reality into stark relief.
At TechCrunch Disrupt, a gathering of startup entrepreneurs and investors, I haven’t had to wait to use the restroom for long. Throughout the day, the line to the men’s bathroom was regularly longer than the women’s. During the break in the morning’s keynote, I ran to the loo—and I didn’t have to worry about missing the next speaker.
— Selena Larson (@selenalarson) September 8, 2014
This problem is not unique to Disrupt, which at least featured several women in Monday’s stage program, from TechCrunch presenter Jordan Crook to venture capitalist Aileen Lee and Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.
At Apple’s WWDC conference in June, the audience was barely more diverse than the speakers on stage. In fact, Apple has only put two women on stage since 2007, neither of whom were Apple employees. The bathroom lines were imbalanced there, too: a long wait for men, and none for the women.
Photo by Selena Larson