You might have read that headline and thought I was going to talk about the shortage of people or the way that we cannot appear to train people up as required but this post is going to be far less complex than that.
It's less about people and more about men. It's small things, of which I have to admit I have done and still do when not being mindful. "Hey Guys", "what do you think about that guys" or "as you all know". Through to down right disgusting behaviour, watching a tech streamer where someone in the chat is suggesting that they should dress in a certain way, wear less or more revealing clothing. As you might guess, it was a female streamer.
For a long period of my life I was always concerned about calling these things out, "It's just a bit of banter", "It's not meaning anything its just how they speak" or, possibly an even poorer excuse, "It's just cultural" all of which are just excuses for not speaking up and making a change for what is right, for how the world should be with everyone being given the respect and fairness that they all deserve despite their gender.
Everyone, in particular other men, this needs to be called out, never be afraid to speak out against these things, even the smaller things that might seem innocuous, call them out. The person might have just slipped into old habits, myself being a prime one for this, but thats still no excuse and unless told they cannot improve. You will often find that the simple act of mentioning will make the person correct themselves or bring out support from others around you.
If you are in any doubt as to the harm, pain, suffering this can bring feel free to have a conversation with your mother, sister, aunties, cousins ask them if they have ever been affected or experienced this behaviour and I'm pretty sure they will have at least one story to tell.
Think about the kind of world you would want your children, your nieces and nephews or your friends children to grow up in. Wouldn't it be great if people were just seen for who they are and what they bring to the world as opposed to objects or inferior.
Tech is the core of all business these days, how can we expect to build great things when we create a toxic environment for at least 50% of the population. Let's all stand with women to make the tech industry a positive and safe place to be. Let's further look to make all forms of diversity feel that tech is a positive and safe place to work and be around or we will find that our future will be very poor.