On January 6, designer Andy Rutledge launched a satirical website, Conference Quotas, poking fun at the discussion around increasing diversity at tech and design conferences.

By Jess Gartner (Founder, Allovue)

There’s that word again: privileged. The word is frequently misused and is now commonly interpreted to mean “born with a silver spoon in your mouth” or “never had to work for anything,” but that’s a distortion of the actual definition. Privilege is more about advantage and immunity than wealth or work ethic.

In the late 1980s, Peggy McIntosh published “White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Backpack.” McIntosh compiled a list of subtle and not-so-subtle advantages that white people can expect on a daily basis, such as, “I can do well in a challenging situation without being called a credit to my race” and “I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group.”

The Tech Lady Mafia crowd-sourced a list of male privileges (advantages, immunities) they have encountered in various business transactions, conference settings, and social gatherings.

This is not an attack against men. This is not a case of us vs. them. This is a starting point for further discussion. This is a call to awareness of the sometimes too-subtle-to-recognize digs at female presence, integrity, professionalism, and expertise. All of the contributions are based on real-life experiences of women in the Tech Lady Mafia, so please be respectful in your comments.


» Read the full article at Skillcrush.

Women 2.0 readers: How can we begin to counteract male tech privilege? Let us know in the comments!

About the guest blogger: Jess Gartner is a Founder of Allovue. After college, Jess taught middle school in Baltimore City for three years through Teach for America. After a brief stint in corporate marketing, she realized her true passion for education technology, so she quit her job (last week!) to found her edutech startup to help principals budget funds, track expenses, and analyze the impact of spending on instructional practices and student achievement. Follow her on Twitter at @jessgartner.