back to article Female-free speaker list causes PHP show to collapse when diversity-oriented devs jump ship

Under the heading, "Diversity Matters!" the website for the PHP Central Europe developer conference (PHP.CE) says, "PHP Central Europe Conference is committed to creating a conference that is as inclusive as possible." Over the weekend, organizers of the conference, which had been scheduled for October 4-6 in Dresden, Germany …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Meanwhile in other news...

    ...The Black Lawyers association conference has been boycotted because it does not contain a single white person...

    Not!.

    Can't we focus on technology rather that the faux politics of the Social Justice Warriors?

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Meanwhile in other news...

      It's 2019 and the left is more obsessed with skin colour than anyone ever before them. If there were black speakers the same people would be complaining there's no women. Add women and there's no LGBT representation.

      Fuck this SJW stuff. I got a second job interview for a previous job when they found out i was gay. They called me back and asked me different questions. I should have sued them, but instead left for a better job which i got based on merit, instead of being a fucking diversity hire.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Meanwhile in other news...

        It's an old joke now, but here goes: A decent person asks a shop owner to make a ramp for the disabled to get in. A Social Justice Warrior just attacks everyone who has working legs to penalise them, while doing nothing to help the disabled.

        1. Cederic Bronze badge

          Re: Meanwhile in other news...

          Me, to the building manager: I just noticed the disabled ramp is covered in leaves. That's dangerous for anybody trying to use it and may inhibit access.

          Building manager: Do we even have anybody in a wheelchair?

          Me: I had that thought, but followed it with another one, "It doesn't matter."

          Him: Yeah, I just went through that same follow up myself. I'll get it sorted.

          I did offer to grab a broom and sort it myself but he wanted to make sure it wasn't just done, it was added to the list of things that need to be done.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile in other news...

          >A Social Justice Warrior just attacks everyone who has working legs to penalise them, while doing nothing to help the disabled.

          Yes it is notable that El Reg is showing bias by not asking the named individuals, specifically:

          - Karl Hughes, CTO of educational consultancy The Graide Network

          - Larry Garfield, director of developer experience at Platform.sh

          Just what concrete steps they have taken in the last year to develop and promote women and individuals from ethnic groups other than white males.

          I single these two out for two reasons, one they are in positions of power and influence with their organisations and secondly it is notable that neither recommended a woman/non-white male speaker to the conference organisers...

          Mark Baker, doesn't get off free, as given his advocacy, I would have thought he had relevant contacts in the community and so likewise could suggest suitable candidates both to put themselves forward and for the conference organisers to invite...

      2. 9Rune5
        Coat

        Re: Meanwhile in other news...

        I'm impressed by the number of downvotes (and upvotes!) you guys are getting! Almost half'n'half!

        It is clear to me that the organizers should have e-mailed every known female php developer on the planet and told them "YOU WILL SUBMIT PAPER NOW! PRESENT AT CONFERENCE!".

        Since they failed to do that, they are clearly bigots and need to be taken out and shot. Unless they themselves belong to some minority.

        Finally I'd like to add that I am not part of the problem. I have even worked together with vegetarians and we rarely fought. So there.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: 9Rune5

          " I have even worked together with vegetarians and we rarely fought"

          Did they announce they were vegetarians from the second you met them?

          1. SundogUK

            Re: 9Rune5

            Of course they did.

            1. Dr Scrum Master

              Re: 9Rune5

              Isn't it vegans who announce their holier-than-thou dietary preference as soon as they meet you?

              1. FozzyBear Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: 9Rune5

                They may have. I wasn't listening. I was focused on devouring the mouth watering double patty hamburger, with Gouda cheese, beetroot, topped with smoky BBQ sauce and garlic aioli. Served between gluten packed and lightly toasted hamburger buns Washed down with an icy cold beer...

                1. jelabarre59 Silver badge

                  Re: 9Rune5

                  A proud member of PETA*?

                  * People Eating Tasty Animals

                2. 9Rune5

                  Re: 9Rune5

                  I was focused on devouring the mouth watering double patty hamburger

                  It took me awhile to get back to this thread. Wife is warming up some burgerlike goodies in the frying as I type this.

                  No garlic aioli though, as my wife is not a big fan of garlic. Oh well, cannot win them all.

            2. Stevie Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: 9Rune5

              Norty person of unspecified gender-identification!

              Have an e-beverage of suitably correct type.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 9Rune5

            When they do I say thank you, by not eating meat your are leaving more for me.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 9Rune5

            You're a bigotted chap, aren't you?

            As a vegitarian, I'd ask you, as someone who's gay, if you fancy all men from the second you meet them?

            1. Mark Exclamation

              Re: 9Rune5

              You're an uneducated chap, aren't you?

              As a meat eater, I'd ask you, as a vegitarian, did you ever learn to spell?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 9Rune5

                Apologies for not proof-reading for typos, but if that's all you've got when the OP clearly has a large paranoid chip on his shoulder about all things that don't fit his view of what's socially acceptable or not, then I'll happily let you have your moment.

                Sure, this story is stupid, sure there are people whose "wokeness" goes too far, but that doesn't excuse the SJW-rant he made, or the hypocritical "joke" (which may have been funny in a different context).

                In the meantime, I'll complain to my universities for giving me degrees whilst not ensuring I double check a forum post made in the middle of the night on a touch-screen tablet.

                P.S. Yes, the first sentence I wrote is too wrong, and comes across as awkward, and whilst I do actually know how to spell "bigoted" and "vegetarian", I'll resign immediately.

                1. Stevie Silver badge

                  Re: 9Rune5

                  Really?

                  I just assumed he/she/zhe/gtst was simply doing what we call "joking".

                  I believe John Cleese pointed out only last week that P.C. jokes are very thin on the ground after being lambasted by a "clever" journo on the subject.

                  I mean, if I said "Why are elephants all grey and wrinkly?" I'd have the punchline delayed by numerous accusations of pachydermism then be yelled at after saying "Have you ever tried washing and ironing one?" for putting the idea of ironing elephants in the minds of those theoretically too stupid to know it was "only" a joke. The humour, riding as it does on the absurdism of the basic premise of the punchline, would be completely lost in the clang and clamour from the Ritalin-deprived masses.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 9Rune5

              Well I'm not gay, but as a straight guy it depends on circumstance I guess.

              If I was at the European Alliance of Retired Dinnerladies Convention...no.

              If I was at the Swedish 20 Something Air Hostesses Annual Gala...quite possibly.

            3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: 9Rune5

              "As a vegitarian, I'd ask you, as someone who's gay, if you fancy all men from the second you meet them?"

              No? There's a stereotype for Vegetarians and Vegans being easily offended and telling people constantly about their dietary choices. I hope you can see the irony that you just proved this and announced you were vegetarian in the same post.

              1. Psmo Bronze badge
                Trollface

                Re: 9Rune5

                Maybe he's Irony-deficient ?

                I hear that's an issue with some vegetarians...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 9Rune5

                Hear that wooshing sound?

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 9Rune5

            Good on you.

            I make no issue of colour, race or gender...I've even worked with people that microwave fish.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: 9Rune5

              "I've even worked with people that microwave fish."

              Absolute bounders! Thrashin's too good for 'em.

              In my day a chap would be buried up to his neck in a fire ant nest by the rest of the mess for that sort of nonsense, and they would probably get mentioned in dispatches for doin' so too!

      3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile in other news...

        when they found out i was gay

        ...looks like they were looking to fill the role of "The Only Gay in the VillageTeam

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Meanwhile in other news...

          I've upvoted just for your username!

          Coincidentally i've heard the police prioritise LGBT recruits to get their diversity numbers up...I mean it's not like crime is skyrocketing or there's a knife crime epidemic they could be sorting instead of this social engineering.

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: Meanwhile in other news...

            "i've heard the police prioritise LGBT recruits to get their diversity numbers up"

            I guess what you mean is that they prioritise *openly* LGBT recruits to get their *publicly known* diversity numbers up. As far as you or me know they could be as diverse or non-diverse as anything

            1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

              Re: Meanwhile in other news...

              I just assume their recruitment forms have it as a question before you get as far as an interview - alongside your nationality, age, gender, race, etc.

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Meanwhile in other news...

            I would consider that an openly and obviously gay police officer (or a black, or a muslim police officer) may get results in some situations where a male white police officer wouldn't - just by fitting better in with the people in that situation.

            1. Cederic Bronze badge

              Re: Meanwhile in other news...

              While sadly true that reflects mainly on the sexism and racism of the people with whom they're interacting.

              Which should be condemned, just as you would condemn someone rejecting such an officer for comparable reasons.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meanwhile in other news...

            If I'm a lesbian trapped in a male body, can I get preferential treatment for that?

          4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Meanwhile in other news...

            @Tigra 07

            I've upvoted just for your username!

            You don't have to be Mad to WorkPost here, but it helps!

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Meanwhile in other news...

            "I mean it's not like crime is skyrocketing or there's a knife crime epidemic they could be sorting instead of this social engineering."

            Have you seen the muscles on some of the gay guy's and gals in the Gyms? I would not want to be tangling with them.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Meanwhile in other news...

          I once worked for an Orthodox & Hasidic tech company, where I was the "token goy..."

    2. anonanonanon

      Re: Meanwhile in other news...

      Oh, I didn't realise the full title was "The white male PHP conference"

      This argument is moronic.

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Fatman Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Meanwhile in other news...

        I gave you an upvote for the `howler monkey` reference.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile in other news...

      We've all seen this shit before where physical overrides experience, talent, etc. and yet, rather than these SJW'w working on the quality of work, they focus on quotas. It was a disaster back in the 70''s and it has continued being a disaster to today. It's box ticking at it's worst. I always thought that the best person for the job should be hired. Everything else like race, religion, sex, and orientation shouldn't matter.

      Old joke back then but still applies: The best employee is a one-legged black woman who's gay because it fills so many slots.

      1. Flywheel Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Meanwhile in other news...

        You only have to look at the effing mess most of our Councils are in to realise that hiring box-ticking candidates over people that actually know what they're doing is PC madness. Never mind, as long as everyone that shouts very loud is happy ....

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Meanwhile in other news...

          Maybe, just maybe, austerity might be more relevant to poor council services....

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Meanwhile in other news...

            Ours has been crap for years. Austerity is just another excuse for them.

      2. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile in other news...

        "I always thought that the best person for the job should be hired. Everything else like race, religion, sex, and orientation shouldn't matter."

        Incompetence has never prevented white males from being hired, why should it prevent incompetents from any other race / gender / etc? Only half joking...

        1. Cederic Bronze badge

          Re: Meanwhile in other news...

          I think incompetent buffoons should all have the same equal chances, irrespective of their skin colour, gender or sexual preference.

          Hopefully that's not too much to expect?

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: Meanwhile in other news...

            >I think incompetent buffoons should all have the same equal chances, irrespective of their skin colour, gender or sexual preference.

            Well given the current occupant of 10 Downing Street and some notable others in the House of Commons, it does look like Westminster can safely tick all these boxes - shame there isn't some quota or other mechanism to ensure Westminster has a decent quota of normal rational and intelligent people...

    5. Shadowmanx2012
      Unhappy

      Re: Meanwhile in other news...

      Can't we focus on technology rather that the faux politics of the Social Justice Warriors?

      Sadly, 78 people at the time of this post, disagree with you.

      The world really has dived off the deep end.

  2. FF22

    This needs to stop

    If women didn't even submit session proposals, then you obviously can't blame the organizers for not having female speakers! Still doing that flies in the face of not only common sense, but also of that what the actual goal should be: ie. to allow everyone to participate in whatever they want, regardless of their gender.

    This is nothing else than the dictatorship of pro-female and anti-male discrimination, which is essentially the very same kind of evil which they pretend to fight against.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This needs to stop

      Those poor white males victims. Life is just so incredibly hard for members of such an oppressed minority.

      When they start copping-on and standing up to the blatant misogyny that is still so rife in the lower echelons of the tech sector I might shed a tear for them.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This needs to stop

        "Those poor white males victims. Life is just so incredibly hard for members of such an oppressed minority."

        While I appreciate your empathy for those stuck using PHP, maybe oppressed is going a little too far as they likely choose their punishment,

        Isn't the hope that PHP will attract a diverse range of developers a little optimistic when it is approaching the point where it's very mature and starting to look through brochures for retirement homes for legacy languages and telling younger languages to get off its lawn?

        Fighting the diversity battle with PHP likely achieves little - the small portion of misogynists stuck using it will continue to use it and be misogynists while the rest of the tech sector moves on and shrugs as PHP's demise is hastened slightly.

        While history shows wars are often won from many small victories, just as many wars are lost by winning easy battles but losing the important ones. This "victory" looks easy....

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: This needs to stop

          "The Black Lawyers association conference has been boycotted because it does not contain a single white person"

          WHAT? Oh, you most be one of those 'NodeJS' types. Ew. Or worse, DJango...

          REAL programmers don't need JAVASCRIPT

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This needs to stop

            Now now old man, calm down and take your pills.

            Instead of getting angry at us youngsters, just enjoy the premiums supporting others legacy code bases...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: This needs to stop

              Just so you know, it's really all COBOL on the back-end where it counts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This needs to stop

        Wait? So, you see a poor dog being mistreated, and your solution is to kick and punch all the other dogs not yet mistreated?

        See how well that works with animals.

        Otherwise, try being kind and helpful to people. Might help.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This needs to stop

          Well, I've thought about it, but I can't get to another conclusion that not being selected as a human speaker at a conference != being a dog that's kicked and punched.

          Really.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This needs to stop

            Those discriminated against, are they the people well, or the people mistreated?

            If you see someone discriminated against, is the solution to mistreate more people, or to be more inclusive?

            1. bombastic bob Silver badge
              Meh

              Re: This needs to stop

              most "solutions" involve some form of 'AFFIRMATIVE ACTION' which is quota-based REVERSE discrimination, which punishes people of "the wrong sex/race" using a non-merit-based selection method.

              So I agree with you, that SOLUTIONS would NOT do this. However, I disagree with the premise that they (the PHP conference promoters) have NOT been "inclusive". I suggest PROVING that discrimination existed in the FIRST place. I _SERIOUSLY_ doubt it.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: This needs to stop

                Jeez Bob, stop with CAPS. Did you used to write for the Daily Express by any chance.

                Your previous posts have shown what you think of the world and your hate for others but at least say it in normal case.

      3. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: This needs to stop

        We were looking for two servicedesk types at one point. We had a few hundred applications, and had three female applicants. Two of them got interviews, and one of them got the job.

        You are vastly more likely to get an interview if your part of a protected minority despite more qualified people applying and getting an interview means that you have a one in (however many people were interviewed) chance of getting the job.

        When they start copping-on and standing up to the blatant misogyny that is still so rife in the lower echelons of the tech sector I might shed a tear for them.

        Where? In any work environment junior people who start abusing any of their colleagues regardless of sex, race, etc are going to get one of those meetings without tea or biscuits with their managers and HR, and if they are in the "lower echelons" then there is no particular reason not to fire them, since the lower echelons are by definition eminently replaceable; it's not like replacing Linus Torvalds would be. (And in any case he's completely non discriminatory in handing out abuse; he abuses based on crap code or architecture rather than on sex or race.)

        1. SME Integrator

          Re: This needs to stop

          "You are vastly more likely to get an interview if your part of a protected minority despite more qualified people applying and getting an interview means that you have a one in (however many people were interviewed) chance of getting the job."

          Only in the public sector.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This needs to stop

        What makes you think the organisers were all male?

      5. Cederic Bronze badge

        Re: This needs to stop

        Given that white men are a minority in the UK and in the US, are explicitly disadvantaged by the court systems in both countries and can be legally discriminated against in the UK it's nice to see you recognise the systemic oppression they face.

        Meanwhile I see no blatant misogyny in the tech sector in the UK, with women getting far higher interview rates than men and almost every company having support structures in place explicitly to benefit women.

        Competent women - with any skin colour - are welcomed and cherished in the industry, given equal (or better) opportunities to succeed and protected by law, by corporate policies and by their colleagues against sexism.

        If only the same could be said for men.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This needs to stop

        Fuck you!

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: This needs to stop

      I must admit that my first thought was to wonder why anyone would voluntarily attend a PHP conference and if perhaps masochism is a more masculine trait.

      However, "(group X) didn't apply so it's unsurprising they're unrepresented" is not "common sense". It used to be said a lot about the (lack of) ethnic diversity in pubic services: turns out if you place your job advertisements in places where they'll actually be seen by people from ethnic minorities then they do actually apply. If you fail to understand the limited reach of your communication network, you're not going to make any effort to make contact beyond it.

      I have no idea how the call for papers was circulated, but if you want a representative response, you have to put some effort into approaching a representative sample.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: This needs to stop

        " It used to be said a lot about the (lack of) ethnic diversity in pubic services: turns out if you place your job advertisements in places where they'll actually be seen by people from ethnic minorities then they do actually apply."

        This applies to jobs with low barriers to entry. I would guess that expertise is required to give a talk at a conference, so advertising this conference at fried chicken shops* isn't likely to get many (useful) responses. Unless you think black/female/gay PHP developers read different technical mailing lists to white ones, this approach doesn't help.

        Maybe there is some fancy way of reaching out to people that nobody has yet thought of. But as a conference organizer, finding enough women is a perennial challenge. We recently got an e-mail from a conference venue saying there were not enough women in our line-up (we were 24% women and their goal is the suspiciously round 25%). If you have any ideas where all these women are hanging around, I'd love to know.

        * This isn't racist, it's a topical reference to a recent Home Office campaign.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This needs to stop

          >>* This isn't racist

          SURE it isn't. [nudge nudge][wink wink]

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: This needs to stop

          "advertising this conference at fried chicken shops isn't likely to get many (useful) responses"

          Pizza shops might have been OK.

          "We recently got an e-mail from a conference venue saying there were not enough women in our line-up"

          I hope you replied saying there wasn't enough common sense in their venue.

      2. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: This needs to stop

        The comment about their need to 'maintain standards' could well indicate that perhaps their standards include not recognising or valuing the female p.o.v. because their standards are sexist, in effect if not in deliberate design.

        When you set something up assuming, implicitly or explicitly or through historic experience as though coders are only male then it might just be that the women will not be interested in storming that particular bastion. Note this can include the social aspects of the gig. A glorified bar crawl might induce in women attendees a picture of an evening spent increasingly fending off inebriated male attention.

        These fears may come from having attended similar gigs.

        I come from Biology which is now a female majority subject and conferences are now often organised by women and are nicer than they used to be but just as rigorous in the science dept. I have family members who are women coders and my views of the males of the species are coloured by their reports of them as much as meeting them.

        A common note is that male CompSci students still have trouble with the idea that a woman can code and even more trouble accepting she might score higher than them in assignments and exams. This suggests the 'coding is guy stuff' mindset starts early in bedrooms.

        Which suggests that efforts to combat this need to start early and be ongoing.

        1. Juillen 1

          Re: This needs to stop

          Ok, point out the standards (i.e. coding practices, technical architecture) that are provably sexist (not just 'I feel that..'). The most likely probability is that the standards do not reflect anything sexist.

          By your logic, the standards could also cause the detonation of the earth by some mechanism. Nobody can see it, nobody has any idea how it could happen, but "could well" be there.

          Companies set up departments to be profitable. Not to pander to any odd preconception you may have as to making it just for men (that'd be an expense to engineer that, and if it could be cut and improve productivity, you can bet that corporations would be all over it).

          These fears may more likely not have come from attending other gigs that were similarly purely technically oriented. Again, evidence please, otherwise you're just using the "ad hoc fallacy", otherwise called the "making shit up fallacy".

          Yes, two of my nieces went through Biology (one now with a PhD). Great how it's a highly technical subject with a large overrepresentation of women. I have a solution for you. How about you tell some of those women that they won't get jobs in Biology as they have to make space for men, who will from this point on be given priority in the field as women are over-represented? And that those women who don't get the jobs can easily retrain into something like computer programming, where it's deemed they're needed.

          I've been attending conferences for the last 30 odd years, and yes, they've changed. Certainly more fluffy and "user friendly" all round. That's not an effect of having more women, that's a change in the corporate branding and communication skills required.

          Would these female coders in your family also be quite "strongly female orientated" in their agendas when dealing with the guys in coding?

          Given that I've got contacts in Uni departments all over, including the careers advice groups, and also lots of contact with up and coming coders, I find your quote that male comp sci students still have trouble with the idea that women can code is completely disingenuous and made up on the whole. For a start, displaying that attitude these days rapidly leads to bullying claims, and disciplinary action. Which isn't seen. Also, someone has trouble with someone else scoring more than them? That's pervasive across any particular scale (including homogenous).

          The largest quote I've had from women who've decided not to follow coding is that they simply find other things more interesting, or satisfying (which again is one of the reason you see an over-representation in Biology, which completely breaks all your other arguments completely).

          So, after delivering a whole slew of "It might", "it may", "I think", "There's no real evidence but everyone knows", you say that a draconian effort to dissuade people away from what interests them has to start early so they fit in with what you think fits in with your world view? How tyrannical can you be?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This needs to stop

        I must admit that my first thought was to wonder why anyone would voluntarily attend a PHP conference and if perhaps masochism is a more masculine trait.

        As linked in the article, the man who originally blogged about the need to get more women to attend the PHP show previously got into difficulty after he was outed as a sadist.

        Writes itself...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This needs to stop

          Interesting that you illustrate the problem inherent in all this so well. You say 'sadist'. Based on evidence dug up by an obsessed person out to 'get' a ... well, fellow. No problem with that, you say.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: This needs to stop

            Nope, I never said there was no problem with doxxing someone about their sexuality. I kept the post as judgement-free as possible to make the joke work.

    3. localzuk

      Re: This needs to stop

      There's an issue though - it isn't a level playing field in the first place. There are fewer women in the industry, and on the whole women do still get paid less. So, it is simply easier for men to go to such things than it is women.

      Some of you might not like it but a level playing field does not mean everyone gets treated exactly the same. Doing that ignores the privileged position some groups are already in.

      Not sure if the term gets used much any more but "affirmative action" is a valid concept.

      The same can be said of BME people. There are fewer of them in the industry simply because of the decades of earlier discrimination. The industry might not be quite as bad now (undeniably it still has issues), but the only way to ensure fair coverage is to ensure people from backgrounds that aren't white and male get a bit more of a boost.

      1. Juillen 1

        Re: This needs to stop

        1) Women don't get paid less. In fact, women in their 20s earn more than men, and this is where the younger coders will be coming from. Any gap is in career average (because significantly more women than men take career breaks). So, you've started by telling a lie. Well done.

        2) It's easier for men? When there is active discrimination to get women into the field? What makes it easier for men? That's the second fallacy, and in one paragraph. Doing nicely.

        3) You mean the extensive privilege of being actively given beneficial treatment (women)?

        4) Affirmative action has been used historically to engineer particular environments to meet quotas. It was interesting when it started up, but these days is being overused for social engineering, and overly distorting the environment. The "there aren't enough (x) in (y)" assumes that there is an endless supply of (x), and that balance will be achieved at a demographic balance. This has been proved fallacious so many times it's not funny. What we're seeing is that there are very very few unemployed (x) looking for roles, as they're sought after to check boxes in cherry picked values of (y), often when there are significant amounts of employment in the group (not x). This shows a large amount of discrimination. And reverse discrimination does not exist. It's a 'feel good' academic way of saying "our bigotry is nice".

        Affirmative Action is useful in limited circumstances where there's evidence of denial of groups into areas. It's not useful when it's used as a political hammer.

        4) The field of coding has only been around for about 40 years or so. In that generation, and the one before, education has been a level playing field. That's what lets people get into coding. Certainly from the 90s (which is a whole generation now), there's been active discrimination used to get minorities into the field. Now, there are huge amounts of Asian and Indian representatives in tech fields (practically dominating it), but the goal posts move again to say there must be active discrimination because one particular demographic is underrepresented. That's the "cherry picking" fallacy.

        5) Ahh.. And then you show your bigotry. After excessive use of the "alleged certainty" fallacy, you introduce a racist, sexist solution to oppress a demographic that you believe "have it coming to them". That speaks volumes of a lack of ethics.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: This needs to stop

          Point 4)

          Now you may well find that there was a discrimination against Asian employees for many years. A discrimination that saw many not employed when they were perfectly capable and had a very good education. It was only after the numbers of Asians increased in tech fields and proved they were just as capable as their white male counterparts and that they were a common sight in tech offices that more and more white employees realised that they were just as good employees and even, due to sometimes differing education and maybe culture even better than white males on average.

          Once women are also common in the tech sector we might just find out that women are also capable of the role and are sometimes even better than their male colleagues at tech and then there will be no need to increase their presence somewhat artificially. However until then there may exist a subtle subconscious bias towards females, combined with a sometimes tech-bro culture which leads to a less gender diverse sector which leads to less females pursuing that career, which leads to less females studying those subjects. It's a long term game, a bit of chicken-and-egg but it does and has worked in some sectors.

          The UK fire service for instance - Once there was barely any female firefighters even though it was possible for them to join. However, with strong resistance from some, a recruitment drive and specific targeting. Just moving away from Fireman to Firefighter has also helped. Now there are a lot more female firefighters with many stations have a few on staff (although a long way from representative). They seem to do just as good a job as their colleagues.

          1. Juillen 1

            Re: This needs to stop

            Prior to the 70s, yes, there was discrimination, and largely a lack of extensive education in fields that led to some roles.

            With the social changes accelerating in the 80s and beyond, this attitude has changed. These days, anyone can apply for anything, and that's entirely as it should be in my books.

            What you'll find though is that women are over-represented in the biological sciences, which are just as technical (and often more so) than computing. And they do extremely well there, along with having it as a preferred path.

            Where the paradox comes in is that people are perfectly happy with over-representations of women in other fields, yet still believe that there should be 50% in a cherry picked field available after a large cohort of women have chosen to engage with a different technical field.

            It's like saying you have 100 men, and 100 women. 70 women have chosen to go into biological sciences, 20 into physics, chemistry and maths, and 10 into computing.

            Then the men have gone 60 into computing 30 into physics, chemistry and maths, and 20 in biological sciences.

            And at that point you have a group that says "We're glad that 70 women are in biological sciences. But there should be 60 women in computing now, as there are 100 men, and 100 women, so there should be demographically equal representation. You're all so sexist!".

            It gets very tiring explaining that there aren't, at this point, and extra 50 women to go into computing because they following other (often just as technical) roles.

            To top it off, the people yelling about how sexist people are because there aren't those 50 extra women are now saying that there's a problem, and women should be pushed into that field earlier, even if they're not interested in it.

            If you want to do a job, just get out there and do it. That's how the Western World is operating these days. It irritates me no end that people with little to no experience in the availability of resource are yelling the most about how wrong it is, and they do that with "maybe this", "perhaps that", which are completely debunked assertions at scale (there are always outliers, which are always the ones trundled out to try and prove the rule).

            Your own anecdotes about women being in all those services are evidence that women who choose to be in those services and roles, and can pass the necessary requirements, can follow them.

            1. jmch Silver badge

              Re: This needs to stop

              @Juillen 1 - very nicely summed up.

              A fair and pleasant world to live in, and one to strive for, is one in which there is equality of *opportunity*. What SJW types aim for is an equality of *outcome*, and if it's necessary to force some square pegs into round holes to get there so be it.

              As a matter of fact, in the Nordic countries which are widely recognised as the most egalitarian communities, where equality of opportunity is highest, you get less equality of outcome. In other words, when women are given the *choice*, they mostly *choose* to stay away from IT and more towards, for example, the life sciences.

            2. jh27

              Re: This needs to stop

              > Prior to the 70s, yes, there was discrimination, and largely a lack of extensive education in fields that led to some roles.

              Prior to the 70s, computer programming was a largely female profession. It was seen as an extension of the role of 'typist'. It was a role that required great accuracy and attention to detail and was an area where (largely) female typists had already proved their skills.

          2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: This needs to stop

            "Point 4)

            Which point 4? There were two of them!

            "Now you may well find that there was a discrimination against Asian employees for many years."

            Ah, that point 4. My experience, coming into the IT industry in the mid-80s, was that there were quite a few Asians in the industry already so I'm not sure when your "many years" were to be found.

        2. Day

          WTF???

          "The field of coding has only been around for about 40 years or so."

          1. Juillen 1

            Re: WTF???

            Previously, it tended to be mathematicians who got to code. Large scale, coding really kicked off in the 70s and 80s; before then it was largely academic. The principles go a lot further back in history.

        3. veti Silver badge

          Re: This needs to stop

          (1) Citation needed

          (2) and (3) are essentially restatements of (1). So, citation still needed.

          (4) There are two points (4), but neither one makes any pretence at being objective or testable, so whatever. You believe what you want to believe, but if you want to persuade anyone else, then either evidence or argument would be handy. At this point you're offering neither.

          (5) And, finish with a personal attack, still not grounded in anything that could be dignified with the description of either "evidence" or "logic".

        4. localzuk

          Re: This needs to stop

          Your number 5 sums up your own standpoint nicely. You think that recognising the privileged position we white men have experienced for decades is itself bigotry.

          OK. I'll put things in a different way. When I was in school. Girls did not do IT. They were encouraged to do home economics. And i'm only in my 30s. That same attitude prevailed until fairly recently in a LOT of schools. Hell, its still a view that prevails in a lot of schools, especially in the USA.

          Your point 1 is you cherry picking a statistic. Overall, women still get paid less than men in all industries. That is just the reality of it. Saying "oh they get paid more in their 20s" doesn't make any difference to that fact.

          Your points 2 and 3 are confusing what is, with what you perceive it to be. The vague arm waving at "active discrimination" isn't borne out in reality. Go and sit in a lecture theatre at the beginning of a computing degree in Sept/Oct - you'll find the rooms filled mostly with men. When I did it? There were around 300 of us in that theatre. I could count the number of women on one hand.

          Your first point 4 is itself just nonsense as it is again ignoring the root cause of why there aren't women applying for roles in the industry. You are effectively saying there aren't women in IT because they aren't applying and leaving it at that. Just like the other commenters on this page who say "well, if they don't apply to run a session its their own fault" effectively. It is myopic and just you projecting your own fear of an actual level playing field.

          Your second point 4 is factually and demonstrably false. Start at younger ages - girls were not encouraged to look at IT at all until the last few years. STEM has only been pushed more strongly with girls in the last 10 years or so.

          And yes, the goalposts WILL need to keep moving, until the industry is representative of the demographics of the societies we live in. Without it, we end up with biased technology being produced as the people making it do not have the wide experience needed to cover everyone who may use it. Just look at facial recognition and how well that works for black people...

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: This needs to stop

            "Go and sit in a lecture theatre at the beginning of a computing degree in Sept/Oct - you'll find the rooms filled mostly with men."

            So how do you propose to tackle it? Have ACAS take a proportion of female applicants for degrees in biology or other disciplines and allocate them places in IT regardless of what they want?

            1. localzuk

              Re: This needs to stop

              Not sure why I would have to come up with a solution... Remember, this is about recognising that there isn't equality. If your argument against it is that it is hard to resolve, then you've entirely missed the point.

              Argumentum ad absurdum...

          2. Joe Montana

            Re: This needs to stop

            Industries are never going to be representative of society as a whole, because different people have different interests and those interest are in a large part driven by their peers during childhood. Girls are simply less likely to be interested in technology than boys, this is their choice and their right. Almost all industries are biased in one way or another.

            Facial recognition - and optical recognition of any kind is harder when you have less contrast. If the faces are dark and so is the background it's simply a more difficult problem. If facial recognition was better at recognising dark faces than white ones, then people would be complaining that cctv cameras for detecting crimes were intentionally persecuting blacks.

            1. localzuk

              Re: This needs to stop

              Stereotyped nonsense, quite frankly.

              Also, the issue with facial recognition isn't that contrast is an issue, it is that we KNOW it is an issue, but we persist in its development for detecting crime etc... We know it'll discriminate, but we persist. We know the tech is flawed, but the police push on with it. Why is the industry releasing this as a working technology? Because the representation of minorities is non-existent within the companies making it. Imagine, a company making facial recognition technology and has only black staff. They run their trials and find that it simply doesn't work properly on themselves. Would they go "ah, good enough"? No, the product wouldn't get out of the lab.

    4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: This needs to stop

      "If women didn't even submit session proposals,"

      This is the crux of the matter , but nobody bothered to ask "What was the proportion of females on the list they picked the speakers from?"

      or any other questions about how the speakers arrive at the lectern thingy

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: This needs to stop

        When I've reviewed conference submissions[1], it's 'blind'. I get to recommend "accept this" without knowing the name - let alone race, sex, age, medical conditions, etc, of the prospective speaker.

        [1] Not that I'd ever be doing that for a PHP conference - dead or alive.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This needs to stop

      Worst part being that the tantrum started because a dude took offense, and tried to “help out”. Well, with “friends” like you, who needs enemies.

    6. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: This needs to stop

      If women didn't even submit session proposals, then you obviously can't blame the organizers for not having female speakers!

      Unless you are absolutely confident that no woman alive uses PHP, you might instead try asking yourself why no women even submitted session proposals.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: This needs to stop

        I suppose I should have made myself clearer here. Did my comment get downvotes because some people were unable to grasp the possibility that tech conferences might be less popular with women due to the level of sexism attendant upon them (claimed or actual -- both are necessarily offputting), or did it get downvoted because some people thought I was suggesting that women are incapable of thinking up session proposals?

        Please, you downvoters, give me an answer. You can't hurt yourselves by being honest, can you? And if you can't be honest on a mostly-anonymous forum, of what value is your opinion?

  3. malfeasance

    Isn't this just the market deciding?

    I have no idea how good PHP.CE was/is as a conference; but they've organised speakers; and some of those speakers have pulled out.

    As a result of those speakers pulling out, ticket sales dried up (which obviously tells us something); and it's no longer viable as an entity.

    Thus the market hath spoken... (and the market might be wrong, but it hath spoken).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't this just the market deciding?

      Out of interest, was the PHP.CE conference commercially viable or something that just scraped by each year largely on the back of a lot of people providing their time for little or no reward?

      Looking at the actions and reactions to negative publicity or sponsors withdrawing from IT conferences in the US, the difference between a successful conference and a huge debt for the organizers can be a little bit of negative publicity.

  4. Korev Silver badge
    Boffin

    The flip side

    I know a talented female computational scientist who now is worried that whenever she gets a talk or poster accepted that it's because of her gender and not because of its content... I can't imagine that giving female and non-white scientists "imposter syndrome" is the aim of the speakers who are pulling out.

    1. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: The flip side

      "it's because of her gender and not because of its content"

      She doesn't need to worry about it. It is because of her gender. It might also be because of her content, but it will definitely be because of her gender.

      1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

        Re: The flip side

        Bitter white male syndrome anyone?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: The flip side

          I'll take a slice

        2. DavCrav Silver badge

          Re: The flip side

          "Bitter white male syndrome anyone?"

          Conference organizer, in fact. And therefore I know of what I speak. We come up with a list of potential speakers, and then we rack our brains trying to come up with more women.

          So if you are a woman invited to a conference, you cannot tell whether it's because you were on list 1 or list 2. And we try to invite the women first so that we catch them before any other conference organizers do.

          The fact is that conferences are judged by the 'how many women' metric, as evidenced here, and therefore it will affect the outcome.

    2. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: The flip side

      I'd say to that talented female computational scientist: Be glad you were accepted, produce the best content you can. Until organisers say "get her, and then find some token woman as well", until the new "token woman" shows she's so good that organisers say "get these two, and then find some token woman as well" and so on.

  5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    White men complain that there are too many white men…

    But there is presumably an irony embargo.

    Most of these complaints lead to dumbing down of conferences. I know a few women in IT who positively resent this approach. If you want more women in IT then you have to focus elsewhere and start younger. Promoting the idea that diversity is more important than competence is a bad idea for technical conferences.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

      Re: White men complain that there are too many white men…

      The whole job market for big companies is going this way now.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: White men complain that there are too many white men…

        don't work for big "divirsity first" companies. Let their bureaucratic mindset and stupid hiring practices cause them to collapse under their own monolithic weight

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: White men complain that there are too many white men…

      I've seen so many incompetent white men in technical positions, including in conferences...

      So please, don't give that BS about some purely neutral, objective, need for competence, because it's rather clear that it's not exactly applied evenly.

      Yes, I seriously want to see incompetent women promoted the same way incompetent men are. Because THAT will be a sign of equality.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: White men complain that there are too many white men…

        @AC

        >> Yes, I seriously want to see incompetent women promoted the same way incompetent men are. Because THAT will be a sign of equality.

        since we all AC here, I can only ask if you have worked for any of the now mostly defunct USAian outsourcerers ? Because that seemed to be their practice and look where it has got them. Been there, done that, got the Teeshirt.

    3. fajensen Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: White men complain that there are too many white men…

      Promoting the idea that diversity is more important than competence is a bad idea for technical conferences.

      But, perhaps it is, because wherever is all of the game-changing radical new stuff going to come from?

      It is generally not going to come from the "within an established"-set of recognised domain experts because being a successful expert means that one understands the connections between whatever one is promoting and 'the politics' - which fiefdoms will be threatened and which will be boosted by ones innovations - so the successful invention / project will be the one that is aligned with the most powerful entities; a.k.a. More of The Stuff That Got Us Where We Are Now.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: White men complain that there are too many white men…

        I've seen lots of radical and new ideas at conferences, including from young kids. Competence is not the same as expertise and indeed most of the best talks are less about cramming you full of knowledge than making you think and questioning your assumptions.

        Reminds me that I've even been called out at a conference for making a joke about another programming language (it wasn't about PHP, which is already a joke ;-)). Someone thought this wasn't being inclusive enough and decided to report me.

    4. spacedive

      Re: White men complain that there are too many white men…

      Quite right. Segregation by academic subject in school is partly to blame for the lack of diversity in tertiary education and the workplace.

  6. Blockchain commentard Silver badge

    Speaking of diversity, how many of the speakers were disabled? None you say? And yet everyone focuses on the lack of female speakers.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      And poor. Outreach campaigns never seem to extend to ghettos.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Pretty sure that the percentage of the population that's femaie is at about 50%. Now compare that to the percentage of disabled people. Notice the difference? Good. Now, feel free to extrapolate how many speakers, statistically speaking, could belong to either group. Hint: you should notice a difference there, too.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        And 50% of people are below the average age, 50% above.

        50% left handed, 50% right (that one may not be true).

        50% are of one type, 50% the other.

        I'm not sure what the problem is, let alone the solution here.

        1. TimMaher Bronze badge
          Holmes

          Approximately 12% of men and 8% of women are left handed.

          Nobody knows why.

          Citation:-

          Independent, 27 August.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            {insert masturbation joke here}

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Point.

            You.

            Whoosh.

          3. Stevie Silver badge

            Approximately 12% of men and 8% of women are left handed.

            Well done that man!

            The pernicious "half the people in the world are cag-handers" fiction spread by the left (handed) is finally put to rest with damning evidence from a reputable organ of the British Press, the envy of the world.

        2. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          RE: AC

          The solution is to have 7 billion speakers. Perfect representation. Then of course, the SJWs will complain if a white person goes first...

        3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Both my parents were left-handed and both were forced to try and learn to write with their right hand. That's fucking barbaric!

          1. Roland6 Silver badge
            Pint

            >Both my parents were left-handed and both were forced to try and learn to write with their right hand. That's fucking barbaric!

            Not as barbaric or roll around on the floor laughing, as watching a right-handed person trying to write, use scissors etc. with their left hand.

            1. Stevie Silver badge

              "Not as barbaric or roll around on the floor laughing, as watching a right-handed person trying to write, use scissors etc. with their left hand."

              But why would they want to when all the worthwhile things in the world work just fine for the right-handed majority who care not for the problems of the unspeakable mutants smudging their copybooks with their left handed penmanship as they lurk inside decent society, demanding special scissors and special nibs for their fountain pens?

              1. Roland6 Silver badge

                But why would they want to when all the worthwhile things in the world work just fine for the right-handed majority... until the time they break their right arm/wrist and have to switch to using their left hand...

                Basically in part because most of the world is set up for right-handed people, the majority of right handed people don't develop their left-hand skills. Whereas being a lefty in a mostly right-handed world you have no choice but to develop your right-hand skills...

                The only reason I smudged my schoolbooks was because the teachers couldn't read mirror writing, something as a kid I didn't understand as I could read and write it without really trying...

                Nothing wrong with special scissors (or rulers) - having both in my toolbox enables me to use the right tool for the task at hand..

        4. DiViDeD Silver badge

          Re: The Other 50%

          ... and 50% of people are below average intelligence. Why is nobody fighting for their right to present themselves as experts?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The Other 50%

            ... and 50% of people are below average intelligence. Why is nobody fighting for their right to present themselves as experts?

            Because they re making more money as managers.

      2. jh27

        > Pretty sure that the percentage of the population that's femaie is at about 50%

        Depends what age range you are looking at. The number of males born is higher - about 51.5% of the population. The number of females living is about 51%. More men are born but more men die prematurely.

        > Now compare that to the percentage of disabled people. Notice the difference? Good. Now, feel free to extrapolate how many speakers,

        Why are we interested in the number of females in the general population? Speakers participate in a conference because they have something worthwile to share about the subject. A very small percentage of men have an interest and expertise in computer programming, an even smaller percentage of women have this experience and expertise. Are you arguing that there are lots of women in the general population, so the organisers should drag them off the street and force them to present a talk about whatever subject interests them?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      <must not say it>

      <must not say it>

      <must not say it>

      <must not say it>

      Well they were still using PHP, so somewhat mentally retarded

      <Damn>

      1. deadmonkey

        Wow.

        14 upvotes for being a POS with his vocabulary stuck in the last century, well done.

    4. ratfox Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      The world is not 50% composed of disabled people.

      PH icon for diversity.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        You sure?

        50% of people will perform below average. 50% above. So 50% of people are disadvantaged physically or mentally against the other 50%.

        It's life and facts. When others realise it's about being supportive to people, and not being "the best" or hitting targets you see others as a good thing, not a competition to destroy.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clever...

    "No one likes me, they all treat me poorly... you're all very violent and aggressive" [Proceeds to kick and punch and fight and bite]

    [Someone tries to stop them to prevent injury]

    "See, see how horrible *they* all are."

    Yeah, I'm not getting involved. I learnt a long time ago, I'm not winning those arguments and those looking for fights. They can fight themselves. Meanwhile, we are looking for people who are helpful and kind, not burning down their own bridges, house and self in the process.

    [edit]

    Though it does not seem to have happened here. Still. It is lose lose for those involved. Because either side can fake out an "absence", and pull out the people, and then pretend "no one turned up". Those on both sides, are unable to prove which side, prevented the other from attending. Thus both could fake the others inability to "diversify."

    A real sad state.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Clever...

      "Because either side can fake out an "absence", and pull out the people"

      Wait, are you implying here that there is some sort of vast female conspiracy battling an equally powerful vast male conspiracy, and that the female conspiracy decided to boycott the event to make the male conspiracy look bad?

      You're far out, man. Really, really far out.

      They are not "sides". They are genders.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clever...

        No. The "sides" are the arguments, I never mentioned, the gender of any of those making comments (there were no genders assigned to the sides of the arguments, unless you wish to make that separation? No one here was, were they?). I was being equal to all involved, but stating errors in the application or logic of an attempt to find a solution.

        But you are making assumptions here. I've been in places where there is a massive "imbalance", and it was not while young males.

        I could see where and when people on any side tried to pull strings. I also had massive respect for the majority not doing this, who were great hard workers and did not allow discrimination, but showed that logically and rationally. I thus know when and how pretend "rights" protesters are just being selfish and using the stick that sticks, not the reality of the situation. Compared to those really being discriminated against, and seeing others constructively support their fights for their rights.

  8. sum_of_squares
    WTF?

    I think it's sad that people seem to have problems to understand what "inclusive" or "diversity" actually means:

    Discrimination is when you don't hire talented people (or pay them less money) because of their gender, race, age or such things. Discrimination is NOT when you fail to hire talented people because they are not there in the first place.

    Is this really that hard to understand?

    I think it's good to be critical. If women don't apply for a conference, you should ask yourself if there is something wrong. But if you frikkin call it "Diversity matters!" and you still have no women, it's not their fault, is it? They had only a single woman submit a session proposal this year (a repeat from a local conference last year). This is NOT discrimination, you morons.

    If you show me a case where women are really discriminated, I'll be the first one to fight for equal rights. But enforcing quotas when the vast majority of coders is male (and always will be) is just plain wrong and those PHP devs should be ashamed to follow a toxic trend.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      It's not really about anything other than power. The "diversity" card is merely used to gain influence.

      1. sum_of_squares
        Paris Hilton

        It depends. There are indeed people who abuse the "diversity card" to get more power/influence for themselves.

        But I think the (white male) developers who pulled back this year actually thought they were doing something good and fighting for equality or something..

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Which ends up as pretty much the same thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I don't think the majority will always be male coders. A lot of things are social. But being able to not cut down the branch you are sitting on helps.

      Some of the people trying their hardest, or having the most support to you, may not have the ability to. So why cut them down with those who are fighting against you?

      Too many are too quick to burn down bridges, instead of being patient, wait next year, perhaps they learn from the mistake... oh, you just got them fired/socially trolled/left them never wanting to support you ever again? Wow, yep, you changed the world there. Or you could rise above it. Show them by example.

      1. sum_of_squares
        Unhappy

        Oh well. I'd love to see more female coders. Really. I will encourage my daughter to study IT when she's grown-up, simply because I know that companies jump through hoops to hire female coders. They are trying so hard and there are many different coding programs which are especially for women.

        But no matter what they do, the results simply don't meet expectations. Like you will never have 50% male nursery school teachers, no matter how hard you try. There are certain physiological facts (i.e. related to testosterone) you can't ignore or explain with "society". Even the hardcore feminist researchers in the 70s found evidence, that you'll always have significantly more young boys playing soldiers than women. It's just the way it is and has nothing to do with discrimination.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          A bit of both.

          I think it's a bit of both. People naturally have their own desires, however it would be wrong to assume that is based on gender or sex. People also are massively influenced by the social community and structure.

          We would not do a job or career that was made very horrible for us. But then again, people do go into exploitative jobs just for the money. So something must be influencing it. Just don't assume, and also don't worry, if they don't code, I am sure they will do something great!

        2. BigSLitleP Silver badge

          It has nothing to do with physiology, it's do with expectations from birth. Many studies have shown that boys and girls will play everything equally until about 4-5 years of age. After that, the kids start to try to fit in with the normal boy/girl divides..... unless their parents don't force it.

          If you take a girl and don't tell her "pink is for girls, blue is for boys" then she is more likely to go in to a male oriented profession. There is a shit-ton of psychological studies showing that boy/girl pigeon holing happens due to parental influence, not physiology.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Not always the parents

            We tried to bring our daughter up with a non girl/boy divide, unfortunately the rest of society foiled us, as soon as she started Nursery she started down the pink route, girls stuff, boys stuff, mainly influenced by other children at a guess. If you want to effect change then everyone particularly in the early years has to sing the same tune. The influence is not just parental but every contact your child makes with society through every medium. Go shopping and you'll still find 'boys' and 'girls' sections.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            The majority of psychological studies show that there are innate differences between the sexes. However, even the apparent innate preferences (observable in other primates) don't explain the study preferences in the West. Hence, the larger proportion of very good engineers and technicians in places like the former Soviet Union, India and Iran.

          3. Juillen 1

            I've read quite a lot of papers on that, and found serious flaws in a huge portion of them. Mostly they're from the pure psychology area (which is non-deterministic, and is fairly well known for making some hard claims from weak evidence).

            I've (on balance) found the science that's found innate differences to be far more rigorously followed. They tent to bridge neurology, clinical psychology, biology and a host of other disciplines, coupled with mathematical rigour.

          4. earl grey Silver badge
            Happy

            pink is for girls, blue is for boys

            Before the rise of the "baby food specialists" and marketing wonks, pink was for boys and blue was for girls. Even the elderly ladies at our apartment building (who could only see a face), said, that our first sprog was a girl because she was bundled in blue.

        3. BrownishMonstr

          I would not encourage my daughter to study IT for the sake of being a programmer. Between now (she's turned one last week) and when she's old enough to get a programming job, I have no idea what the market will be like. Companies might jump through hoops now, but maybe not in ten years. Our jobs might even end up being automated. Hell, I like automating my job as much as I lazily can.

          I will tell her to study some form of IT, and definitely study programming and automation. Hopefully she will get a professional job in a different field, but still have the knowledge of programming/automation. So if/when the time comes that her professional job is automated, she will still have a chance to be on the 'winning' team i.e., not the ones without a job.

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge
            Unhappy

            With 20 more years of machine learning the current manual programming methods could well be just an odd techie hobby like tinkering with steam engines is now.

            I told my children to avoid IT and find a career where there is no possibility of it being done for £100/wk via the interweb.

        4. jh27

          > Like you will never have 50% male nursery school teachers

          Any man who shows an interest in working as a nursery school teacher has a hard time getting employed. If they manage to get a job, they'll have to deal with the mis-trust of parents and colleagues on a regular basis. It is an area of where there is massive gender imbalance and blatent discrimination - yet I have never heard of any employers or governing bodies (e.g. OFSTED) attempting positive discrimination.

    3. Phil NZ

      "when the vast majority of coders is male (and always will be)"

      Wait, why "and always will be"?

      1. poohbear

        FWIW.. my own opinion. Feel free to disagree.

        Basically some people are more naturally suited to being coders than others. The prime group is typically something like INTJ on the Myers-Briggs scale.

        However the male:female ratio in that category is (IIRC) something like 3:1.

        And that's why there will likely always be more male programmers than female.

        It's like demanding that every ballet company has a 50:50 male:female ratio. Or nursery school teachers, as suggested above. Nature doesn't work that way.

        1. Phil NZ

          Sounds like a pseudo-scientific argument to me.

          1. Dabbb Bronze badge
            Black Helicopters

            Says more about you than about argument.

            1. BigSLitleP Silver badge

              Not really, considering the Myers-Briggs scale has basically been proven to be utter nonsense.

            2. BrownishMonstr

              That they are pseudo-scientific?

          2. Tigra 07 Silver badge

            RE: Phil

            In the Nordic countries - those judged to have the highest quality of life and equality, they're actually having less equal representation between the sexes in certain fields. Turns out they're retreating back into traditional gender roles - Women in hairdressing and healthcare, men in construction, mining, fishing, etc.

            Take a look. You might find it interesting.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: RE: Phil

              Having lived and worked in Sweden for some years, I have come to appreciate that there are valid reasons as to why the Swedish feminists are so crazy and radicalised as they are.

              The 'root problem' is that the 'Official Sweden' values 'The Swedish Brand' a whole lot higher than it values people, especially women and minorities, and this percolates down at all levels of society!

              The result for woman is that almost any kind of harassment and abuse is usually solved "internally" by firing the whistleblower and then closing ranks in denying everything and passively-aggressively blaming the victims!

              Only the most herculean efforts will get traction enough to see someone 'nailed' and this happens only when the lid really blows off some scandal and something must be done to close it down. The Nobel Committee for Literature scandal is a fairly representative example. The Swedbank money laundering scandal is another.

        2. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Trollface

          "The prime group is typically something like INTJ on the Myers-Briggs scale."

          That would depend on the TYPE of coding. For IT, probably INTJ since you have to have a stick up your backside for some o' that. On the other hand, for SOFTWARE ENGINEERING, ENTP is more likely...

          ENTPs are the mad scientists of the Myers-Briggs scale. In a funny demotivational, there was a trebuchet made of pencils and batteries with a caption similar to "making a trebuchet out of office supplies and the pencils off of your INTJ boss's desk"

          yeah he probably lined them up, ordered by size.

          (oh wait that was ISTJ boss... so maybe INTJ not so anal retentive then?)

          1. poohbear

            Yup, think you were confusing the ISTJs with the INTJs... the NTs have the messy desk and organised head. The STs are the other way around. :-)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Those "PHPS devs who follow a toxic trend" know very well what they're doing. They know which way the wind blows this year and this minute, and where to position themselves to stay "relevant", surf the wave. It's not enough to be a decent person these days, you need to scream your support for the latest "metoos" over your competitors. Both to be heard over the rest of the crowd, and in panic that if you're not loud enough, somebody might think you don't support the current just cause. But it serves them right for entering the twitter and facebook hell, in the meantime, real life goes on :)

    5. Andrew Moore

      Back a couple of years ago I was judging at a beer competition. The breakdown was 19 male judges, 1 female judge. But this was after many female judges had been invited but those that bothered to reply, declined.

      Anyway, day of the judging and we've all finished and our lady judge wants a picture of the lot of us. Which she takes and posts online. The first comment was "that's a very male heavy lineup". From a woman who had been invited to judge but hadn't even replied.

    6. lucki bstard

      So name the female developers they asked, then the developers can then be asked why they did not submit papers?

      Provide that to the critics and ask the critics if they can do their own fact finding?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...because the speaker list didn't include a single woman

    So, if she's married you aren't interested in listening to her?

    Sounds like you are only going to this conference to pick up women.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ...because the speaker list didn't include a single woman

      Anyone in "The Game" knows that it is easier to pick up married women than it is to pick up singles ... the married women often misses the attention, the singles get lots of it all the time, everywhere, and are much more picky.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: ...because the speaker list didn't include a single woman

        >Anyone in "The Game"

        Which game is that, "Professional Douchebaggery" ?

  10. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

    Organisers are clueless, but that doesn't necessarily make them entirely wrong

    The way the organisers have handled this is objectively clearly wrong. The communication and way the talks were organised could have been better, and this is their third year so they should have some idea how to approach this. The fact their website now has a link to three twitter posts and a cancelled message is the height of pique.

    However, when one of the speakers that pulls out notes that when they ran a conference even after outreaching to various groups and actively soliciting contributions to improve diversity rather than just blindly asking for contributions, and STILL getting no or practically zero contributions, you have to consider that perhaps their expectations are a little unreasonable.

    It certainly isn't easy to achieve diversity targets. Outreach is necessary, things such as travel assistance, income based tiered pricing, on-site creches, and accessible venues all help improve the mixture of attendees.

    However, this all costs money and effort, and if it's successfully achieved expectations only increase. Sometimes expectations surpass available resource, so the choice is either that the event does not run at all (as in this case), or that the event runs in a lesser fashion than desired. It's up to the community where their priorities lie.

    At least in this event, the withdrawing presenters do seem to be trying to help, and the conference organisers were churlish not to work with them properly. I've been to other events where the amount of criticism became so high that the organisers could no longer be bothered to run the event and surprise, surprise, the people complaining had no sensible plan to achieve their aims.

    The one exception that stands out is the BBC decree that all comedy shows would have a woman on the panel. Decent comediennes clearly exist, and it pushed them to improve not only diversity, but the pool of comedians shows drew from.

  11. el kabong Silver badge

    You can't force women to participate when they dont' want to

    There's this thing called personal freedom, it's their time and they choose where to spend it. Apparently tech conferences are not placed high in their list, you can't blame them. Attending tech conferences, especially PHP ones, shouldn't be high in anyone's list.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: You can't force women to participate when they dont' want to

      Indeed, and having made considerable effort to solicit submissions from women presenters, and still failing to achieve their desired diversity, the organisers could have legitimately continued the host the event and responded to their detractors explaining the effort expended to attempt scheduling a diverse panel, and how despite their best efforts the desired demographic doesn't seem to exist (as in women devs wishing to participate in a PHP conference).

      Instead, they folded to seemingly well-intentioned but ill-informed political correctness and took the easy way out.

  12. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    Baby.Bathwater > /dev/null

    Equality is important, but it's rather sad it's more important than actually hosting the conference. Hell, if they'd gone ahead, they could have canvassed the attendees (who hopefully weren't all male) got a feel for the landscape, and ascertained how many female devs there were out there, and worked out how to better appeal to them next time.

  13. Moosh
    Holmes

    Call me crazy,

    but something tells me the people with most experience in the world of IT are all just middle aged white men and that there's nothing particularly advantageous about not holding events or knowledge sharing because of it

  14. Dabbb Bronze badge
    Black Helicopters

    The simple solution

    Just don't put gender next to name of the speaker.

    If someone complains you can put horrified expression and say - "Did you just assume their gender ?"

    Helicopter because you know why.

    1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: The simple solution

      Apparently it's quite offensive to make that joke now, which is a real shame as i always enjoy claiming to identify as an Apache Attack Helicopter to these people.

      I now identify as a Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming, Semi-Aquatic, Demisexual, Mammalian, Male-Presenting, Park Bench now...Oh, and i'm openly gay!

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: The simple solution

        I hope your kids are all traditionally gendered or they're gonna be well fucked up.

        1. Tigra 07 Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: The simple solution

          Please refer to them as babyself and toddlerself until they are old enough to decide what they identify as. Anything else will be considered a hate crime against them for misgendering.

    2. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: The simple solution

      Mostly, when determining speakers for an over subscribed event, we don't get to see the names of candidates, let alone any details of gender. The idea is that speakers are selected for the relevance and quality of their content, not the shape of their genitalia.

      1. Tigra 07 Silver badge

        Re: The simple solution

        Do they still have to declare their privilege before they're allowed to speak at the conference?

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: The simple solution

        " ... not the shape of their genitalia."

        Oh dear. Someone didn't attend the sensitivity training, and thinks that gender identification has to do with external plumbing.

  15. codejunky Silver badge
    FAIL

    Ha

    "According to them, they had only a single woman submit a session proposal this year despite having women present in previous years, and hers was a repeat from a local conference last year. They were also firm that the Call For Papers was done and over and they're not open to reaching out to new people now."

    The solution is obvious. We need to start oppressing women again. Only one submitted a proposal and it was a repeat! If the aim of this conference is to put women up there and they are not doing their bit can we really be shocked that SJW's start to hate womens freedom? That SJW's want women to have less freedom and instead submit to filling quota!

    Those women should be grateful SJW's tolerate them out of the kitchen!

  16. Garymrrsn

    Competition 101

    Any proposal that increases competition for employment opportunities will generate resistance regardless of ethical or moral justification.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    diversity and inclusion are worthy goals but should not come at the expense of presentation quality

    in theory. In real world, twitterocracy rulez.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    possibly including outrage-chumming bots

    why is it that those criticizing the current fad "possibly include outrage-chumming bots", while the other side of the argument are, undoubtedly, 100% human - qed? :(

  19. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    PHP

    Prongs Have Priority?

    It does seem odd that they can't find any female speakers. Achieving equity by having no male speakers seems pointless, though.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    people attend conferences

    To hear the content under the presentation headings, but also to hear what people eminent in the field, have to say.

    They may also go to have an expenses paid few days holiday and to try to cop off with one or more other attendees, who can say?

  21. Baldrickk Silver badge

    To increase diversity...

    Start at the bottom, not the top.

    If there are not enough women in the field, then it isn't a problem with how conferences are run. Simply, if we want equal standing, then we need a more equal population.

    Just 3% of my University intake (CS) was female. This dropped to 1% by the end of the year as the typical "I'm not in a degree I like and want to switch" process went on.

    This isn't something new, women are under-represented in STEM all the way down to the subjects studied at school.

    I'm not going to get into nature vs nurture here, and if we should aggressively push people that way, but all opportunities should be open to all, and if we want a more diverse developer population, then we need to encourage that now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To increase diversity...

      This is an example of the gender equality paradox. The higher a country's gender equality, the fewer women study STEM subjects. Explanation? STEM is tough and there are much easier ways for women to make a lot more money in the cushy West.

      1. Juillen 1

        Re: To increase diversity...

        STEM has over-representation by women in certain fields (Biology for example).

        It has nada to do with complexity, rigour or toughness. Women simply seem to be more interested in some avenues of science than men (if you're ever asserting that being a doctor is easier than being a computer tech, I'll openly laugh; I've worked with many docs in healthcare over the years, and they do as many on call hours as I do, with just as crappy anti-social working hours and with far more immediate stresses; women are very over-represented in the med field these days).

        It all comes down to personal choice (and the factors leading to this are extremely complex). Every study so far that's been done on "it must be this" by the politically partisan groups have been shown to be incorrect.

        Basically, if you want more women in computing, tell them they're not allowed to be doctors or biologists; that tends to be where the more technically minded women find their interests fulfilled.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To increase diversity...

          (if you're ever asserting that being a doctor is easier than being a computer tech, I'll openly laugh; I've worked with many docs in healthcare over the years, and they do as many on call hours as I do, with just as crappy anti-social working hours and with far more immediate stresses; women are very over-represented in the med field these days).

          Meds may do as many hours as computer techs, early on in their careers, but the long term rewards are also significantly greater. In the particular rural backwater that I happen to inhabit, the GPs at the local doctors surgery are on an average of £100k per year. I struggle to think of any profession around these parts which can command an equivalent salary. And this is run of the mill, bog-standard general practice we're talking about. Any form of specialism and the sky is literally the limit in terms of how much a med can earn.

          1. Juillen 1

            Re: To increase diversity...

            I would not be a GP for that kinda money. Not a snowflake's chance in hell. Burnout and suicide rate amongst them is quite scary.

            Working in healthcare, I've been in the position many a time to know the real scales of where specialties go in terms of remuneration, and what it takes to get there. Also, what they're exposed to on the way.

            Knowing what I know of the jobs that all the medics actually do (especially in the NHS, as you're quoting pounds), I don't begrudge them what they earn.

            Now I've been in server rooms keeping things running with companies on the edge of losing hundreds of thousands an hour, I've kept things balanced on knife edges of shutting down clinical departments (some of which have been life critical systems).

            At no point have I been in an operating theatre where something's gone wrong, and had to jam my hand into someone's open chest and try to keep massaging their heart to keep things going while the rest of the team try and pull the patient back from the brink (yes, had one of the docs I dated say that about one of her evenings where she was quite hyped when she came home).

            The reason most other professions don't pay as much is quite simply because they don't carry the same consequences. And they're not as stressful.

            For a GP, probably 70-80% of your patients are fine, but my god, the ones that aren't.. Think about being locked in an internet forum for 30% of your day, with people with no professional training telling you that you don't know what you're doing and that everything you know is wrong, and you still have to get them to follow the course that'll actually fix their problem. Knowing that there's probably a very small fraction of a percentage that may actually have it right, and if you miss that one (which statistically will come across your desk at some point), and you'll end up in the national media.

            Yeah, not for me. Running my own show, I made more than doctors do, for a lot less hassle. However, when it came to having one of my family members in intensive care on life support, it kinda made me realise how little that counted for.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: To increase diversity...

      "This isn't something new, women are under-represented in STEM all the way down to the subjects studied at school."

      That doesn't sound like "under-represented" so much as "not-interested"...

      1. Just Enough

        Re: To increase diversity...

        "not-interested"

        Well done for introducing the #1 excuse for discrimination into the thread.

        "We'd give woman the vote, but they're not interested."

        "Yes, blacks are welcome in our establishment. But they're not interested."

        "We'd build a wheelchair ramp into the sports centre, but disabled people are not interested."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: To increase diversity...

          Thanks, I'm here all day.

          Merely pointing out that if the OP's point of

          "women are under-represented in STEM all the way down to the subjects studied at school."

          is valid, then why are they "under-represented" in these "subjects studied at school"? Deciding which subjects to study in school is a voluntary, personal decision, is it not? And would not preference and "interest" in a subject (or lack thereof) influence a woman's decision in whether or not to study that subject? Hence, if women are "under-represented" in the "subjects studied at school", might it not be valid to propose that part of the reason is because a large proportion are NOT INTERESTED in those subjects?

          If I wanted to bring "discrimination" into the argument, I could probably have done a much more thorough and offensive job of it than this.

  22. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    Look, I have spent a large part of my life trying to encourage more women into IT, and generally failed. That is despite there being no good reason why employment rates should not be 50/50. In my experience women are equally skilled at programming (if not better) and generally the working conditions are flexible so should suit women, hwoever they choose to run their life. However in my experience women are not attracted to IT from an early age, and by the time they get to A-level most are already turned of.

    So as an industry we must do better to the point where gender is not seen as a issue either positive or negative. But however well intentioned this was badly handled. There were alternatives which could of been explored. for example the organisers could of held workshops on encouraging female entry into ITand invited local girl students or given reduced rates to female workers. In some ways it is an opportunity missed

  23. Nick Kew Silver badge
    FAIL

    Bottom line

    Wot, no girlies? Sod this for an event: if my employer is sending me on a knees-up, it can jolly well at least have some totty on hand!

    (not me personally - I can't recollect ever going to an event where I knew in advance what the balance was - beyond the kind of "techie events are predominantly male" generality).

  24. Jenny with the Axe

    I followed the link to Larry Garfield’s blog post.

    At the start he says that the conference contacted him directly and asked him to submit proposals for talk.

    Later in his post, he says that he asked the organizers to directly contact women and ask them to submit posts. Their response: "the organizers told me they actively don’t want to do outreach, and just let whoever wants to submit submit."

    Based solely on that blog post, it would appear that they *did* do outreach, to an established speaker who was also a white man. Did they do any outreach to people not matching that profile? If not, they were limiting themselves and (presumably unintentionally and unconsciously) excluding people without an established track record. This does not exactly make for an exciting conference with new content.

    "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten." Is that what PHPCE is going for?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A little sample of some of the comments here...

    "This is nothing else than the dictatorship of pro-female and anti-male discrimination"

    "Most of these complaints lead to dumbing down of conferences."

    "It is because of her gender. It might also be because of her content, but it will definitely be because of her gender."

    "the vast majority of coders is male (and always will be)"

    "There are certain physiological facts (i.e. related to testosterone) you can't ignore or explain with "society"."

    "Basically some people are more naturally suited to being coders than others ... And that's why there will likely always be more male programmers than female."

    I CAN'T POSSIBLY THINK why women might be put off this industry, it SIMPLY MUST be because of biology or largely discredited theories of personality...!

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: A little sample of some of the comments here...

      OTOH the opposite sort of comments are also flung around fairly freely when these sort of rows are going on. I can't see any of either persuading anyone that this is a good field to enter as a career unless, of course, they are the sort of profession umbrage taker who prospers in said rows.

  26. NicX

    Perhaps we should stop treating women and minorities as something to be coddled? None of the women-in-tech that I'm friends with appreciate it. They see right through the bullshit. They don't want special treatment because of their sex organ. They want acceptance or denial letters based on their content, not whether or not they wear a bra.

    As a whole, this "But we can't hurt anyone's feelings!" movement in IT is only going to hurt us. Top talent will be passed over to make sure quotas are met.

    1. Juillen 1

      I get pretty much the same from the crowds I hang round with.

      I've largely given up on the West as coming out with the next great stuff, given how so many have stopped trying to figure out the big stuff, and started making the pettiest of things into the biggest issues (small groups still think it's kinda cool that we're working out how the universe works, and take our hats off to the minds that can figure that stuff out whatever gender, race, creed or colour but the majority are far more concerned with whether you've got a vagina or not, what the genetic coding is for a skin pigmentation what what you think you are in your own head, and that difference is far more important than anything else could ever be). However, there's always Asia to the rescue (and Asia has been one of the major players in the world for a long, long time).

      1. sabroni Silver badge
        Meh

        I have largely given up on the west because I'm male and my privilege isn't what it used to be. Thank fuck women are still second class citizens in lots of other countries!!

  27. Teiwaz Silver badge

    The Real Question

    What have women got against PHP?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Holmes

      Re: The Real Question

      Common sense?

      That is, those who know enough about PHP to have an opinion.

  28. Ptol

    Mostly missing the point...

    Diversity on a team is really important. But diversity is not really about the obvious things that vary, the things you can differentiate within meeting someone for 30 seconds, such as their skin colour or their gender identity. Having people with different perspectives on life, different view points, and ensuring that all of the viewpoints are considered on their merit (and not majority group think mentality) is what actually matters.

    What i look for in potential recruits in addition to sufficient tech skills are people that are around 85% similar and 15% different from the current team. That way they are similar enough to fit in, but bring something new to the team too.

  29. SALOME SMITH
    Boffin

    Did they offer any cash for a female speaker?

    Nice photo, bull and a small man. Where was PHP developed first? Probably Chechnyia where all the good stuff comes from.

    How about some NERF reps at the PHP conferences.Preprocessor Hypertext Processor, to refer to the preprocessing of hypertext and the template processing._.

  30. John70

    Couple of questions:

    1. Were any women approached and asked to give a talk at the conference?

    2. Did any women request to be a speaker at the conference?

    3. People still use PHP?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      That's three. Probably close enough for PHP.

  31. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Majority replicants need not apply.

    Of say the more than the few hundred programming that exist, only a handful have been invented by females and of the most recent ones not for a while. That would be a good conference. #why

  32. gal5

    Idiocracy at its best

    I guess soon all development of PHP (and other projects) will halt until the commit level of female programmers will be at 50%.

    What a suicide pact!

    Couldn't they ask some of their male programmers to identify, for that day, as females??

  33. pollard5

    Can we focus on the other side of it?

    1. Domino
      Devil

      Probably not what you meant..

      "Can we focus on the other side of it?"

      Female coders boycott PHP show and get it cancelled?

  34. Esme

    Complex problems and nuances

    I've been turned down for a job because of being LGBT (yup, I was actually told so! This was a long time ago). I've also been hired where it looked suspisciously like quota-filling (this more recently) - and then was clearly discriminated against on pay, although whether that was because I was female or LGBT, or both, who knows? I certainly don't. I've also failed to get jobs because I wasn't the best for the job, and been given tasks within companies because I was the best person for the job.

    So much of it is down to the precise circumstances of the situation and the people involved at the time. With regard to gender balance in professions, if there's an existing imbalance, then even if achieving balance is possible (it might not be) it takes time because of stereotypes to be overcomes to attract people to study and get trained, stereotypes to be overcome on the hiring side, and so on. There generally aren't simple, quick solutions. On the subject of innate vs societal differences, hormones can, but don't invariably, cause large differences in behaviour. From what I've seen, some transmen do seem to up their arseholery level a while after they starting taking testosterone under that hormones influence, but most don't, and instead simply become happier, more stable well-balanced people than they were before. Likewise the effects of estrogen on MTFs personality-wise can vary from very little to profound, and can occasionally (but not usually) be negative. There are clearly other factors involved (eg; variable hormone sensitivty, societal and individual expectations of male behaviour and so on)

    As for societal factors, I've heard of multiple instances of little girls being allowed to play with their brothers toys, and their brothers being admonished for playing with their sisters toys, but have yet to hear of an instance of the reverse situation. That sort of thing has such huge social inertia that it won't be overcome quickly, and anyone expecting it be overcome quickly is, IMO, either naieve or a fool. Be it noted that the objective of achieving equality does not mean to try to make everyone the same, especially not (heaven forbid!) to try to make males into funny-looking women. The objective is for everyone to be treated fairly and with respect, and it was long ago recognised by feminist theorists that men do get a raw deal in certain ways in life; but women overwhelmingly were treated less fairly and allowed less power; That was the starting point of feminism - to get a better deal for women in the first instance, sure - but also for men to have their lot improved along the way as well. Misandry is no prettier than misogyny.

    Unfortunately SJW's tend to scream about whatever drama-queenery grabs their attention at the time as if there were simple fixes. They need to grow up, IMO. I abhor that sort of behaviour, because it's SJW's who have tarnished feminism in many peoples eyes (most SJW's seem to be clueless about actual feminist ideas and theory, but because they scream loudest, some folks assume that what SJW's present is feminism), and SJWs have also caused some disturbingly serious problems within the LGBT community in recent years, to the point where it can be difficult to have serious debate about tricky topics without "covering all the angles" in just about every sentence from the get-go rather than calmly positing your idea, then looking at the various potential consequences one by one in order to try to see how to solve potential problems.

    Discussions then get derailed early on over often minor points, and there's some frankly anti-social and downright dangerous crap being put out by SJW's supposedly in support of trans folk, for instance, when in reality they're doing little but making things worse for the very people they claim to be supportive of and others as well. SJW's seem to me to be, for the most part, the trolls of the equality movement, bent on destructive ego-tripping rather than resolving problems.

    Personally, I wouldn't lose any sleep over there being no female speakers at a conference unless there was either clear evidence or at least very strong reason to suspect that there was overt discrimination against women going on. I don't care enough about the PHP conference to be bothered to look into the ins and outs of that particular case. There are a few more important things going on in the world that I prefer to spend my attention and effort on, as best I can.

  35. deadmonkey

    You don't have to be a narrow minded misogynist to post on the Reg. Oh no, my mistake, it seems now more than ever you do if the majority of the posts and their respective votes on this topic are any guide.

  36. aurizon

    Incorectly organised.

    The organizing body should have seen this coming. A dogmatic adherence to the 'call for paper' rules was an error. They needed to survey the field and if 25% of PHP programmers in the wild are women, they should attract by subsidy or otherwise a comparable - even greater, number of women to address the group.

    This sprt of problem is rampant in the hard sciences and the entire ecology is slanted away from higher representation by women at all levels and in all disciplines.

    It is all apparently driven by the free will of the women, but I think it runs deeper and is societal - there are comparable enclaves where women are more highly represented than men. A call to Miss Google shows this:- https://www.google.com/search?q=disciplines+dominated+by+women&spell=1&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjpse6juaXkAhVOtlkKHanPAokQBQgvKAA&biw=1920&bih=1008

    Some say that simply placing women into the mix would solve the problem, but most women have better things to do than stand up in front of a bunch of partly hostile men - I think most men feel the same way, it takes a special breed of person to want to go to meetings and yap at others - who may be heckling or otherwise crotocal

    The way to approach it is to approach woman led php or other wider programming groups to assist in levelling the field to whateverr degree would suit the poblem. as time went by, women would feel more welcome at such groups. Any moderator should slap down any asshole who adversely heckled any (male of female) speaker so academic meeting decorum is maintained.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Incorectly organised.

      "...rampant in the hard sciences and the entire ecology..."

      How I miss the days when "ecology" was a science and not just a piece of convenient short-hand.

  37. sabroni Silver badge

    so

    when someone pointed out that their focus on diversity meant precisely fuck all they chucked all their toys out of the pram and cancelled the conference.

    And it's the sjws that are snowflakes apparently, despite this thread being full of gammons in full outrage mode.

    Lack of self awareness much?

  38. JonDoe99

    It's not really about equality

    I've worked in a number of offices where women vastly outnumbered men, but strangely I've never once seen any efforts to even the numbers.

  39. Joe Montana

    Ridiculous

    So the conference made an open call for papers, to which anyone was free to submit, and only one woman submitted a proposal...

    How is this the conference organisers fault? Clearly not many women were interested in giving a talk there, and the one that was had recently given the same talk elsewhere. If you don't like it, why not encourage girls to get into technology at a young age instead of causing hassle for people who have no say in the matter.

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