On the Expected Gender Balance of (Computer) Conferences


“Dave Wilkinson performed some back-of-an-envelope statistical calculations to determine the probabilities of various gender balances if a conference line-up of 15 speakers were selected in a gender-blind process, leading to this dramatic conclusion:

So, the probability of having 15 men and 0 women is 3.5% given 20% of the tech world are women. A rather unlikely outcome. What is more interesting is that the probability of having more than 3 women is 35.4%. Therefore, a conference with a selection process that is blind to gender is 10 times more likely to over-represent women than to not represent women at all.

Keep that in mind next time someone claims an all-male speaker selection is an expected occurrence in an industry free from discrimination.”

Oh, and go have a look at the blog for the VOCO ads under discussion: Play with my V Spot and Oral is Better.  Just what you’d expect really given those lines.

Thanks DF.