The session I attended this morning (with my wife, who joined me for the day) was thought-provoking. Femke Snelting, Belgium artist, took a fresh look at gender issues relating to ICT skills. Her research shows considerable (political) inequality between men and women in this regard. I will quote her only on women blogging, because I think it offers an interesting window into the heart of the problem. Femke found that 46% of bloggers were women. However, in terms of influence only about 16% speak with a powerful voice.
I found Donna Metzlar even more radical. She is a feminist and works for an organisation called Genderchangers (remember port adaptors, male/female pins?). Her experience should really make most men re-evaluate their relationship with women in work or at home. Let's be frank, the ICT sector world wide is still male-dominated, uninviting, alienating and exclusive. If a woman struggles with ICT skills, male colleagues are usually not very helpful, will give advice in unintelligible and perhaps condescending language, or sort the problem themselves (even justify it as do-it-by-example technique).
By the way, I liked the word-games she used: genderchangers, systerserver, eclectic tech carnival (etc), girls geek dinner, and so on. (Look these girls up, especially if you are a woman. But surely men can learn something, too).