I’ve been reading the book Guns, germs, and steel and though I am only halfway through it leads me to ask a different question.
Why are women less known in front end design / CSS / standards ?
I’m sure it doesn’t apply to all of us, but I am simply not willing to participate in the world of forums. I’ve lurked for years learning and gleaning information from posts and responses but the flame wars and nastiness are generally something I’m not willing to risk. The same guys who are delightful at a conference, bright, and eager to share information will flame someone in an online environment as if the rules of politeness that your mother taught you don’t apply in digital format.
A particular example that comes to mind is an ALA article from just before the redesign. It was basic (but shouldn’t ALA also publish those), and the technique left something to be desired and yet the response to it was rabid.
A while back I saw in technorati that Joe Clark had linked to an article I had written on accessibility. I adore his writing style and have a lot of respect for his work, and yet my first thought was “Oh jesus, I’ve been FLAMED”.
Maybe this speaks more to do with my timidity than my gender, but I suspect that if you guys were a little more respectful you might have a few more women around. (Not such a bad thing, right?) So, Eric, perhaps you are asking the wrong question. I’m not a proponent of lowering the skill level for diversity’s sake, but is it possible that there are CSS Goddesses on the A-list in terms of technical skill, speaking ability, and vision who simply aren’t on the radar of the web development community?