gender equality

Let’s unpack the outrage around this picture


Four men talking about Women in IT. Brace yourself and grab some popcorn -let’s have a look at some of the responses.

You cannot be serious

— Lesley Carhart (@hacks4pancakes) July 27, 2018

Surprised (not surprised) they found four mansplainers for the panel.

— George Simpson (@gezerk) July 27, 2018

RMS recently hosted the Women in IT Forum at the end of May, with the theme ‘Male Champions of Change’. Over 100 men and women attended. https://t.co/GlJ9kWdw2A pic.twitter.com/tOIKyy1HEF

— Engineers Australia (@EngAustralia) July 26, 2018

#Mansplaining is real and now

— Greg Rickard (@Greggrow) July 27, 2018​​

thanks i just had to swallow my own vomit

— chermside markets (@AdelePerovic) July 27, 2018

Likewise on the original post on from Engineer’s Australia, similiar outrage.

You cannot be serious

— Lesley Carhart (@hacks4pancakes) July 27, 2018

Surprised (not surprised) they found four mansplainers for the panel.

— George Simpson (@gezerk) July 27, 2018

Now to be fair, the original post has a woman in it (it seems on the mobile version it get’s cropped out). She is the moderator, but that’s beside the point. You can find the original article here to decide for yourself.

RMS recently hosted the Women in IT Forum at the end of May, with the theme ‘Male Champions of Change’. Over 100 men and women attended. https://t.co/GlJ9kWdw2A pic.twitter.com/tOIKyy1HEF

— Engineers Australia (@EngAustralia) July 26, 2018

What I want to discuss is the outrage culture around imagery of men supporting women. The caption from all of the shares clearly states ‘Male Champions of Change’. And upon reading the article you can see that firstly, the panel discussion wasn’t the main event (the main event was women speakers) and secondarily, the men in the panel discussion were promoting diversity and discussing challenges they’ve faced implementing it.

So why is it that only women can discuss gender diversity and inclusion?

Do we not need men part of the conversation to cause change? Because honestly, I’d like to see more men involved with these discussions. Every Women in Tech, Women in Digital and Women Who Code event I’ve been to about diversity and inclusion, mainly have women there. The men are welcome and invited to come, however few or none show.

So for me, to see men in leadership positions at a Women in IT forum — I applaud this. I actually hope they brought more men with them. They NEED to be included. They NEED to hear the stories from the women in their community. And they NEED to action change.

This backlash, while the sentiment is appreciated, can be more damaging than intended. It can discourage men from joining in the conversation and create a culture where diversity events are ‘women only’.

We don’t want that. So turn up to the events. Learn our stories, discuss and stand in solidarity with us. Or at the very least, click on the article and read before you start getting outraged.


About** the author **

I'm Sammy. I’m a bgirl, an organiser for NodeGirls and an Inclusion Strategist at WORK180. Let’s leave this world a better place than we found it, like epically better. 


About WORK180

WORK180 is an international jobs network that connects smart businesses with the very best female talent. We pre-screen every employer on our jobs board to see where they stand on pay equity, flexible working, paid parental leave, equal opportunities and a range of other criteria. We also take into account diversity initiatives focusing on age, ability, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

The information we uncover is made public on our website, so that everyone knows what to expect from each employer before applying for a job. We continually review and evolve our pre-screening criteria to ensure workplaces are fair and equal for everyone.  

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