I go to a number of conferences in the course of my work and there are always more men than women on the podium and, regardless of the gender make-up of the audience, there are always more men who ask questions than women. Why should that be? And why is it that that would be true pretty much in any line of work, even in professions like teaching which are female dominated? And is it only women who ever notice this? Why do I spend all my time counting? I see over on twitter that Suzy Byrne has made a campaign of counting the number of female panellists on Vincent Browne’s current affairs programme (not very many, if I might summarise).
The other night I was unlocking my bike from the rack and two (male colleagues) were there with their bikes also – I have a child seat on the back and they commented that they had been wondering who owned it. “I do,” I said, “bringing gender balance to the bike rack.” “Eh?” they asked. “Haven’t you noticed that there are never any other women’s bikes on the rack?” I said. They looked at me in surprise and amusement, no they would never in a life time have noticed. Could it be that I am overcounting?
Do you spend your time counting?