SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Flushing toilets may not be the most glorious indicator of women rising in tech, but it’s certainly one to celebrate.
Re/code Senior Editor Ina Fried captured the rare event — a long line for the women’s bathroom — at the Apple WWDC conference in San Francisco Monday.
“Yeah, I actually tried to get in that line. I was like, ‘Oh, forget it,'” recalled CNET Senior Writer Shara Tibken.
Men have long dominated bathroom lines at tech conferences, delivering a clear visual of what the gender imbalance looks like in Silicon Valley.
Two years ago at the same Apple conference, CNET Editor Dan Ackerman documented the extreme lack of women present with this:
Even before then, the gender divide did not go unnoticed.
Fried’s tweet Monday was mostly greeted with feelings of optimism at a time when women make only up 11 percent of executives in Silicon Valley and earn 73 percent less than men with the same educational credentials.
But not without a little bathroom humor.
Jokes aside, there was another first at the WWDC.
“They actually had two women on stage, which is a pretty big deal for Apple,” said Tibken.
Apple Vice President Jennifer Bailey became the fist female Apple Exec to present at the event.
“They’ve had three women on stage since 2007. None of those women were executives. They only have one woman on the executive leadership team – which is the highest execs of the company,” said Tibken.
The Ellen Pao sexual discrimination case has broadened the debate about the gender equity in Silicon Valley and Apple has previously admitted that 70 percent of the workforce is male. Bailey’s appearance gives the company a female voice that’s more authentic than Siri.
“Apple has definitely been paying attention to this. All of the companies have. They know it’s bad press and just bad business practice to not have any diversity at their companies,” Tibken said.