I had four meetings on one day last week. There was nothing unusual in that. On most days I have this number and sometimes more.
The meetings in themselves were not that unusual either. I met with Newcastle University to talk to them about both #CyberFest, or rather CyberNorth, and the North East Initiative on Business Ethics. I then went over to Gateshead Civic Centre to get feedback on a mentoring programme I had been involved in. Next it was off to Gosforth to meet with a marketing company and to look at the possibility of joint working. Finally I made my way to Northumberland County Council to learn about the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.
Again, there was nothing too unusual in any of those.
Later on that evening though I was looking back on the day when It suddenly struck me that all of the meetings had been with women. Four meetings, six women and not a bloke in sight, apart from me.
Now there is nothing wrong with that yet in hindsight it was very unusual, maybe not for you but certainly for me. I don’t think I have ever had a whole day of meetings and been the only man. I have had many days when I have had meetings with only men however.
This shows me that the drive towards greater diversity, at least gender, has made great strides. Having spent most of September helping to deliver a range of cyber conferences I know that the IT industry is still heavily male dominated and so there is still a lot to do. Gender diversity in my sector is not resolved by a long way yet days like the one last week show that there is hope.
Changing millennia of tradition and bias takes a long time and a great deal of effort but if my experience is anything to go by then that change is definitely underway.