More men should attend Toronto Girl Geek Dinners

Last June, I attended the first Toronto Girl Geek Dinner organized by Maggie Fox. I was the only man there. And that was a pity.

The goal of the Girl Geek Dinners is “to make technology accessible and interesting to all age groups and all people, particularly women.”

During the course of the evening, I heard lots of interesting points made by smart people who were both knowledgeable and keen about technology and its application to real world problems.

But I also heard lots of questions and discussion about how to break through the male-dominated tech culture. It was clear from the conversation that the glass ceiling persists in many tech organizations. And many of those organizations are run by … men!

Now, I’m old enough to have entered the work force when the workplace culture really did resemble that portrayed on Mad Men. But the world has moved on.

Every male executive I know today wants to build an organization that will attract and retain the best women. We’d be stupid to do anything else.

But that doesn’t mean that we’re always successful. And we can only benefit from being part of the conversations with women as they relate their real world experiences. We can learn both about the mistakes we are making and, if we’re smart, we can learn how to eliminate those mistakes.

I plan to attend future Girl Geek Dinners. And I’d encourage other male executives to do so as well. Not only will we learn a lot about the experience of women in business and technology, but we’ll also get to hear some top notch speakers.

Tonight’s speaker is Leila Boujnane, the CEO of Idée. I met her at the June dinner and recorded a brief clip with her. Have a listen.

UPDATE: I came down with the cold to end all colds and decided not to spread it around at the dinner. So I had to miss the event. However, Kyra from PR Girlz was there and posted her impressions of the event.

  • Hi Joe – thanks for your support, and sorry you couldn’t make it out last night!

    This event is explicitly tech related (vs. PR), so I’m not sure if that’s a good fit for you, but we’re always looking for sponsors to pick up the tab for a few female technology students to attend…

  • Hi Maggie,
    “tech related (vs. PR)” !?

    I think that PR people are among the leaders in exploring and applying social media and social software. A firm like Thornley Fallis has a Web development sister company, 76design, that develops Web sites, Facebook apps, WordPress plug-ins… That’s tech to me. And I think that more and more PR firms are discovering that they must design and code their own apps in order to take full advantage of the potential of social media.

    And yep, please call on me for a sponsorship. The Girl Geek Dinners are a great initiative and I’ll put my money where my mouth is.


  • Joe, this post is spot on.

    I “crashed” last week’s Girl Geek Dinner in Toronto and I’m hopeful to do it more frequently 🙂

    I’ve been proud that we’ve also managed to get a fairly mixed and diverse crowd out to the Geek Dinner Toronto that I’ve helped to organize.

    It speaks volumes to the kind of city that Toronto is.

    The world should pay more attention 🙂