I want to keep this brief because it's supper time, but a little explanation around this blog, my research topic and how a little event on Monday suddenly put all that stuff into sharp relief.
A story: About 10 years ago I was immersed in all online stuff in the local area (was even regaling the whole 'Charlotte Carey Online' debacle (a rather low budget BBC Radio WM weekly tech radio show) the other day) this all carried on for a few more years and then in 2000 I had my daughter. I took 6 months maternity leave. What happened in that time was a bit weird. I kind of lost my tech mojo or perhaps my confidence to keep on top of the fast changes in technology.
Another thing I noticed was a whole bunch of women that I'd previously met at private views and the like, who had mysteriously disappeared, were now in this other world. The mummy world. It is a day time world where there aren't many private views or networking events, def no impromptu after work schmoozing and networking happens but accompanied by nappy changing and other baby related stuff.
Now this is all quite a while a go for me, mojo was recovered, although slightly altered, private views became once more an option - occassionally. But the whole impromptu thing now has to be planned for.
(and I should add a little disclaimer here: In my experience having a baby and looking after ones small child is one of the most awesome and wonderful experiences - I am not trying to diminish that in anyway. I also know that this is not unique to women and that increasingly men stay at home and take care of childcare)
Now why do I mention this all? well it was this experience and some early research I was involved in that lead me to the work I am immersed in at the moment around gender and entrepreneurship in the creative industries. I got to thinking: if so much about the sector is characterised by sort of night-time living, networking, friendships and 'who you know' then how do folks with caring responsibilities and baby sitting issues get involved? how are their careers affected by this potential exclusion?
This was highlighted recently at the Bham Bloggers (see below) meeting where a bunch of women couldn't make it due to childcare. Now this is not to say that this is the only reason women weren't there (but that is for another posting). But a point that was raised, was that potentially women’s voices are missing and this is pretty serious to the development of these areas. Discussion (see comments related to this blog posting by Stef) led to how women could potentially organise themselves into some daytime blogger meetups, child friendly ones at that. That perhaps these could be a stepping stone to the wider group.
What interests me is that by having a voice, women interested in technology and how it could shape their businesses and the sectors they work within might really add value and a different perspective to the overall mix.
Later: Re-reading my final paragraph and having thought about it some more I realise this sounds a little patronising. What I sort of mean is that they should be shaping/influencing this stuff as much as any one else and in some quarters probably are, but here in the WM it still feels very male dominated - am Imaking sense?
Anyway I'll get in touch with those women and see if we can fix something up?