What Women’s Restrooms Can Tell Us About Tech Conference Sexism

Adam Rowe | TECH.CO


When commercial product manager Lin Classon stepped inside a ladies’ restroom at Amazon Web Services’ 2017 re:Invent conference, she wasn’t surprised. Instead, she was alone.

An empty women’s restroom functions as the canary in the coal mine of the tech industry. As Lin explains, the solitude she often finds within them at popular tech conferences highlights the lack of women at the very events that could propel them into industry leadership positions.

“The under-representation of women at major tech events, like AWS re:invent or CES, is largely a pipeline problem, and it’s something I experience at every IT event I attend,” Lin explained in a statement to TechCo.

“It’s now an inside joke that I share photos of the clean, empty women’s restrooms. It’s a humorous way to make an important point.”

Prior to becoming Ensono’s commercial product manager for hyperscale cloud, Lin worked at Google, another tech giant that has weathered its share of controversy regarding workplace sexism and racism.

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