There were no women on stage during WWDC 2014 keynote or at the State of the Union address that followed it. Kim Vorrath was given a shout-out, women from both Apple and the community presented sessions and gave talks during the week, Apple scheduled a Women in Technology get-to-gether, and Apple does an excellent job promoting inclusivity and diversity on their website and in their ads. However, when the lights were on and the cameras were recording, the stage was anything but diverse. Brianna Wu of Giant Spacekat talks about how that feels to women in the Apple community, but also what can be done to effect change. From Macworld:
When I was a teenager in the 90s, I had few female role models to look up to in computer science; it's simply not acceptable for this to still be the case in 2014. Next year at WWDC, I want to see at least one woman in a public speaking role during the WWDC keynote. There are many bright, smart, well-spoken female Apple engineers; let's put them on stage and be role models for their peers and our daughters. Or Apple's Angela Ahrendts, who may not be a developer, but her business savvy and presentation skills seem like they would be well-utilized at next year's keynote. And I want to see more women and minorities at WWDC next year. We're a small crowd, but we do exist, and having more of us at the conference will emphasize this.
I'd love to see Ahrendts on stage at the next event, handling the Apple Store while Tim Cook focuses on the "this is what we believe" core-value segment he does so well. It would certainly raise the profile of the discussion, and raise awareness.
Both raising awareness helps and being proactive helps, and not just for Apple but for everyone. It's a struggle. It's hard. We will, all of us, fail spectacularly and embarrassingly at times. But we will pick ourselves up. We'll do better. Because it needs to be done. Because when we include more people, we become more inclusive. When we have greater diversity, we benefit from greater diversity of thinking.
Exclusion is a vicious, self-perpetuating cycle. Luckily inclusivity is a virtuous one. And it's one that, ultimate, benefits us all.