Working with BathCamp to increase diversity

As you are probably aware now – one of our missions is to increase women’s networking – not only in women’s groups but also increase their involvement in gender neutral groups.
Last month Paul Leader came to us through girlgeekdinners to see what we could do to improve the gender diversity in BathCamp as they were setting up again after a break. As quoted in our initial discussion “The Meetup group is about 16% women at the moment, which is not good” – in fact in comparison to some of the other groups that is good – if it is also reflected in the attendance statistics.

I sometimes liken going to these male heavy events like having the feeling I’ve accidentally wandered into the male toilets, we’re all a bit embarrassed and I want to turn around and run back through the doors to safety.  It seem like an extreme reaction but any men reading this when were you last the only man in a group of 200 + women?

Anyway – we offered some suggestions and publicised BathCamp among our groups and Paul came back to thank us and ask to see if any women would be interested in coming or speaking at their next events …

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“First up, thanks very much for helping to get the word out about the June BathCamp. My rough and ready headcount was about 23% women. Still lots of room for improvement, but it’s good to know a bit of effort can make a big difference.

I’m now on the lookout for speakers for the next two BathCamps in September and November. Would you mind passing the message on? I’m very keen to make sure future BathCamps have as diverse speaker a lineup as possible.

The two BathCamps in the pipeline are:

Learning and Tech (Thursday 15th September)

  • How do/should we teach coding to kids, in school, at code-clubs, etc.
  • Interesting technology for teaching (for STEM subjects or otherwise)
  • Teaching adults. Formal courses, code schools, apprenticeship style systems?
  • How do we educate our users about what’s possible in the systems we build?
  • Approaches to professional development, how do we get new people up to speed. How do we help them stay relevant. How do we keep ourselves up to date?
  • How can we use tech in teaching, should we? What works, what doesn’t?

Small boards and embedded tech, Pi, Arduino, Microbit, PIC micro-controllers etc (Thursday 24th November)

  • I’m looking for anyone who has been building interesting projects using Pis, Arduinos or any of the other small board computers. I’m particularly interested in things that are related to embedded hardware, wearable projects, art projects, robotics etc rather than simply projects that use the Pi as a cheap computer (e.g. using a RPi as a media player).”

 So please get involved, speak, attend and join in as the more women going the more comfortable it will be for the rest of us.