For the past several years, attendees at tech industry conferences have been posting photos of bathroom lines. Invariably, the photos show dozens of men lined up to use the bathroom, while the women's room is completely deserted. The message is obvious: tech is a male-dominated industry and women at conferences are few and far between. As the number of these photos has grown, the all-male bathroom line became a symbol of gender inequality in Silicon Valley:
But that may be changing, as evidenced by tweets coming from Google's I/O conference, being held this week in San Francisco. Apparently, there's a line for the women's room, too. And women at the conference are excited, not annoyed, to have to stand in it.
Google's gender progress doesn't just extend to bathroom lines. The company has said that 23 percent of this year's I/O attendees are women, and a months-long effort to attract more women to the conference seems to have paid off. The company also bested rivals like Apple in the number of female speakers featured on stage. According to USA Today, Google even set up "an invitation-only online network for women to connect before and after I/O."
There's still a ton of work to be done in fixing the tech industry's historical gender inequality. And Google has a ways to go, too — only 17 percent of its tech workers are women, for starters. But a women's bathroom line at a big developer conference is a good sign that things are getting better.