I just read a postcard from Jessica Shambora of CNN Fortune addressing the lack of women in the tech industry – a problem we also know here in Denmark. In this context Shambora has an interesting suggestion; women could turn to virtual worlds for guidance in gaining power. Based on a talk Second Life founder and chairman, Philip Rosedale is quoted for saying that
at secondlife.com, a 3-D online world created by its residents, women rule society in a way that parallels the Victorian age (as rulers of their households, women of that earlier era coordinated the social events where alliances were created between families, businesses, etc.).
And Rosedale continues saying that more men in SL choose to live as women than vice versa.
It would be quite interesting to see the data on which Rosedale is building these statements, and also if there’s a difference when cross-referencing with age, RL job, social status etc. And if the majority of users choose to have women-avatars, how can we know for sure that they (the women) are ruling SL?
Other than that, it’s my personal experience that especially virtual worlds and other social networking environments really do appeal to (RL) women and as such could facilitate more women both in tech industry and research :-)