Reading through my WhyDev weekly update, I saw this article on why this man will no longer participate on all-male panels. Sounds great! Dudes taking steps to bring women into the conversation! Or is it?

A few choice quotes, emphasis mine:

I am not a feminist. When Vanity Fair breathlessly announces that Emma Watson has just given a game-changing speech on women's rights, I roll my eyes and turn the page. I don't have much to learn about equality from an undergrad with a talent for playing make-believe. The politics of tokenism does nothing for me and I have little time for those who claim they lack opportunity.

And yet, there were no women on that stage.

I am an unapologetic member in good standing of the old boys club. I believe men and women are different. I don't trust quotas or tokenism. But I am also practical. I recognize that if you ignore 50 per cent of the population, you're never going to achieve what is potentially possible. It is absurd to suggest any enterprise that intentionally excluded half the talent pool could thrive.

I... don't really know what his point is. He seems to believe that women have equal opportunity in his country, but the absence of women on the panel didn't show him any different. And yes, it's easy to be suspicious of tokenism, but according his rules, he'd happily speak on a panel with a single woman despite her qualifications? But men and women are different, but women are still just as likely to be more successful than you?

Is this just cognitive dissonance at its finest?

As another aside, he calls himself a social entrepreneur. That's cool and all, I know lots of those. The field in the US (as far as I can tell) tends to be dominated by wealthy men looking to solve global problems through innovation and blended businesses.


Whereas I'm in international development (still working on my degree), which also tries to solve global problems through research and innovation and is dominated (at least in my program) by women, and not all white ones at that. From what I've read on him, he's just as much a development practitioner as a social entrepreneur, so it's interesting which title he's chosen for himself.