As I mentioned before, some of the participants of Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit had dinner together the night before the “unconference” earlier this month.
When I volunteered to make dinner reservations due to my being a local, there were less than 10 people. By the time I was to make reservations earlier in the week, the number made it challenging to get reservations on a Friday night. Fortunately, someone at work helped me out by getting me in touch with the owner of Don Giovanni in Mountain View. He said there would be no problem accommodating a party of 25 since they had a second dining area. When I called him the morning of the dinner to give the menu selection, there were 43. When we got there at 7, there 12 people, so we thought maybe fewer people would show up than had signed up. Eventually, 53 people showed up. The staff was great about getting everyone to fit. Initially, everyone ordered individual dishes. It turned out to be too difficult for the chefs to prepare such a vast variety of dishes and ensure that everyone would get the food at the same time. So we were given four choices to pick from. That ended up working well. It was pretty clever how they kept track of who ordered what; they gave each of us a poker chip that represented
What we noticed and discussed was the percentage of women at dinner. Out of 53 people (although not all were GSoC participants and not all participants were there), there were two women, including myself. What’s interesting about that is the approximate 4% representation at the dinner is the same percentage of GSoC students who were women. It’s one thing to see statistics on paper but it’s even more striking to see it in person. I don’t remember Google asking my gender in my mentor “paperwork” so I don’t think they have stats on percentage of female mentors. That would be interesting to know.