I attended a terrific one-day conference / learning session in Calgary on Saturday, arranged and paid for by a huge operating-system-and-productivity-suite corporation and presented by arguably the most successful game development engine firm from the past three years. The learning materials were above reproach and it was evident that the arranging corporation was getting serious about some new markets. Very valuable.
There was an extreme gender disparity in the room, however: of the ~60 attendees only three were female. I'd thought things had improved since I'd last worked in a software development shop (late '90s and early '00s) but it doesn't seem so, despite the efforts of groups such as The Ada Initiative. I recognize that female representation in STEM is low, but I didn't expect a rate of 5% if not a bit less.
Even more troubling, though, was one of the presenters. He was enthusiastic about his material, knew his stuff, had tonnes of industry experience and was able to keep the crowd engaged. His tone was universally positive but a couple of really inappropriate "quips" showed up
(potential trigger warning; language is PG but offensive)
During a session section describing how to pinpoint a specific area of an on-screen 3d model he said "put it on the tip ... just the tip, ha ha.". And while explaining how simulated gravity worked as rocks orbited three clickable onscreen spheres he joked about "grabbing his balls" (ostensibly referring to the spheres).
I consider myself a reasonably decent judge of character and I cannot fathom that this fellow had any true hate in his heart for women; it certainly didn't appear that way to me. But I found his one-liners to be quite inappropriate and possibly indicitive of a frat-boy mentality that still pervades CS in general.
I'm venting a bit (as I already did to a close friend of mine) but I'd like to ask (1) am I over-reacting and being oversensitive? and (2) should I approach the firm that the presenter is employed by? I don't want to get anyone binned over what wasn't meant maliciously but baby steps, and all that, right?