I am not an expert on the status of men and women in OR/MS, but I have two observations to offer.
1. I was surprised to see that no women attended the social networking session at INFORMS (three women were on the panel).
2. I was surprised to see that several men attended the work-life balance session at INFORMS. Better yet, they even asked questions.
One step backward and one step forward. Certainly, there are gender disparities in blog readership (more men read blogs, particularly technical blogs), blog commenting (I’d wager than men are more likely to leave comments), twitter participation (more women tweet). This might translate into disparities of who feels comfortable attending a social networking panel. (Note: by disparities, I literally mean differences, with no judgment attached). I wonder about disparities because quite a few women asked me about the session during the conference (I received more inquiries from women than men) so I know that they were interested but didn’t show up. I don’t have a way to draw conclusions from my small sample of observations.
I’ll stop there before I put my foot in my mouth. What do you think?