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Men claiming to be ‘non-binary’ invade women’s tech conference

Some men ‘lied about their gender,’ organizers said

A recent technology career conference hosted by a mentorship organization for “women and non-binary technologists” was overwhelmed by men, some of whom claimed to be non-men.

Female conference attendees in Atlanta “report[ed] standing in hours-long lines to talk to recruiters, being shoved and harassed, and watching men jump over escalators to cut in line ahead of other attendees,” tech media outlet 404 reported Tuesday.

The conference, Sept. 28’s 2023 Grace Hopper Celebration, was meant to bring “the research interests of women in computing to the forefront,” according to its website.

“This year, people who were there reported a massive influx of male attendees at the conference,” 404 reported. Conference organizers told the outlet some attendees “lied about their gender” when registering.

“The conference welcomes all genders, but organizers encourage men to come as allies,” according to 404.

Nonetheless, men reportedly “were lining up to talk to recruiters in droves, cutting in front of women in lines, shoving and pushing, and selling interview slots for thousands of dollars,” according to the outlet.

Women’s media company founder Avni Barman, who attended the conference, wrote on X it was “shocking to see how many men showed up to a women in tech career conference claiming ‘non-binary’ on their GHC registration status, shoving, bullying and bribing the women there.”

“When I arrived at the conference, I was pretty confused about what was going on,” Barman told 404. “I had hundreds of girls come running to me basically in tears.”

AnitaB.org, the conference organizer, describes its mission as to “connect, inspire, and advance women and non-binary technologists,” according to its website.  Its annual Grace Hopper Celebration is “the world’s largest gathering of women and non-binary technologists.”

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