When I first heard about the Nude London Tech Calendar my reaction was one of indifference. It reminded me of the popular people at school and their regular charity fashion shows. Back then, I decided if people want to go parading around showing off their knobbly bits, that’s fine. It’s insane, obviously, but fine – I couldn’t get my head around why anyone would want to jump about on a stage being judged by little weirdos like me. But it’s up to them. I’ll watch with a vague sense of fascinated horror before going home to read my Enid Blyton books, while you parade about. That was how things worked between me and the popular people.
I’m still pretty indifferent, and mention the calendar on this blog long after I heard about it, mainly because of a blog shared by Techcrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher on Twitter this week by Eileen Burbridge.
The calendar will feature both men and women; it’s for charity; and god knows technology needs a marketing facelift. But I’m with Eileen on this one – I thought the “stars of the London tech scene” being featured in the calendar were supposed to be business people? And surely there’s a way to improve the tech sector’s image that doesn’t involve copying the Women’s Institute?
Eileen, who runs her own tech company and was formerly at director level in Yahoo!, says, “If you’re in this business and want to be taken seriously as a woman, keep your clothes on. If you want to be perceived and judged as clever, quick-witted, with good business acumen, laser-focussed on your work and generally with your shit together, then keep the primary attention and focus on your cerebral achievements and don’t over-flaunt your physical assets.”
I’m still fighting my indifference but my biggest objection is that it all seems a little bit ego-driven, a little too similar to school-time fashion shows and perhaps not the image I’d want to cultivate if I was starting and running an internet business. But then again, I’m not starting a tech business, and I’m not an internet big-wig, so maybe I know nothing about how they want to be perceived. If London’s hottest tech stars feel the need to share their knobbly bits with the rest of us, they have my blessing. I haven’t enjoyed fascinated horror on this level for quite some time.