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Women got way less stage time at Google’s I/O keynote this year

Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson google women i/o 2016
Alice Truong/Quartz
Where my ladies at?
By Alice Truong
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

In recent years, Google has made a big push to include more women at its I/O developer conference, and these efforts have helped boost female attendance. In the last two years, women made up almost a quarter of participants, all the more striking given that the number of attendees increased by 25% in 2016.

While there are more ladies in the crowd, there were notably fewer on stage during the keynote this morning (May 18). Only three women spoke during the 112-minute address, and together they shared 19 minutes of stage time. Compare that to last year, when three women were on stage for 39 minutes, almost a third of the 125-minute keynote.

Typically at conference keynotes, products are announced in the order of importance. Rebecca Michael, who oversees marketing for communication products, was the fourth speaker and demoed Google’s new video-chat app, Allo. Two of the other women—Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, director of product management, and Ellie Powers, lead product manager—didn’t come into the picture until the last 26 minutes of the keynote. Relegated to the end, both women introduced products that were more developer focused: Android Studio (Cuthbertson) and Google Play Instant Apps (Powers).

Correction: A previous version of this story did not count the six minutes Rebecca Michael was on stage.

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