Attendees of an annual tech conference that celebrates and encourages women and non-binary people in STEM fields were left furious after large crowds of men gate crashed the event.
The Grace Hopper Celebration, named after the pioneering computer scientist, is an annual gathering of women and non-binary technologists in the US.
The conference is specifically designed to bring the career and research interests of women in technology to the forefront, and has been running annually since 1994.
However, dozens of videos across social media have surfaced showing men racing and allegedly shoving their way to the front to meet with potential recruiters at the job fair.
The women and non-binary people who attended, many who paid the US$1300 (A$2041) ticket price, have slammed the men who reportedly skipped the seminars and panels in order to get to the front of the recruiting lines.
Many of the attendees aired their frustrations on social media, with many questioning why there were so many men in attendance.
“The Grace Hopper conference is specifically aimed at women in tech, and there are recruiters there in order to push for more hiring of women in these fields. It’s been overrun by men buying the tickets … I f***king hate these freaks,” one person wrote on X, formerly Twitter.
“It’s f**ked some men are suddenly fake-identifying with she/her pronouns to go to Grace Hopper [because] they can’t find jobs otherwise,” another commented.
Another wrote: “Would be less of a douche move if they were at least attending the lectures. But they were not coming to learn, just to steal jobs.”
Founder of That LinkedIn Girl, Morgan Young expressed her disappointment that the conference was not a “safe space for women”.
“I attended the conference expecting to find a safe space for women with a week of fun, sisterhood, friendship and opportunities,” she wrote on LinkedIn.
“What I saw instead, was thousands of young women and NB technologists being shoved, pushed, harassed, bullied, violated, spoken over, and above all, discouraged.
“To the men who attended GHC, you have dropped your ethics and morals just for the change to get a job. You’ve hit a new kind of low.”
And while men are not prohibited from attending the conference, the company that organises the event AnitaB said men attended in higher numbers this year.
AnitaB’s Chief Impact Officer Cullen White called out the men who allegedly lied about being non-binary in order to attend.
“Yesterday, it became clear that there are a far greater number of cisgender men attending than we anticipated,” he said.
“Simply put, some of you lied when you registered. And as evidenced by the stacks and stacks of resumes you’re passing out, you did so because you thought you could come here and take space to try and get a job.”
In his statement, White pointed out that cisgendered men took not only the discounted academic tickets for the event, but the interview slots that were for the women and non-binary attendees.
“So let me be perfectly clear: stop,” he warned them.
The organisation later released a video with AnitaB’s Advisory President Bo Young Lee addressing the issue.
“In the past, it has always felt safe and loving and embracing. And this year, I must admit I didn’t feel this way. And I know that many of you felt the same,” she said.
“I want you to know that we’re taking this so personally, and I’m taking it personally.”
News.com.au reached out to AnitaB.org for further comment.