essay at the Atlantic by Rose Eveleth asking "Why Aren't There More Women Futurists? - futurists being used here to cover everyone from futurologists to science fiction writers
"More than two thirds of Facebook employees are men. That’s a ratio reflected among another key group: futurists. Both the World Future Society and the Association of Professional Futurists are headed by women right now. And both of those women talked to me about their desire to bring more women to the field. Cindy Frewen, the head of the Association of Professional Futurists, estimates that about a third of their members are women. Amy Zalman, the CEO of the World Future Society, says that 23 percent of her group’s members identify as female. But most lists of “top futurists” perhaps include one female name. Often, that woman is no longer working in the field."
One argument offered to explain the dearth - men are more gung-ho about Da Phuture:
"Madeline Ashby, a futurist with a degree in strategic foresight who has worked for organizations like Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, and Nesta, says that another big part of the gender imbalance has to do with optimism. “If you ask me, the one reason why futurism as a discipline is so white and male, is because white males have the ability to offer the most optimistic vision,” she says. They can get up on stage and tell us that the world will be okay, that technology will fix all our problems, that we’ll live forever. Mark Stevenson wrote a book called An Optimist’s Tour of the Future. TED speakers always seem to end their talk, no matter how dire, on an upward-facing note.
"Ashby says that any time she speaks in front of a crowd, and offers a grim view of the future, someone (almost always a man) invariably asks why she can’t be more positive. “Why is this so depressing, why is this so dystopian,” they ask. “Because when you talk about the future you don’t get rape threats, that’s why,” she says. “For a long time the future has belonged to people who have not had to struggle, and I think that will still be true. But as more and more systems collapse, currency, energy, the ability to get water, the ability to work, the future will increasingly belong to those who know how to hustle, and those people are not the people who are producing those purely optimistic futures."”
Another argument presented - that women tend to be less gadget-happy technology-as-solution-to-everything in their outlook:
"The futurism that involves glass houses and 400-year-old men doesn’t interest [s.f. author Monica Byrne]. “When I think about the kind of future I want to build, it’s very soft and human, it’s very erotic, and I feel like so much of what I identify as futurism is very glossy, chrome painted science fiction covers, they’re sterile.” She laughs. “Who cares about your jetpack? How does technology enable us to keep loving each other?”