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8 Responses

  1. Amber
    Amber August 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm |

    I want to throw in one other thing here: tech conferences ain’t cheap. Attending an IAB seminar is like $500 per person. With that said, typically only managers and executives go. Aside from a few notable exceptions, very few tech companies have women executives. Therefore, women are not seen as equals, because really, in a CTO’s mind, what can he possibly learn from a product manager?

    As a woman that works in technology, I find myself jumping from large companies to small ones so that maybe I’ll glean a small particle of knowledge so valuable, that one day I can become a Director of Operations. I’m skeptical, though.

  2. catfood
    catfood August 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm |

    As a cis/white/het male, I helped organize a tech event that, yay!, seemed to be about 50% women when we looked at the crowd that showed up.

    There weren’t “speakers” per se, but the most visible participants were pretty much all white guys. We have to work on that for next time. A lot of the issue this time was the “We know this guy” theme you mentioned, but the neat thing is now we do know a lot more women among this year’s rank and file who are clearly able to step into leadership and presentation roles.

  3. K.
    K. August 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

    Where my petite trained to be a nice girl little self could not push through the wall o’nerd (said with nothing but affection, nerds are generally my favorite) to get to the board and post my idea until slots were more than full. It was a physical impossibility. \

    (and at ours, there were maybe 8 women. Seriously).

  4. katrina_iskierka
    katrina_iskierka August 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm | the link is about a free online seminar with asian women speakers. it seems very positive and it is for free. it also starts today i think. i won’t be able to participate live because i do not have internet at home, but they also say a recording of talks will be up at the site for 48 hours after. i am not in any way associated with the event, although i will sign up for it today; it was linked in a post by a woman whose judgement i trust. she is not asian, but my confidence in her led me past the “new agey” (for lack of better vocabulary) feel of the sight that may have turned me off if i was more skeptical. hopefully maybe you might be interested in this also.

    clearly this is * not* a purelye tech conference, live, but there are bloggers, and women who own their own businesses, and it is entirely online, so i thought it might be okay if i shared this.

  5. B
    B August 10, 2011 at 10:02 am |

    I am a geologist. I am female. I speak at conferences. I haven’t noticed any lack of female speakers at the conferences I attend. I can’t tell you percentages but it seems about average for how diverse the profession is, which is to say it is male dominated, but not exclusive. Our topics do cross over into tech topics as we use a lot of hi-tech gadgets and software that is limited to our profession so we need to share with each other to find out the latest and greatest. Do you suppose I am blind to the problem or the problem is worse at the tech conferences?

  6. Robert Merkel
    Robert Merkel August 14, 2011 at 5:15 pm |

    B, the problem is worse at tech conferences, and throughout the tech industry.

    My undergraduate programming course has 70 students in it. There’s one woman.

  7. Remorseless husband-stealing no-good linkspams (15th August, 2011) | Geek Feminism Blog

    […] On tech conferences and the amazing invisible women — Feministe: Why don’t women speak at tech conferences? is at least in my top-ten favorite questions, somewhere behind Where are all the women bloggers? and Why aren’t there more women CEOs?… If only there were answers to those questions. […]

  8. Glot
    Glot August 18, 2011 at 7:56 am |

    My company has a female CIO. We had a “women in tech” meeting with her, and when one of her bits of advice was that it was alright for a woman to put on lipstick while at the conference table, I had to devalue anything she said. I think she was trying to say we can be feminine and techie simultaneously, but I can think of fewer things that will lose any respect my cohorts have for me that such a personal thing to do in front of them.

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