Today I am reminded of why I began this blog. Why I named it and why i began writing down my thoughts. I was surprised at how few women were present in the mobile industry... at conferences, mobile interest groups, and the industry at large. Im happy to say that at the last Mobile Monday
, I counted 9 women. This is 7 more than, Elle
and I, who used to be the only two there.
That's about 9% of the total attendance... the same amount percentage of the speakers who were female at Etech
So, today I've been reading really interesting discussions about the gender difference at SXSW
and ETech. David Weinberger
, posted that only 5% of the papers from Etech came from woman this year... which, yes, resulted in about 9% of the total speakers being woman. Conversely, as Mary Hodder
points out, about 50% of the crowd was female at SXSW.
I dont know if it's because it's emergent technology that it has a different appeal, or because of the difference structure of the conference itself.Liz Lawley
points out that there was a different, perhaps more social mood around SXSW.
Not all the faces were male. Not all of them were Caucasian. The voices were rich and varied. The vibe was open and warm. There were more conversations than there were pontifications. (SXSW doesn’t call panel participants “speakers,” either, which I like. We’re panelists. A subtle distinction, but one that makes a difference.)Danah Boyd
rants on marginilzed populations and how the in-crowd is the boy's club at Etech and it will continue to stay that way, if we don't address it, because they will keep socializing and keep reinviting one another to attend.
All I know is that Im bummed I didn't go to either and after reading all this...Damn it, I wish I would have submitted something to Etech!!
It's really important that we get female voice in emergent fields. The things we are creating are for both genders. It's the future of where we are going. It's important that we understand what we each need and important to converge on balanced opinions and ideas.
Perhaps there are certain flavors of events that men and woman are each drawn to, but we should start recognizing that and catering to those different appeals. Maybe we can try to think about ways we can create more interesting social dynamics or structures to public events that will draw a more mixed crowd and attract more women.
Food for thought.
ps. Please also continue to keep in mind Guy Kawasaki's Male Killer Gene theory...