Do Tech Conferences Want Female Speakers?conferences women marketing seo aimclear women in tech speakers sexism tech
Posted 22 January 2013 - 01:44 PM
Female Online Marketing Speaker Stats: 13 True Evangelists Discuss The Data
gathered some people to discuss the issues, including Brett Tabke and Danny Sullivan. The comments are revealing and varied.
The discussion continued on a commenter's Facebook page - by Carrie Bugbee
It annoys me a little that this topic still exists and that some people seem to think it's all new. The fact is that many of the top women in the SEO industry have already been down this road, raised the issues, discussed the situation and then went back to work.
Because my skills include usability, I'm not sought after by SEO conferences. Therefore, I don't feel as though I have a say or much to contribute to the discussions taking place again. The only strong feeling I have is that if conferences want more women to speak, they need to ask women what they need to be comfortable. Not every woman feels that a professional gathering should include a bar. There's no child care for any parent who wants to speak but is the primary caregiver at home. The conference content doesn't vary much. There are few topics of interest to women or that address marketing to women. Web design itself is treated in site reviews rather than sessions on online marketing and user centered design, or design for organic SEO, mobile, UX and different types of user behavior. If there were, more women might be inspired to pitch because they work in these areas or their company does.
Conference organizers claim that women don't pitch but they never seem to ask why. I offered some ideas in Marty's post but I don't feel confident anything will change. I do pitch by the way. The last 3 conferences I pitched to ignored me. They never tell you why.
Posted 22 January 2013 - 02:29 PM
I see a hint of why in your post...
* the conferences need 'wow' and that tends to equate to gaming a system - those who believe in incremental, holistic, user centred et al approaches simply fail to meet that enthusiasm threshold.
* I don't know how webdev conferences are costed but do know that other industry conference agreements include a liquor consumption (there is money in booze) section; the room/hall cost varies according to specified liquor sale amounts.
* the conferences are increasingly swinging to accommodate corporate, enterprise clients and that is a quite different game. And presentations need to adjust accordingly. And that may be making things harder for women as well as for smaller webdevs generally both at the interest and the presentation levels.
I should like to point out that years back I did go many a conference but not webdev or SEO ones, rather marketing, advertising, niche gatherings. Frankly, while there are a lot of webdev folks I'd love to meet a conference is not my choice of how. Instead I view conferences as means to improve my business and that doesn't mean 'the club', it means the people and agencies to whom I want to sell ad space; networking within my niche with manufacturers, wholesalers, retaillers, researchers; etc.
Note: I get the 'impossible' links because I know the people and they know me. And that is not something an SEO conference can offer - unless that is your niche.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:48 AM
What the article doesn't do is compare the wider pool that speakers come from - e.g. take the 100 most popular tech blog posts in 2012 - what is the portion of female-male authors? Is there a 100 best marketing blogs somewhere that rings a bell and would be a quick run down to count up. I'd bet it's not going to be a neat 50/50, most job roles aren't.
If it's about 25/75 then the conferences are spot on - it's not doing anyone any favours to choose speakers by quota instead of skill.
Posted 23 January 2013 - 06:25 AM
Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: conferences, women, marketing, seo, aimclear, women in tech, speakers, sexism, tech
Search Engines & Online Marketing →
Search Marketing, Marketing & Promotion (SEM) →
Cre8tive Thinking →
Reputation Management & Internet Ethics →
Search Engines & Online Marketing →
Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) →
Cre8tive Community Pub →
Tech News - Cre8tive Community Picks →
Affiliate Marketing & Monetizing Your Website →
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users