Everybody knows it: Sometimes the tech world seems like one big sausage party. And it’s really apparent when you look at web conference speaker lineups:
- AIGA In Control Conference (Orlando, February 2011): 3 women among the 10 speakers
- New Adventures in Web Design (London, January 2012): 2/11
- Future of Web Design (London, May 2012): 3/27
- Web Rebels (Oslo, May 2012): 0/17
- Interlink Conference (Vancouver, June 2012): 3/9
- An Event Apart (Boston, June 2012): 2/12
- Front End Design Conference (St. Petersburg, FL, June 2012): 1/7
- HOW Interactive Design Conference (Washington, DC, September 2012): 3/19
- HOW Interactive Design Conference (San Francisco, October 2012): 4/20
So, at best, you’ve got women making up a third of the speakers; at worst, you’ve got none at all. Tiffany Conroy, a designer and developer in Berlin, started We Are All Awesome to encourage women to step up:
Are you a woman who wants more female speakers at developer conferences? I have a quick fix for you: become one.
Conroy is writing and collecting resources for first-time conference speakers and proposal newbies—helpful for anybody, not just women.
This is so important. Even for the HOW Interactive Design Conference, a web design conference we started last year, we’ve really struggled to recruit women. It’s not like there aren’t a lot of women doing great work on the web. I know they’re out there! But for every awesome Karen McGrane, there are a dozen other women who “don’t speak at conferences.”
This interesting response post to We Are All Awesome proposes that conference organizers focus on content, not popularity of the presenter, by stripping proposals of their names. But if hardly any women are making proposals to begin with, this doesn’t seem like it’d help that much. The problem doesn’t seem to be institutional sexism but maybe internalized sexism. What do you think?
Are you joining us (and thousands of other creatives) in Boston this week? HOW Design Live is the design event of the season!