Discounted by women

Mary Hodder writes on women speaking and has this to say:

If you aren’t in the loop you aren’t as important as others with similar skills sets and expertise in the eyes of those who fund, engage for consulting, hire for leadership positions, take in PhD candidates or whatever it is that requires discernment between people.

I’m not in the email group consisting of ‘women in technology’, but if I were, I would have emailed Mary with the following:


I look around at the people who are at these conferences, and after a time I wonder if that’s all they’re particularly good at: go to conferences, and speak.

It’s going to take more than a few women showing up at conferences to change this industry. The very fact that there aren’t as many women speakers is a symptom of the problem, not the problem, itself.

However, for those of us who are in the field, who don’t live in California or Boston or New York, by putting yet another burden on us as to how we are somehow failing in the industry because we’re not meeting the requirements of a privileged few, shows how absolutely out of touch the women in this mailing list are.

I was asked to give a session at the Madison, Wisconsin BarCamp, and as much as I appreciated the invite, it’s also in a couple of weeks, and about one week before the draft of my book is due. I need to finish the draft, I’m two months behind. It’s exceptionally important to me that this book do well, because I hope that there might be others that follow.

I have ridden hard on conferences for not having enough women speakers, but it has only been in the last year or so that I’ve come to realize that there’s a lot more wrong with the tech field than not having enough women at yet another mostly useless gab fest; where the ‘insiders’ that Mary seems to think so highly of, can preen themselves in front of the cameras and feel good that they’re above the rest of us.

But then, what the hell do I know? I live in St. Louis, I write books, I help friends who have problems with their weblogs, and I tinker with tech quietly on my own, putting it out for those who are interested. To Mary, or should I say, the important people, I’m not in the loop and therefore, I don’t matter.

(Via Anne, who lives in Colorado and sorta matters.)

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