Diversity Technology

Gasp! Women…speak?

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Sorry, but this is all just too good and I must share:


Don’t invite only male speakers

If all your speakers are always men, women will notice and not feel welcome. Role models people can identify with are important to staying interested in a field.

Do ask women to speak

It’s surprisingly easy to find technically brilliant female computer scientists willing to come speak to your group. If you explain that you are trying to encourage women in computers, many women will be even more likely to speak at your event. Women speakers are probably the number one way to get women to come to your event. They will be able to see a role model, ask her questions about her experiences, and for a few hours at least, not feel like the only woman who’s interested in computers. Be sure that when you do invite a woman speaker that you advertise the event well, especially to women.

One woman says that she noticed her LUG paid less attention to and was ruder to women speakers. She thought it might be because the members dismissed the possibility of her knowing anything they didn’t already know. Be sure not to let this happen to your women speakers.

And the next time you go to attend a technology conference, and see that the male speakers vastly out-number the women, send an email to the conference planners, ask them what the problem is. And then you might want to shop around for a conference that doesn’t equate ‘geek’ with ‘male’.

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