Sway Group

Addressing Gender Inequality on the Tech Conference Circuit

By January 4, 2013 March 24th, 2015 No Comments

Next week, I have the distinct honor (no joke – I am seriously stoked) of appearing on a panel at CES to discuss monetization of moms within the blogosphere. The other women on the panel with me are ridiculously impressive, including Sway Group’s own Liz Gumbinner, Rebecca Levey of KidzVuz.com and Mashable, Kimberly Clayton Blaine of  The GoTo Mom and Lori Schwartz from WorldofSchwartz.com. I have no doubt that we’ll have a spirited, smart and insightful conversation about the current state of the mom blogosphere and what is coming our way in the future. I also have no doubt that every single woman on this panel would be stellar on any blog-related panel at a tech conference, but, sadly, invitations to appear on those panels don’t come our way very often.

About an hour ago, a former colleague of mine (and a woman who has been fighting this inequality for many years) named Blagica Bottigliero posted a link to an article in The Atlantic about this problem. In the article, a solution to the marked inequality on tech panels is presented and this solution is beautifully simple.

Dear Men,

Have you noticed that a lot of the time it just seems like, gosh, there are a lot of dudes speaking at this conference? Perhaps you’ve been on a panel and you’ve looked around and seen XY after XY after XY. Maybe you’ve thought, it’s too bad the organizers didn’t think to balance this out a bit more and ask some women to speak too.

I love that this has bothered you. And I am happy to tell you about a simple step you can take to help change this: Refuse to speak on all male-panels. Just say no.

The writer implores male tech speakers to take a pledge in which they refuse to speak or moderate panels that are male-only. I think this could work, and I implore every male speaker I know to click through to that article and take the pledge. Thank you!!!