Tech conferences are notoriously bad at including female speakers, presenters, and panelists, and a whole lot of people are working to change that.
Since Thursday, three of us from Commerce Kitchen have been lucky enough to be in Austin for the annual South By Southwest Interactive conference (SXSWi). The conference is basically an insane week of tech, social media, marketing, and web talks, discussions, and workshops.
As a tech business whose ownership is 3/4 female, we were curious to see how well SXSWi does in terms of involving the ever-growing presence of women in tech.
Here’s what we’ve discovered. SXSWi does a lot better than some tech conferences, but its collection of presenters is still not representative of the women who attend the conference, and certainly doesn’t reflect the number of women in tech, marketing, and web development as a whole.
I’ve seen some incredibly inspiring and passionate presenters, and I can’t wait to see this evening’s talk on Hacker Girls. Earlier today I went to a panel talk on work/life balance, and while the talk was relevant for everyone who does anything other than work (exercise? read? hang out with your mom?), the number of men there was quite abysmal.
I’m excited for the future, when women are more fairly represented at tech conferences and more men are willing to discuss the importance of developing positive and healthy lives outside of work.