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February 03, 2006

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nicolas

Good point, this issue had been a lively debate in our group.

Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino

i absolutely agree, it just gets us to have a very defensive conversation on the role of women in society and i thought we had moved beyond that since the wonder years of bra burning :-)

regine

couldn't agree more. fed up to be presented as a poor minority who needs dedicated panels and even a "Day of the Woman".

Claudia

you're absolutely right, had the same thought while listening to the women's panel.

by the way, i really enjoyed talking to you briefly at the end of the conference about your thinglink project, knitting and the whole lot. i hope you get the necessary financial aid to realize this database. would love to put in my knitwear.

cheers, claudia from frankfurt

Peter

Quite right. You might as well get a group of women up onstage and ask them what they think of left-handedness for all the insight it delivered. But this is Switzerland you are talking about, where women only got the vote in living memory.

Thomas Madsen-Mygdal

Amen.

There's so many women doing interesting things - and just from a personal perspective i see the mix of male/female probably doubling this year at reboot from i think 15% last year to 30% or even more.

This is a non-issue - it will be balanced very soon - at least in europe. And then we can start having panels about "men and technology" and how they get back in the game again ;)

Prentiss Riddle

I was just at SXSW Interactive, where the organizers significantly addressed the gender imbalances of previous years in part by developing a relationship with BlogHer and in part by reminding all panel organizers that it's not good for SXSW to be a boys' club.

I'm not sure whether this approach is the one you're recommending or the one you're criticizing. The panels were not a "women in technology" ghetto. Many of the BlogHer-organized panels were on topics of interest to the BlogHer community not directly related to gender. On the other hand, part of what BlogHer does is point out sexism in the blogosphere (e.g., the dismissal of "mommybloggers" by people who think it's dandy for boys to blog about their toys), so some of the BlogHer panels did address those issues. One was entitled "Increasing Women's Visibility on the Web: Whose Butt Should We Be Kicking?" :-)

From where I sat it looked like both the BlogHer relationship and the attempt to get all panel organizers to keep balance in mind had a beneficial effect on the conference.

Ulla-Maaria

Thanks for your comment, Prentiss! Yes, I also meant that bringing more specific themes to the "women & technology" panels would frame the discussion in a more interesting way. BlogHer sounds great.

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