Women at Tech Conferences
After just attending a tech conference myself, this blog entry on one man's study of the low attendance to his tech conference by women was especially interesting to me. To see the break down of invitees, responses, RSVPs, and then actual attendance by sex in a visual manner is really cool.
The numbers basically say two things:
- Men don't reply to invitations as well as women do*
- Women don't attend tech conferences as well as men do**
I must say however, CFUNITED had quite it's share of female attendees (sorry I don't have any factual numbers to share at the moment) - not nearly as male dominated as the Sketching in Hardware conference was.
*The lesson you should learn from this point is to always address your party invitations to the wives/girlfriends of any couples you are inviting, even if the male is your best friend or you don't even really know the girlfriend too well.
**I think one reason why CFUNITED has good attendance by women is that its a conference that has been going on for several years and it's for a technology that has been in use for over 11 years. There are lots of women that work in this field and they must realize that A) training is important, and B) if work will pay for the conference, why not. Now I have to forewarn that my next comments are being said without knowing a single thing about the Sketching In Hardware conference or how it was marketed. But in my few minutes of looking at what it's about I have concluded that the title "Sketching In Hardware" and a brief synopsis of what it's about: "Rapid prototyping of information processing devices offers a new way of creating technology for industrial design, experience design and technological creative expression." I really have no idea what that even means. I guess if I was in the right industry that would make perfect sense... but instead it just sounds overly geeky too technical. I don't mean to imply that women can not be technical or geeks... of course they can. I thought I fit into both of those categories myself, but attending a conference that actually has "Hardware" in the title just doesn't float my boat.