the power of women and conversation
Two weeks ago in NYC, there was an event put on by Bloomberg called the Bloomberg Empowered Entrepreneur Conference. The lack of women on the panels was overwhelming. I wrote a post about it.
The listserv that I am on not only discussed the panels at length we also did something about it. Each of us reached out to the right people to discuss our frustration (and anger) at only one woman on a large panel of men ( I believe there were 14 as a total for the day of panels ). I happened to be on vacation when these conversations were taking place so I wrote a post. Someone reached out to me immediately from Bloomberg and asked me to be on the panel. Unfortunately I was going to be in Los Angeles. Many conversations were taking place on how this panel could be changed to represent the tech industry with a balance of men and women and that is what I truly cared about.
In the end, 10 women spoke at the event. They went from one to 10 quickly. There were many panels that were all men yet were moderated by women. There was one panel that was all women which was about fashion and retail businesses. Perhaps not surprising but women seem to be ruling this particular category. I would like to see more balance in the other areas that are using tech as a platform to create new businesses instead of the pure fashion play but I am hopeful that over time more women will spread into other areas. We are just begining to break the iceberg as more and more women are graduating from colleges and starting to work in start-ups or are creating their own business models but that is another post.
The group at Bloomberg rose to the noise and added more panels and more women. Perhaps the next time we will see better balance at every level from the very onset. The good news is that through conversation and the power of a group of women we are opening the road to a healthier and equal balance in the tech community as we move forward.