the power of women and conversation

Images 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. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Jill Stern

    I love hearing this; both that you contacted Bloomberg and asked for change AND that they adjusted. Congrats.

  2. Adriana Herrera

    I completely believe in the power of women working together to help facilitate balance in the tech community. It was recently brought to my attention that a VC study concluded that tech companies founded by women are more profitable. So why is it that women are still being left out of the conversations?There are several groups like Women 2.0, Girls in Tech, and Women Who Tech that work to bring women in tech together. I think it’d be great to get the leaders of these groups in an ongoing dialogue that would hopefully result in a shift in the tech community.

    1. Gotham Gal

      more profitable? wow. would love to read that report.

  3. artyowza

    Cool! How your group organized and used it’s influence is very inspirational!

  4. artyowza

    I just joined a women’s group called Playing Big…

  5. Guest

    I’ve actually benefited from the boys not showing up to the fashion and beauty playground. After a few months of attempting to persuade fellas to code my concept, I came to the realization that finding a man willing (never mind excited) to program the solution to bad hair days was highly unlikely. As a result, I’ve made a new girlfriend, Ruby. And so far, so good. I hope to have my own prototype built before the end of the year.

    1. melissatran

      Janice- SO great. Did you have any background/experience w/programming/writing code at all? I’m in the midst of doing the same thing and am truly starting from scratch/sorting out which resources will be the best teachers… I’m trying to decide wether to try it all on my own or take a class. Would you mind sharing your path?Joanne, will Janice even see this note? Not sure how that works! Either way, it’s awesome to find other women embarking on similar adventures here! Thanks!!!

      1. Janice

        I don’t have a lick of programming in my background. My general outline is derived from this blog article :…(I chose the Ruby on Rails route.)To fill in the outline, I’ve started with Chris Pine’s book Learning to Program; found a tutor who works with me exclusively on Saturday mornings; and finally, I recently hired a programmer for my present start-up (not internet, manufacturing) who I plan to observe no less than four hours per week. I’m also attending every possible hackerspace event in my community (Phnom Penh, Cambodia). For the most part, I’m lost. But each time, I learn just a little bit more.Any interest in being support partners? I would love to have a (soon to be) tech buddy to whom I’m accountable…

        1. melissatran

          That would be terrific! I’ve started an Evernote account that I can share of the articles and resources (also Ruby on Rails) I’ve been using and am thinking of taking a class that starts this summer. My email is [email protected] . Shoot me your contact info and we’ll work something out!

          1. Janice

            Got it. Email sent!

      2. Gotham Gal

        yep. she will see it.

  6. Janice

    And thank you. Your efforts, as well as those of the others creating the noise, is very much appreciated!