A few days ago we started a conversation regarding finding women to speak at BlogWorld. I won’t rehash it all for you now but if you want to go ahead and read it, we’ll wait.
Done? Ok, moving on…
The blog post and ensuing comments weighed heavily on my mind. While most people do agree with me in that it’s more important to have GOOD speakers over a particular ratio of (insert your race, gender or creed here) or type of speaker, it does have me wondering if women have a strong enough presence at BlogWorld this year. I thought we worked hard to bring in women, but what if we really didn’t?
When Rick Calvert and I read proposals and selected speakers this year, we made sure to choose both men and women, and to have some balance in our panels. When track leaders and committees invited speakers to present at BlogWorld, we also encouraged them to find strong, well-respected women to speak and they didn’t disappoint. So after all the blog posts and conversations on Twitter or Skype regarding women at BlogWorld (and conferences in general), I decided to take a look at the schedule.
Last night, Rick and I went over the entire BlogWorld schedule with a fine tooth comb to ensure there would be no discrepancies come October 14th. As we discussed each and every session and speaker, it hit me…we have plenty of women presenting at BlogWorld this year. Probably more than any other year. We have quite a few woman-only panels and moderators too. There is no big, glaring discrepancy in the amount of women speaking this year.
So I decided to count noses.
We’ll have about 280 speakers at BlogWorld this year (our roster shows a few more but I know there have been a bunch of cancellations.) Of those speakers, about 130 of them are women. Of those 130 women four are keynotes and many are speaking more than once. So, other than the discrepancy in the ratio of female/male keynoters, I’m not sure why some people are viewing BlogWorld as an event that isn’t “woman friendly.” It looks to me that we’re the friendliest conference in social media (except those geared specifically towards moms or women.)
Yes, I would like to see more women keynoters, but you know what? I’m not worrying about the male to female ratio at BlogWorld this year anymore. We worked hard to bring in the best women to speak and it shows. We will continue to invite women in social media to participate at BlogWorld, while still realizing our mission is to provide our attendees with the best content possible.
I’m satisfied we reached our goal.
BlogWorld 2010 is going to rock.