This is not an issue that will get resolved with one blog post, but I think it’s high time we start the dialogue. Has anyone else noticed the dearth of women on the social media speaking circuit? Sure, we dominate at the parenting conferences (duh), but what about SXSW? What about Blog World? (Oh right, we were off to the side in the parenting track.)
A couple of weeks ago, Mashable posted a very interesting piece detailing the reasons that women make great entrepreneurs in the digital age. You can read the full article here, but the highlights are as follows:
- Women possess strong communication skills and social intelligence
- Women make good listeners
- Women collaborate
- Women prefer lower risk
So.. given all of these attributes, and the fact that the companies that we, as women, launch are so successful, why aren’t we out there talking about it and advising others? Why do women-focused conferences bring in males to talk to their all-female audiences about succeeding in social media? (At one mom-focused conference last year, the male keynote speaker actually chastised female bloggers for being so vicious with each other.)
I’m going to continue to explore this and think about this, and would love to continue chatting about this issue here on MomCrunch, so please share your thoughts in the comments.
In the meantime, here are some of the reasons I’ve come up with for the severe lack of women on the speakers circuit (warning, broad generalizations ahead):
- Women focus more on doing, and less on talking. I often find myself missing speaker proposal deadlines because I was too busy actually working.
- Women tend to shy away from pimping themselves out and talking about the fabulous work that they’ve done. I think as a gender, we’re more modest. Additionally, we are less likely to take credit for something in which we had only a small part (I have seen plenty of instances of male speakers passing off concepts as their own, when they were only a minor contributor.)
- Women get lumped into the mom blogger category which is seen as less “important.”
What did I miss?