The Adventures of Cindy Li
Women, Girls, Babes, chix? Where are the women?
May 21 , 2008
Once upon a time
I was at the Refresh DC meeting last month and they had a panel about entrepreneurs in DC. The entire panel was men. I asked Jackson, “why there wasn’t a single woman on that panel?” I’ve been out of the DC area so I had no answer for him off the top of my head either when he asked me. He tried to find one but couldn’t. This started my train of thought that the pool for women entrepreneurs is small or is it that the men are only hanging around men so the men don’t go outside of their group? Is that why? I started asking friends in the DC area for answers.
I know that Circle Solutions was started by a woman and its still going. But that’s only one I know of in the web arena. Then I started speaking to the female designers I knew in the DC area. I suggested that they put together a Girl Geek Dinner, to encourage each other. I know there already exists a group of DC Web Women. I’ve signed up to the list serve for years and the list serve is too diverse for what the women I’ve spoken to would want. Most people want different things out of their social networks so how do you appeal to them?
So this sparked another conversation on what terminology to call ourselves.
What do you call women who are geeky, and something with marketing pizzaz but not derogatory toward women? The trouble with the English language is that there isn’t anything appropriate to call women with out it being generic. So I’ve been looking into labels for what we could call ourselves. If anyone can suggest one let me know.
- Girl: too young/immature
- Babe:from the 70’s and came out of “baby”
- Diva:too much attitude
- Goddess:too new age
- Chick:usually ending with things on twitter she’s one hot chick
- Broad:just too off the cuff
- Princess:Too Disney :P (even if we want to be treated like one),
If anyone has a solution let me know :) I think Blogher does a great job of branding because no one takes offense to “her.”
What’s the solution
To get the women involved when you are doing an event. Organizers being all men aren’t going to be able to cover the possible thoughts of what women want. I hear the jokes coming in. :P One example, one woman wanted to ask about breast pumping options at a conference. This particular woman didn’t want to speak to the single, male organizers. It was awkward and it was personal to her. Not all women may agree and some may shout it from the roof top when they need to breast feed but the key is not everyone is the same. As liberated as we may think things are I still see people cringe at tampon/feminine hygiene ads in mixed company.
I had the honor of speaking with the guys at Nclud at a high school in Damascus, MD. The teacher Mr. Jeff Brown has taken a lot of effort in reaching out to the community to encourage his students that what he’s teaching is relevant. At the end of the talk I spoke to a female student, she was in 11th grade, one more year of high school to go. Now she could have spoken to the three guys that went with me but she didn’t. Which worked out great because she was where I was at during her age. She was trying to decide if she wanted to go into coding or draw. I think we tend to seek out people we can relate to. Maybe I’m friendlier than the guys :P but that’s the beauty of diversity as long as it happens it works out better for our ecosystem.
Having women or even other minorities helping to organize the event would help attract the attendees. We all have different ways to communicating and learning from others. The reason why we flock to certain groups is because we feel we fit in. We’re all different so keep that in mind. It’s just something that’s been on my mind.