Ladies who tech at SXSW and beyond

It’s that time of year where I run off to nerdy spring break in Austin, TX to hang out with geeks and eat breakfast tacos. This year the feminist offerings of SXSW are extensive–the conference just gets more and more progressive every year.

If you are going to be at SXSW try some of these panels:

Sex Nets: Pickup Artists vs. Feminists

Curing a Rage Headache: Internet Drama & Activism

How Not to Die: Using Tech in a Dictatorship

It’s Not News, It’s Business

Race: Know When to Hold It and When to Fold It

Sex, Dating and Privacy Online Post-Weinergate (My panel!)

These panels are full of feminist superstars–check them all out if you can.

I will also be doing a book-signing and will be taping my podcast live from SXSW!

There will also be a WAM gathering here.

But let’s be honest–a lot of people of the lady persuasion will not be at SXSW and they should be. For a tech conference, SXSW is wildly progressive (and tons of fun) but when I say “for a tech conference”, I’m saying the standards are pretty low. SXSW might be one of the only tech conferences that gets developers together with critical race scholars and feminist thinkers. They are unique, but also very expensive and as a result exclusive.

There is still a major lack of diversity in the tech field, something that is still apparent at a conference like SXSW Interactive. The lack of women in technology is a phenomena that relies on the myth that women are inherently not as good at the maths and sciences. Ironically, science has shown us otherwise–women actually are good at math when given the opportunity to do it. And often–the bias runs deeper than what you are learning at school.

Aminatou Sow had the right idea to solve the women in tech problem–start a group to support women in tech. Techladymafia is a google list that supports women that are in or pursuing careers in technology. She tells Tim Fernholz for GOOD magazine,

We started the Tech LadyMafia because we were tired of hearing about “the woman problem” in tech instead of hearing about solutions. TLM is a place to support tech women, promote each other’s work, provide resources, and get paid to do what we love. When I moved to D.C., my friend Reihan Salam, a smart, generous human, gave me this great piece of advice: “Meet awesome people and build an awesome team.”

What are some other ways we can increase the lady numbers in tech? Do you feel you have been somehow excluded from a possible interest or career in technology?


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