I enjoy being part of the Wise Women mailing list where (mainly) women from around the world daily discuss web design topics. It’s been the inspiration of more than one post on this blog. Indeed, I’ve contributed several articles to the site, as a way of giving back to this invaluable source of information.
As usual, most of the contributors are from the US, so when I read Eric Meyer’s note that he would be attending a big web design conference there and appearing on a panel, I thought not much of it.
SXSW Interactive — I have three scheduled appearances in Austin …The second is Where Are the Women of Web Design?, an exploration of why there are so few female “leaders” in the Web deesign space, and how we might encourage more.
I assumed the rest of the panel would be made up of some of the US-based women whose names I’ve come across in the field of web design: Dori Smith, Shirley Kaiser, Virginia DeBolt are names that roll off the front of my brain half a world away from the conference.
Dori Smith has this to say on the matter:
I’ve been the publisher and list mom for the Wise-Women’s Web Designer and Developer community for several years now. That is where the women are, and oddly enough, nobody came around to the lists asking for representatives to speak on the panel. Nobody sent me an email asking me to forward such a request on to the lists. There are any number of women on the lists who are very qualified to speak on this topic, but they weren’t asked.
So, if you’re going to SXSW, and you attend this panel, could you please ask why on earth they’re having a panel discussing why there aren’t more women leaders but not actually bothering to invite any?
I won’t be there; the conference is in America. If you’re a woman involved in web design look around for the female “leaders” that you know, and point them out to the organisers. If I can think of three without even trying, then collectively we must be able to come up with a great many.