I’m excited about a brand-new gathering scheduled for late October: She’s Geeky. The plan is for women who are geeky, think they might be geeky or want to be geeky to get together outside the traditional conference box.
There are lots of interesting events planned for geeks these day — so many that we lose count. The ones that are focused on attracting more women into the industry are certainly worthy of notice — but this one is going to be different.
First, it’s an un-conference.
If this is the first time you’ve seen this term, it simply means that the detailed agenda will form at the event with the attendees contributing topics, participating actively in discussion and leading sessions. This makes it possible to be flexible around emerging developments as well as help the cream of thought and experience rise to the top.
Second, for the first year at least, it’s going to be only women in attendance.
Normally, a lot of people, yours truly included, shy away from this protocol. If the guys did a conference and said men only, we’d be up in arms, right? But the fact is, without anyone even wanting it that way, it’s pretty much what is happening these days in technology. And even though it’s not a conspiracy, until this day and age, a lot of girls never even thought to study engineering or computer science — or to consider going into a business that’s technology centric. It’s been a man’s world because that’s who is mostly there.
This has an impact on how ideas are floated as well. Which is why I’m looking forward to She’s Geeky.
Today, many conferences follow established forms of communication — speaker to audience — and content determined by a few people. It’s the command-and-control model. Many of us are used to it and accept it as the best way to go.
The women-only thing of She’s Geeky will expose and leverage another way of brainstorming and learning — something at which women excel: conversation. Insights and strategies will emerge organically, out of conversations that to the naked ear may seem random. In the ensuing moments, however, attendees capture specific results and practices — and tailor them to their goals and vision.
So: if you’re in or interested in technology and you’re female, come to She’s Geeky. Join the conversation that is technology.