Are you a professional in a geeky industry? An astrophysicist or mathematician? Do you run your own geeky business? Can we learn from you about the history of women in gaming? Do you have a unique perspective to share about being a woman in the sciences, horror, comics, television, film, robotics, costuming, or stunt industries? Are you an artist or illustrator? A pop culture “herstorian” or cultural critic?
GeekGirlCon will feature informative and entertaining programming on topics ranging from geek lifestyle issues to the sciences to popular culture. We are seeking engaging and thought-provoking proposals from professionals for panels and presentations on topics such as, but not limited to:
Women in science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM)
Women in robotics
Women characters and creators in comic books, literature, film, and television
Pop culture scholarship
Women in gaming (Tabletop, Board, Console, PC)
Women in horror
Diversity in genre – including race, ethnicity, class, gender, ability, sex, and sexuality
Crafty or geeky businesses
Cosplayer or Crossplay
Women in Stunt Work
Women writers (and men writing great geeky female characters)
Women artists and illustrators
Women in science fiction and fantasy
Fandom and community
Women’s history in geeky popular culture, science, and technology
Women in Anime/Manga
Women in Pop Culture Publishing
YA authors with Strong Female Protagonists
Geek Girl Pioneers in Fandom and Community
Web series producers
Women mentoring each other and our geeky little sisters
Hackers and Programmers
Kids programming (Puppets, Cosplay for Kiddies, Storytime, Easy Crafts or Illustration)
Social Justice Issues and Geekdom (Including Cons and Race, Harassment, Gender, visible and invisible disabilities, etc.)
Geek Lifestyle Topics (i.e. Parenting, Dating, Overcoming Social Anxiety, etc.)
Career-focused sessions or talks (How to pitch, negotiate, interview; where to train, how to find a mentor, opportunities, etc.)
Feel free to propose something we didn’t think of! Previous con programming is available for perusing programming sessions we’ve accepted in the past.
To be considered for acceptance, proposal submissions must reflect the mission of the convention – to promote, celebrate, educate, mentor, encourage, and empower the female geek – and should make an effort towards inclusivity.
We are interested in presentations, screenings, readings, workshops, mentoring sessions, and roundtable discussions from women and men in geeky professions. There must be an understanding that these topics be addressed with a women-centric and woman-positive focus and with attention to issues of diversity.
GeekGirlCon is committed to representing women geeks of all ages, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, creeds, physical and mental abilities, and familial statuses. Proposals must reflect a commitment to this as well.
Submissions are open until 11:59pm PST on May 15th. Past participation in programming is not a guarantee of acceptance for 2013. We are looking to diversify our programming from previous years, so be innovative!
We hope you are as excited as all of us at GeekGirlCon. We are incredibly humbled by the support and positive messages all of you are sending — on Twitter, Facebook, on our blog, and over email. YOU are why we do this work. YOU are the reason an organization like GeekGirlCon exists in the first place. YOU are what gets us up in the morning. Really.
And to get YOU excited, our staff decided to share a second blog highlighting some of the programming we can’t wait to catch at GeekGirlCon ‘12. Check out our staff’s diverse responses below. And get your passes today!
Lani Blazier, Gaming Director
“I’m most excited about the Mystery Box Game Design Challenge. It was a great experience last year, and I really feel we’ve created an even smoother, interesting, and fun challenge.”
Melanie Howard, Customer Service Coordinator
“I am excited about being your Info Booth Princess all weekend!!!” (Find Melanie at the Mario-themed Info Booth)
Shubz Blalack, PR Content Producer
“I’m stoked for Expressing Your Creativity Through Audio. I’ve got a few friends who have had great successes running their own podcasts, and I want to see what all the fuss is about…and what it can do for me! This sounds like a must have for the geek girl looking for a voice (literally!).”
Stephanie Little, Marketing Assistant
“I can’t wait to see the GeekGirlConnections area. It will be refreshing to discover and grow with a community of other like-minded geeks! I look forward to improving my career skills with knowledge, networking, tips, and tricks.”
Tammy Vince Cruz, Vice President and Design Manager
“The panel I’m super jazzed about is Customizing My Little Ponies: Tips, Tricks, and a Basic How To on Saturday! I’m a total fan of the whole vinyl toy industry, especially custom toys, and how the mish-mash of pop culture plus DIY is in a major boom. PLUS, what’s not to love about Ponies?”
Bunny Cole, Social Media Manager
“I’m super excited to talk Batman & Co. with some of our amazing guests and am eagerly awaiting all of the great cosplayers that are sure to return this year!”
Raychelle Burks, Media Administrator
“I’m looking forward to the Misogyny Online panel. There have been a few high-profile incidents over the last year which have showed sexism is ‘alive and well’ in the geek, nerd, and/or skeptic community. As an active geek girl online, I am interested in the insight this panel can provide into misogyny online and how to deal with it.”
Susie Rantz, PR Manager
“I am jazzed to see people talking about populations beyond women who are underrepresented or misrepresented in pop culture, comics, and other geeky fields. So I can’t wait to catch panels examining gender roles in Doctor Who, as well as those that talk about disabilities, including Capes and Canes: Abilities and Disability in Superhero Comics and A Fate Worse than Death: The Last ‘Outsider’ in Popular Culture – Disability.”
Stephanie Little, Marketing Assistant (who was so excited she contributed two quotations)
“The Once More, With Feeling Sing-Along on Saturday & Closing Celebration on Sunday will provide two great opportunities for me to make new friends and have fun. I look forward to singing my heart out and reflecting on the awesomeness of our geeky community. I am also super duper excited about our showing of The Wizard of Ozwith Three Dollar Cinema on Friday night. The movie is really close to my heart (my twin sister and I memorized the movie by the time we were 4). I couldn’t dream of a more fun, family-friendly way to begin the GeekGirlCon ’12 festivities!”
What about you?
Take a look at our Saturday and Sunday programming, and tell us: What panel do you simply HAVE to catch? Let us know in the comments!
And stay tuned to our website, where we’ll profile some of the special events and gaming that we want to hit up, and the cosplay we hope to see at the convention.
In the second installment of our Fact or Fiction series, we are tackling Geek Girls and Technology. Today, we’re going to attempt to answer the question: Fact or Fiction: Women use technology as much as men?
First, let’s dive into some facts on technology. Tech jobs are predicted to grow at a faster rate than all other job fields. The United States Department of Labor estimates that, by 2018, there will be more than 1.4 million total new computing-related job openings.
In 2010, women earned 57 percent of all bachelor’s degrees, yet only earned 18 percent of computer and information science bachelor’s degrees—down from 37 percent in 1985. Yes, that percentage went down in the last 30 years.
Additionally, those who do enter the technology field leave at high rates. According to a study by the Center for Work-Life Policy, 56 percent of technical women leave at the “mid-level” career point. This is more than double the quit rate for men. It is also higher than the quit rate for women in science and engineering.
These stats are particularly interesting when compared to the fact that women are the fastest-growing technology market and they rule the social media world.
According to an infographic by DigitalFlashNYC, 56 percent of social media users are women. That’s 81 million women blogging, tweeting, pinning, and posting to Facebook. What could you do with 81 million women? The infographic says you could fill every single sports stadium in the U.S. more than seven times over.
When you look at internet usage, it turns out women in Western countries use the internet 17 percent more every month than their male counterparts. Women are more likely to be using the mobile phones they own, they spend more time talking on them, they spend more time using location-based services. But they also spend more time sending text messages. Women are the fastest growing and largest users on Skype, and that’s mostly younger women. Women are the fastest category and biggest users on every social networking site with the exception of LinkedIn. Women are the vast majority owners of all internet enabled devices—readers, healthcare devices, GPS—that whole bundle of technology is mostly owned by women.
It is not just younger generations of women who are contributing to this rise. Look at the rise and power of mommy bloggers. About 3.9 million moms in the United States identify as bloggers, and BlogHer, the largest community of women who blog, receives 40 million unique visitors per month. Check out this infographic posted on Mashable for more facts on mommy bloggers.
The Atlantic article goes on to ask, given this information, why do tech marketers continue to target men? One big reason is the lack of women at major venture capital firms, startups, electronics makers, and Internet companies. For example, Twitter just hired its latest batch of interns, and a photo from Twitter Co-founder Jack Dorsey reveals there was not a single woman in the crew.
But there are signs of progress. Facebook recently named its first woman, Sheryl Sandberg, to its board. A new organization, Girls Who Code, just started a program for 20 high-school-age girls, who will learn how to build websites and mobile apps and start their own companies.
And there are local organizations like IGNITE, GeekGirlCon, and Washington STEM—organizations working to bring girls together and empower them to be technology leaders.
You’ll see many women who are currently leaders in technology at our convention. From panels on the latest technology in medicine, to effective podcasting and video-blog techniques, or how you create a great user experience (UX) on your website, convention guests will be able to explore their role in technology.
Interested in pursuing a tech career? Come to GeekGirlCon ‘12 and explore our GeekGirlConnections room, where you’ll be able to network and interact with women who work in technology fields. Or stop into Lisa Phillips’ panel on Sunday to learn about the “Tech Jobs You Never Knew You Wanted.” (Get your passes here, and stay tuned to our website for our full programming.)
So, do women use technology as much as men? The answer: it’s complicated. Women do use technology tools more often, but still don’t fill the majority of bachelor’s degrees or technology roles at major companies.
What’s your favorite way to use technology—is it on social media, programming, building databases, etc.? Let us know in the comments!