One of the hardest things about GeekGirlCon is that point on Sunday night when you realize that the con is coming to its inevitable conclusion. It’s such a bittersweet moment, but it’s also a good time to reflect on the cultural phenomenon that is GeekGirlCon.
With so many panels to attend and games to play and exhibitors to see, there comes the painful realization that you can’t do it all.
We’d like to help lessen that pain. We’re going to live-blog and live-tweet some panels so you can follow along real-time or review at your leisure at the end of the day (when you visit our super cool Social Media Dashboard!)
Below is a list of panels we plan to cover during the con, along with Twitter handles and hashtags. Just search for the hashtag on Twitter or follow our Tumblr to check out our live blogging coverage.
Are you excited for another year of amazing GeekGirlCon panels? We know you are–and we are, too! This year, we’re offering you the chance to help us find great content in exchange for the chance to win a free GeekGirlCon ‘16 2-day pass and t-shirt. All you have to do is share our call for submissions on your social media, and you will be entered to win!
This contest will run from Thursday, March 17 to Thursday, March 31.
Winners for week one will be drawn on Friday, March 25, and winners for week two will be drawn on Friday, April 1. (No jokes, we promise!)
Over the weekend in downtown Seattle, you may have seen cosplayers dressed as Black Widow by the International Fountain, or you might have noticed your social media feeds were flooded with pictures of Black Widow. You might have seen that the hashtag #WeWantWidow was trending.
That’s because there was a multi-city flash mob to generate buzz and awareness of the lack of Black Widow on Avengers merchandising, as well as to show support for Black Widow to star in her own movie. Starting in Sydney, Australia at 12:00 pm local time, the “Widow Wave” spread across to Canada and the United States. In cities from Tampa to Ottawa, and from New York City to San Diego, hundreds of cosplayers dressed as Black Widow descended on the streets, while even more online supporters showed their support by changing their profile images to ones of Black Widow, and reposting images or tweeting using the hashtag #WeWantWidow.
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!