I had two things happen to me this week that got me thinking. The first was the unforced error by Sqoot that by now has reached everyone on the Internet (but if you missed it for some reason, see Joe Brockmeier’s article at http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/2012/03/how-casual-sexism-put-sqoot-in.php ).
The other was an inquiry I got from a representative of ArchWomen who had heard one of my recordings for Hacker Public Radio. In the recording I made a claim about Ohio LinuxFest pushing diversity, and this person asked nicely, but pointedly, if there was anything I could point to in support of this claim. In other words, you can talk the talk, but do you walk the walk? I thought it was a fair question, and one that I was able to answer satisfactorily.
But I also said we are not where we want to be, by any means. I was one of the people who reviewed the proposals we received last year, which we first sorted into categories as Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. I suspect most conferences do something similar. And we had women submitting talks, and most of their proposals were accepted. But the odd thing to me was that all of the proposals that I could infer were from women, judging by names, were in the Beginners category. And that means we never had an opportunity to put a woman into the more advanced track as a presenter.
I know that is not because there aren’t sufficiently knowledgeable women out there, because I have met them. They are working as syadmins, as developers, as project leaders, and in every capacity. So I am asking these talented women to submit talk ideas for us. I can guarantee that you will get a full and fair hearing for your proposal. So please go to https://ohiolinux.org/cfp and put in a proposal!