Women dominate technology and social media, and tech companies that recognize this fact are better positioned to innovate, adapt and succeed. That is one of the themes of the 4th Annual Women Who Tech TeleSummit to be held Wednesday, May 23, 2012.
The daylong summit, held by Internet audio and web from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. EDT, will feature more than two dozen high-profile tech experts speaking on subjects as diverse as funding start-ups, open source software, agile development, digital rights, online privacy, social media and social movements, and women in international tech. But one overriding theme will be the challenges women face in turning their powerful position as tech consumers into positions of power at tech companies.
“Like our last three sold-out TeleSummits, this one will be packed with some of the most thought provoking discussions led by the most passionate and talented women and men in tech,” said Allyson Kapin, founder of Women Who Tech. “But one thing is very clear – the tech sector no longer belongs to pocket-protector toting guys hooked on sci-fi and video games. The companies that recognize that will be the ones that succeed.”
Related: Are Girls Surpassing Boys?
An infographic released through the organization’s website in advance of the TeleSummit shows that women represent 55 percent of Facebook and Twitter users, and the average social gamer on sites like Zynga is a 43 year-old woman. Yet female tech entrepreneurs begin with about one-eighth of the funding of male-owned ventures.
“Diverse tech and start-up teams are critical for innovation,” said Kapin. ”We need gender-balanced perspectives in order to create technology and products that are innovative, useful, and meaningful to everyone.”
Kapin also pointed out the male/female imbalance is not restricted to start-ups. It extends to the C Suite as well. Companies like Facebook and software leader Adobe currently have no female board members. Neither do many recent IPOs like Pandora, Zillow, Zynga, and Splunk. And major players like Apple, LinkedIn, and Groupon have only one female board member.
A few of the panelists participating in the TeleSummit include:
- Sarah Allen, Blazing Cloud
- Shaherose Charania, Founders Labs and Women 2.0
- Jen Consalvo, Tech Cocktail
- Amy Errett, Maveron
- Jill Foster, Live Your Talk
- Kaliya Hamlin, She’s Geeky
- Lynne Johnson, Whispr Group, Inc.
- Claire Diaz Ortiz, Twitter
- Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer
- April Pedersen, Salsa Labs
- Heather Ramsey, Women’s Leadership Program, IIE and TechWomen Program
The cost to attend the TeleSummit is $20 and will be sponsored by Rad Campaign, Blackbaud, NTEN, Salsa Labs, Singlebrook Technology, Women 2.0, and BlogHer. Sponsorships and other information are available through the Women Who Tech website.
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