So, I couldn’t literally liveblog during the first breakout session, because Nancy and I were moderating a discussion titled, “Wired Women.”
We had almost 25 people show up (including some Clockworkers — thanks, guys!) for what I thought was a lively discussion about women in interactive. We met some kickass women from around the Twin Cities and beyond and I thoroughly enjoyed the discussion, the disagreements, and — surprisingly — I thought the uncomfortable silences that are typical of most panel discussions were pretty minimal. Thanks to everyone who showed up and participated; if you have any feedback, I’d love to hear it. Oh, and here’s a link to the article I mentioned during our discussion: Women and the Labyrinth of Leadership.
Now, I’m in breakout session #2, the Marketing Mix Challenge. I had to sneak to the back of the room before my laptop died and find a power outlet. So far, I’m digging this breakout session; four marketers discussing how they’d spend a marketing budget for a new product launch.
Update (10/2): I read this article on MinnPost this morning which hits on some of the same points about women in leadership roles as the Harvard Business Review article above. One of the things that came up in the panel discussion yesterday was a concern about whether we exacerbate (or even create) a “problem” where one doesn’t exist simply by naming it (e.g. are there really not enough female voices in the interactive field, or are we looking for a problem where one doesn’t exist). I guess my argument here is that we know there is an overall problem (that people are reluctant to address and don’t fully understand the causes of) of not enough women in leadership roles across the board and that extends to the interactive realm as well (perhaps even more so within certain interactive roles like programmers, etc.). It also extends to the creative departments of many ad agencies. I’m not advocating for a “woe is me, I’m just a girl” approach to this, nor am I saying that I feel oppressed or held back or have ever let anyone’s perception of me as a woman keep me from speaking my mind. But, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I see gender bias issues in our industry, and in others. And I’m interested in doing something about it. Nancy and I will be posting more about our thoughts on this in the future! For now, I thought that MinnPost article was relevant and worth sharing.