Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Communities for tech women

Author:Dori Smith
Posted:9/16/1999; 5:36:11 PM
Topic:Today's scriptingNews Outline
Msg #:11178 (In response to 11160)
Prev/Next:11177 / 11179

Where's the beef? Show me *evidence*.

It's hard to have "evidence" when the discussion is about perception, but here's a story.

I teach at a lot of conferences. At one of them, I was on a panel with myself, two guys, and a moderator (male).

At one point, someone in the audience asked a question, and I knew that I had a great response. I flagged the moderator that I wanted to take the question. He gave it to someone else. I flagged him again to let him know that I wanted to add something when the other panelist was done. The moderator then called on the other guy.

This happened several times during the talk. My assumption was that whatever I'd been doing to signal the moderator hadn't been working, that I'd been too subtle.

On the shuttle bus from the hotel to the airport the next day, there were a couple of women that had attended the talk. They were *furious* about how it had gone. Their perception (they told me) was that I'd been *very* clear that I wanted to speak, and that the moderator had just ignored me and given the guys the bulk of the speaking time.

Now, as to what was going on in the moderator's mind, I don't know; I don't read minds. He's someone I have immense respect for and someone who's given me some good help getting ahead in this business. But my perception was that I got less time to speak, and the perception of at least a couple of women in the audience was that I was clearly requesting chances to speak, but being turned down in favor of the guys.

Evidence or not? I don't know--it's all about perception.

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