As most of you know, we've been working on a plan to bring BlogHer to Canada .. a BlogHerNorth, if you will. Part of this effort has included time spent discussing assertions like "Look, its 2006. I really don't think we need a women-focused conference where women can talk about blogging."
I, of course, disagree with this position; I believe there is still a need to give women bloggers opportunities to meet, share and gain experience in a conference setting.
Steve Rubel from Micropersuasion has a post today entitled "Will Social Media Shatter the Glass Ceiling?" that supports the above more eloquently than I did in a recent conversation. I encourage you to go read the whole thing, but two key bits stand out for me:
According to Fortune, there are more women running Fortune 500 companies this year than there were last year. Currently, 10 Fortune 500 companies are run by women (up from 9 last year), and a total of 20 Fortune 1000 companies have women in the top job (up from 19). Still, this number is shameful given the strides we have made in our society to give women their deserved equal footing.
That's 2%. 2%. And I don't think this is a "quality" issue.
Rubel goes on to say ...
Despite all of the wonderful changes in marketing and PR over the past couple of years, we still have a long way to go in leveling the playing field for women in our workforce and overall as well.
I believe that over time, at least here in the US, social media can level this inequality. If more women blog about this situation, it has will mobilize them to a) find each other and b) act together. This will accelerate if the mainstream media takes notice. Could social media create a new movement?
Yes. YES! The same thing applies to Canada. We have so many women who have made a name for themselves (Stephanie Pearl-McPhee from Yarn Harlot who has at least 3 books as a result of her blog or Alyson Schafer who has established herself as one of Canada's leading authorities on parenting through her online presence) and a number of those who are on the verge.
I will be seeing Rubel give a talk today at MSN's Digital Ad Summit (an event whose website is screaming out for more women in PR, Marketing and Communications blogging - check it out, I do find it a little frightening). I've never met Steve and am looking forward to doing so. It is voices like his, who will join women in their efforts to be a force that shapes the blogosphere. Thanks, Steve, for the support!