Own Your Story: Geek Girls Unite panel review

World Affairs Conference Panel Review #1: Geek Girls Unite


I’m a little bummed out, lovely lurkers, in that I’m not sure how much of the World Affairs Conference I’m going to be able to catch this year. I used to go every single year faithfully, but since not being a student/near campus, I’ve fallen out of the habit. This year I highlighted the heck out of my conference schedule, and….had to miss all three panels I was hoping to see yesterday. Ah well, we shall see what the rest of the week will bring.

ANYway, I did get to the “Geek Girls Unite” panel on Monday, and as a geek girl myself I was pretty excited about it. Also, having seen Bonnie Burton on Tabletop a few times, I was especially pumped to see what she had to say about the topic.

I was a little disappointed in the main content of the presentations, though admittedly it was very cool to hear the women’s success stories. But the panel was…a little deceptively named, as most of the women (Bobbie Carlton, Francesca Grifo, and Sonja Hoel Perkins) were in technology or financial fields. While “computer nerd” is still a thing, there wasn’t much talk at all about geekiness, or geek culture, which is so prevalent as to be almost mainstream these days. There was a little discussion about how badly women are treated at conventions, which was a bit of the same old story. Too bad the same old story is still happening. So, I was lacking in geekiness at the Geek Girls panel.

The main positive I took away was yet another slew of encouragement: if you want to do a thing, do it. This was their central message. Don’t let gender and/or discouraging people stop you from doing your thing.

A few other pertinent things in my notes:

  • “Innovation Women”–a speakers bureau for female panelists/experts/speakers
  • the hesitance in creating another “woman-only island” thereby preaching to the choir
  • “Broadway Angels”–furthering women in tech
  • geeks are in charge now
  • for blogging: know your audience, use social media to spread it farther
  • “Own Your Story.”

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