Some time ago a flurry of bloggers wrote about women in SEO, or women in technical fields. One of my favorites was something Danny Sullivan wrote in his personal blog, called SEM No Longer A Boys Club?
I jumped in with Where are the Technical Industries Women Bloggers? There were many blog posts that erupted during that time, including Jeffrey Zeldman’s, Women in web design: just the stats.
Interest hasn’t died down. There’s another new list called The Magical List of Outstanding Women Bloggers.
While it’s obvious that male SEO’s seem to out number women in positions of power and upper level management, there is a gigantic army of technically adept women also running companies or in supportive roles with decision making powers.
This applies not only to the search engine marketing and search engine industries. It can be seen in any technical field. Sure, many countries continue to place little or no value on educating women. We suffered from this mentality here in the USA for a time too, and still wrestle with the pros and cons of educating a gender that traditionally bears and raises children.
Whatever your feelings may be on women working in the sciences, tech, math, health research, or those brave women who choose dangerous jobs usually held by men, the fact is simply that talent, passion and intelligence knows no limits. Choices are deeply personal. Everyone has a story. It makes us unique. Some jobs are harder for women because of the attitudes of those who hired them. And still, even if faced with discrimination in pay, title, hours, or responsibilities, many women strive to maintain their dignity and some go so far as to leave many men spinning in the dirt as they go racing by in abilities, stamina and the will to succeed.
Women are supposed to be sexy and slinky and soft and somewhere in the kitchen, but the definition of sexy and slinky differs depending on who you talk to. For some men, smart is sexy and they’re happy to support anything that increases the smart if it means more sexy walking around.
On Monday, a pile of sexy, smart, slinky women will gather together to meet one another or reunite with old friends during the Womens Luncheon in San Jose during next week’s Search Engine Strategies conference.
The gathering is put together by Liana Evans of Search Marketing Gurus as part of her interest in finding women who work in the SEO/M industry. The women who attend the lunch tend to be established conference speakers, educators or business owners, but more and more newcomers are asking to be acknowledged too. Women have always worked in SEO in-house for companies with search engine marketing departments. They don’t gain the kind of fame and fortune other SEO women do, but these women have been here all along.
There are also many more women in the search marketing industry who hold down their own businesses and families. For them, travel to conferences presents major hurdles, making it seem like there are less of them around but in reality, they’re back home working.
To help celebrate the contributions by women in SEO, Third Door Media, otherwise known as Danny Sullivan, Chris Sherman and Chris Elwell, have offered to sponsor part of the costs.
It’s an incredibly moving gesture. It fits perfectly as the search engine optimization and marketing industry moves into a new phase that connects with related industries brimming with women with strong technical backgrounds and businesses.
I look forward to the near future where being a man or women in tech won’t mean squat and we’ll look back and laugh that we used to hope 40 women would show up for lunch at an SEO women’s gathering.
If you would like to co-sponsor the San Jose luncheon with Third Door Media, Liana Evans would like to hear from you.