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Valeria:

Thank you for couching this post as new opportunities for speakers and conferences. As a professional event planner that has hired more than 2,500 speakers in the past 10 years, there is so much more to this discussion than pointing fingers and placing blame. I agree that there can always be more diversity on conference agendas.

I also beleive that the social media strategists, and the professional speakers and event professional industries are foreign to each other. The more we educate each other and help each other know of the opportunities that exist for both sides, the better off conference attendees will be.

I wrote more about here: http://jeffhurtblog.com/2009/07/31/time-to-build-bridges-create-new-media-brain-alchemy/

@Rick - you are very kind, thank you.

@Craig - early in my career, a friend shared with me that she partnered with a couple of non white males in her career so that they would help catch her up on the conversations and decisions that took place in the spaces reserved to men only. In turn, she helped coach them.

@Lauren - it's very challenging to be a voice of reason and leadership when the world (and the cliches) reward the more controversial and let in one favored woman at a time, comparing among choices that are not even in the same category.

@Stuart - glad to hear the post was useful.

@Tiffany - I'm sure you'll do very well, preparation is key.

@Kami - yes, Slideshare is a very useful tool and network for one's portfolio. Thank you for the suggestion and addition. We do contend with the internal conversation while presenting, that's true.

@Mary Jane - the scarcity mindset shows up everywhere, alas. Part of the problem is that we don not learn to value individuals for the specific qualities they bring to the table, but just compare them to each other, as if they were interchangeable. People do tend to play pawns in this conflict more often than they realize. All we control is ourselves and how we act.

Excellent observation, Valeria. I just recently started to notice women pushing down other women in the tech industry. It's so different than the situation I enjoyed in college where we girls stuck together and helped each other out with both class assignments and moral support.

Thank you for bringing this up now. I hope that, with talk like this and the growing numbers of groups for women in technology, more women will embrace their natural strengths and work together with each other instead of competing with their male colleagues in a masculinity contest.

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