Can Women Break Through the Digital Ceiling?

Leading up to the Women Who Tech Telesummit, (and as a response to a recent presentation by Matt Aimonetti) Allyson Kapin posted this thought-provoking article about sexism in the tech-industry. Her view is that despite the fact that “women now outnumber men on the internet,” especially using social media, when it comes to being sought after as authority-figures in the tech industry (keynote speakers, panelists and experts) and launching startups, women face challenges breaking down the digital ceiling.

Women in tech and social media are not valued as opinion leaders nearly as much as their male colleagues. In reality though, there are plenty of highly qualified industry women who would make fantastic panelists or provide reporters with thorough analyses on the latest research, trends and general commentary on tech and social media.

Kapin suggests that women need to “promote themselves” and be more visible to help get the change started towards a more equal industry.  Overall, she suggests that women execs and women in general start blogging about their area of expertise, accepting more public speaking engagements, networking with other influential women, asking for advice and just getting a bit tougher when it comes to facing challenges. (Naomi Mc’s blog also suggests a few things men can do to alleviate the issue.)  Based on my recent research about female founders of startups in Vancouver and Canada, and female mentors in the tech-scene, there are very few women I could consult– for sure.  And the ones that I found agree that it’s tough to get started in a predominantly male-focused industry.  I’m not sure of a remedy to this situation, but feel that women in the tech sector can initiate positive exchanges of dialogue and encourage other females to join within the industry.  Other than that, this issue seems to be wide-spread and not be tech-sector specific.  It’s societal. I’d love to get some male opinion on this one.  Thoughts?