Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Women

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Saturday 10th March 2012

  • Designing Experiences for Women

    by Jessica Ivins and Brad Nunnally

    Women have become the digital mainstream. In the US market, women make up just under half of the online population, but they spend 58 percent of e-commerce dollars. Women are online gamers, shoppers, bloggers, and social media consumers. And yet, we still don’t know how to design for them.

    The immediate impulse when designing for women is to “shrink it and pink it,” meaning products are splashed with the color pink, and content and messaging are dumbed down. But women want what’s relevant to them. They want products and online experiences that are intuitive, not insulting to their intelligence. They want function, not frills.

    This session reviews the historical and contemporary landscape of designing for women. We’ll review misguided, yet well-intentioned designs based on assumptions and stereotypes that have flopped. Likewise, we’ll review success stories of well-designed products and experiences that truly meet women’s needs. We’ll also look at when gender should factor into your design and when it shouldn’t. Ultimately, when designing for women (or men, or both), you’ll want to get it right.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 10th March

    In Ballroom BC, Austin Convention Center

  • Skirts at South By

    Reverse Pitch – organizations focused on women in business pitch their services to a panel of entrepreneurs.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 10th March

    In Salon D, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • Tech Superwomen: Mentors and Mentees, FTW

    by Nilofer Merchant, Ekaterina Walter, Cathryn Posey, Margot Bloomstein and Leslie Bradshaw

    From the New York Times to Glamour Magazine, a universal question continues to percolate - why are women underrepresented in the tech industry? Explore the role mentorship plays in building a stronger and more inclusive community, while expanding opportunities for women to ascend to leadership roles. Panel discussion will examine the impact of women mentoring women, the positive results of enriching this community and the importance of empowering such partnerships. This panel will also look at the role men can and should play to open more doors for women in the industry. Engage, contribute and participate as a mentor or mentee! Help build a stronger, more inclusive tech community.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Saturday 10th March

    In Room 9ABC, Austin Convention Center

    Coverage audio clip

  • Skirts at South By

    Open networking with organizations focused on women in business.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Salon D, Hilton Austin Downtown

  • How Women Present Themselves in the Digital Age

    by Bianca Bosker, Lisa Ling, Margaret Johnson, Susan Orlean and Tiffany Shlain

    Women tend to pursue what has been called the 'iconic self,' a flawless version of ourselves that we project to the world: a woman with the right job, reputation, looks, home, family -- the list goes on. When it comes to creating that ideal image, technology has arguably raised the stakes even further. Now we have to construct a perfect self to present across many channels and platforms. Who should you be on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+? What parts of yourself should you expose, when do you draw the line, and what if you cross it? Is it even possible to be authentic online? On this panel we'll delve into the sometimes paralyzing performance anxiety technology produces, how we can mitigate it, and discuss thorny questions about what should and should not be revealed online. And, once you've solved that dilemma, how to know who you really are in the midst of all these iterations.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Longhorn, Omni Downtown

  • Monetizing Mommy

    by Catherine Connors and Erin Chase

    It’s no secret that the blogosphere sees mommy blogs as synonymous with spit up and sippy cups. As a result, most assume that the cash that does trickle in for mom bloggers surely must match their decidedly low profile topics.

    Not so.

    Turns out, mommy’s become something of a cash cow these days. From bestselling books to six figure brand partnership deals, she’s raking it in – and she’s worked hard to deserve it. These days, mommy blogging is an expansive, professional career for passionate communicators, and is a veritable mine (and minefield) of monetization opportunities.

    This session puts four top mommy bloggers on stage to deliver practical advice on four specific aspects of monetizing the mom blog. The session is geared for motivated women bloggers with a powerful message who seek something more than affiliate marketing and banner ads. We’ll cover publishing, video, brand sponsorship deals, and talent work, and we won’t be leaving out numbers.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Saturday 10th March

    In Capitol View North, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Women in Tech Meet Up

    by Sepideh Nasiri

    The mission of Women 2.0 is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups. Women 2.0 is a emerging global media company for aspiring and current female entrepreneurs to launch successful scalable, innovative ventures.Women 2.0 distributes its intellectual capital across multi-platforms online (mobile, social, web) and offline (events, workshops, conferences). Women 2.0 is a global network and social platform for influencers that drive trends and decisions — as startup founders and as consumers.This meet up is to promote the creation of new networks among aspiring entrepreneurs, current entrepreneurs and investors. For example, Women 2.0 hosts Founder Fridays in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, New York, Madrid and Barcelona and more cities each month. Stay updated on upcoming Founder Fridays on Twitter at @FounderFriday

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Big Bend, Hyatt Regency Austin

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Why Women Fail to Rule the Social Networks

    by Tanja Gabler

    Too bland, too bored, too busy? Why women fail to rule social networks.

    Women see themselves as "social" by nature, they claim to have better communication skills than men do - and mostly they are right. They even hold the majority in all big social networks except LinkedIn. But when it comes to using Social Media for marketing themselves, they fail. While men boast proudly about their achievements in status updates women write birthday wishes to others and ask for private advice. What's the reason behind that phenomenon? Answers from statistics, psychologists, marketers, gender experts and the users themselves.

    At 1:15pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Texas Ballroom 4-7, Hyatt Regency Austin

  • Subtext and Shipping: The Lesbian Community Online

    by Trish Bendix and Elisa Kreisinger

    Jo and Blair on Facts of Life; Cagney & Lacey; Marlene Dietrich and any woman she shared the screen with. Before lesbians were allowed to be part of mainstream pop culture, gay women lived for subtext. As visibility increases, queer women dominate blogs, forums and social media sites like Twitter and Tumblr, “shipping” or “slashing” these fictional female couples (and the actresses who play them). The result is a whole new kind of relationship between online content and users. AfterEllen.com editor Trish Bendix and video remixer Elisa Kreisinger will discuss how cultivating these female-heavy fandoms though editorial and video has encouraged a consistent demand for new content for this active and ever growing niche audience.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Creekside I & II, Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol

    Coverage audio clip

  • Africa, Tech & Women: The New Faces of Development

    by Isis Nyong'o, Liz Ngonzi, Ebele Okobi, Deborah Ensor and TMS Ruge

    This panel provides a rare glimpse into the multitude of ways African women are applying technology to advance Africa’s development. The panel aims to dispel the myths about African women as breeders and victims -- incapable of participating in their own continent’s development, by: (1) showcasing contributions they are making in the technology field – through entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and community leadership; and (2) providing insights into how they are using technology to raise awareness about, mobilize campaigns against and address human rights violations.

    The panel will specifically explore how African women are using technology to make an impact through:
    - Digital advocacy to protect people’s rights
    - Social media to help grassroots organizations engage new supporters worldwide
    - Mobile advertising to enable small businesses to access new markets
    - Internet connectivity to integrate the often unheard community voices into the global conversation on development

    Throughout the discussion, panelists will provide anecdotes on how the resulting increased access to information is altering the role of women in African society.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 12th March

    In Salon D, AT&T Conference Center

  • Blogging: Why So Many Women Are Doing It

    by Alessandra Colaci and Indiana Adams

    Blogging is nothing new, however the number of bloggers continues to grow. Mom bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers, and life style bloggers have seemingly taken over Blogger, Wordpress, and Tumblr, and most of these types of blog authors are women. Young, female bloggers have become a force to be reckoned with: the most popular ones have their lives made into movies, they write and sell books that top best seller lists, and they guest design for major brands. The lesser known bloggers still influence their readers in big ways, and companies have sat up and have taken notice. Let's discuss why women blog, how they use social media differently than men, and why brands are eager to connect with these women.

    At 5:00pm to 6:00pm, Monday 12th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • Digital Divas: How Girls Rule the Digital Universe

    by Graceann Bennett and Dayna Dion

    How can brands in low-interest, low-involvement categories truly engage women in the digital space? Which of women’s digital activities are purchase decision drivers vs. distractors? What do women really want from brands online? Ogilvy, Microsoft and Mindshare teamed up to tackle those questions and more with “Digital Divas,” a groundbreaking study of more than 12,800 women that reveals how the Venus-Mars analogy extends into the digital sphere: how women vs. men live and breathe online and what that means for brands. "Digital Divas" makes sense of the daunting deluge of data on women in the digital domain to tell the story of how women seek, share and shop across channels. We’ll discuss and debate some hot topics, like why women really “like” brands on Facebook and what a “like” is truly worth. We’ll share some surprising new digital developments, like what surpassed peer recommendations and store coupons in 2011 to become the No. 1 influencer of women’s online purchase decisions. And we’ll illustrate how even the least sexy brands are connecting with, captivating and cashing in on women in the digital domains they rule.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Assembly Room, InterContinental Stephen F. Austin

  • Women Drive Change: Tech in the Global South

    by Zawadi Nyong'o, Kara Andrade, Emily Jacobi, Jenn Sramek and Catherine Harrington

    The use of technology by women in the Global South is growing fast!

    From Africa to South America to Southeast Asia, women in the Global South are using technology tools in new and creative ways with astounding results. Teen girls and senior citizens alike are finding the freedom to use technology to let their voices be heard, to foster an independent living, and to bring about revolution.

    Women in the Global South are using advanced tactics and tools to:

    • Gain support to achieve their right to drive in Saudi Arabia
    • Advance human rights, sexual and reproductive rights and health, governance, and sustainable development in East Africa
    • Raise awareness about corrective rape and other hate crimes against lesbians in South Africa
    • Do Community mapping of sexual violence and harassment in Egypt
    • Mobilize support for women’s representation in leadership positions
    • Organize to topple political leadership

    Sophisticated and coordinated social media campaigns are becoming the domain of women all over the world.

    We will talk about what this means for women in the Global South, how their online personas might differ from real-world personas in societies where women have fewer rights, and where technology tools need to go next in order to meet their specific needs.

    At 3:30pm to 4:30pm, Tuesday 13th March

    In Salon E, AT&T Conference Center

    Coverage audio clip

Wednesday 14th March 2012

  • Women in Music Meet Up

    Network with fellow female music professionals who have the drive and the ideas to create substantial art. Support and competition are not mutually exclusive. If only the strong survive, a strong network can help you thrive in the music industry. Come find that network at the Meet Up Pavilion in the SXSW Trade Show.

    At 4:30pm to 5:30pm, Wednesday 14th March

    In Exhibit Hall 3/4, Austin Convention Center