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.
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.
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.
9th–13th March 2012