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I'm a founder of @MinneWebCon in the Twin Cities, and from day one we never had a problem getting female speakers. Two reasons, I suspect: we've always had women on our planning committee, and the web community has many women who, in our experience, are just as eager to present as men. In fact, I'm especially proud that 50% of MinneWebCon's keynote speakers have been women! And while the planning committee can take credit for this, I still don't think it had to work hard to achieve it. There's plenty of well-known web experts who are women. (just check our keynote list on our web site) As for racial diversity? Yes, that is indeed more tricky. For whatever reason, the web and tech community is predominantly white. We've been somewhat successful in making MinneWebCon more diverse than just from a gender angle, but I admit that additional strategies are needed for this. Strategies that help affirm that the barriers to entry in tech are remarkably low: no matter what background you have, or financial status, anyone can dig into the web starting at a public library where the computers are free. And WordPress is free. And numerous SDKs and frameworks are free. It's all there, waiting to be crafted into new products and services. All it requires is initiative and the desire to build something new.
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Jun 20, 2012