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Suggested reading: ‘Ragequitting SummerCon’

Jun 12, 20122 mins
Data and Information SecurityIT Leadership

I’d like to turn your attention to a great read in the Idiosyncratic Routine blog written by New York-based infosec practitioner Amber Baldet. In the post  “Ragequitting SummerCon,” she writes of the “burlesque thing” that flavored the recent SummerCon event in Brooklyn.

The opening should give you a sense of what follows:

This past Saturday, I attended SummerCon in Brooklyn. Despite being “America’s longest running hacker con,” with less than 200 attendees it’s a tiny event, even for infosec standards. It’s this relaxed|elite|familial atmosphere on which the con prides itself, and it’s pretty much a blast. Unfortunately but not surprisingly, none of the dozen-ish presenters were women. I can’t fault the organizers for this as to my knowledge, no women responded to the CFP. Much has been written about encouraging women to get on stage and present technical content; I won’t rehash that debate here except to say that more than one woman I chatted with yesterday told me in effect, “Are you kidding? I wouldn’t present here. [The environment here makes it] not worth it.”

The post is generating a lot of commentary in the various social networking circles, including this comment — which I agree with — from Chris Eng, VP of research at Veracode:

This is an excellent article by Amber Baldet on how to make everyone feel welcome at a technical conference. Remember, “context, not content.”

Read the full post here, and add some useful thoughts to the comments section.