amy buckland and I were just trying to brainstorm a suggestion for a keynote speaker — someone engaging, high-profile, and willing to travel to Montreal — and I gave her a list of five men, followed by “WHY IS MY LIST ALL MEN?”
So I brainstormed a list of women I know who I think would do a good job. They all had caveats like, “Already done this conference. Too niche in her experiences. Old hat in Canada. Not active enough anymore. Not high-profile, but really interesting.”
So amy asks me, is this why we have so few high-profile female speakers in libraryland? Is it because men are trained to speak up and be noticed, and women aren’t?
My genderrage says yes. Yes, that is it. And when women do stand up and get noticed, they run the risk of having to endure harassment and assault.
And because building a reputation by being a speaker is how you get to be high-profile, we have a closed loop cycle building where men speak so men get noticed so men are predominant. The whole thing just makes me angry.
But it has to change.
Those of us with the will and influence to lift people up can and should do so, but we need your help. So: Tell me. Who are your favorite engaging female speakers in libraryland? Who should be high-profile but isn’t yet?