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I went along to SCAMP 2012 yesterday and what a fantastic event it was. Friendly, inspiring, smart - there were some great speakers  and just as interestin...


I ended up having a Twitter debate with SheSays and the lovely @Elinesca about why this had happened.





I totally respect #scamp2012 ambition to showcase female speakers but it's a real shame that the audience is primarily female too.



Thu Jun 14 13:14:19 +0000 2012



Cath Richardson







@ohrworm good point. How do we change this? X



Thu Jun 14 13:21:54 +0000 2012



She Says UK





 





@shesaysuk @ohrworm maybe it's as simple as asking them to come? Just met one, he was here because he was asked to come...



Thu Jun 14 13:31:14 +0000 2012



Elinesca







@Elinesca @shesaysuk know what you mean, I think there's a perception that it's by women for women. Need to break out of the girls' club.



Thu Jun 14 13:33:58 +0000 2012



Cath Richardson







@ohrworm @elinesca you could be right. Our publicity was mainstream. Maybe the boys weren't interested!



Thu Jun 14 13:53:04 +0000 2012



She Says UK







@shesaysuk @ohrworm well, to be honest, I would feel weird about attending a conf that described itself as an event mainly for men... :):)



Thu Jun 14 13:57:54 +0000 2012



Elinesca





 





@Elinesca @ohrworm but we don't! All our info clearly states we are for everyone



Thu Jun 14 14:25:04 +0000 2012



She Says UK





 



As you can see, SheSays are adamant that the event is open to everyone to attend and they say so explicitly in the event blurb.




SCAMP is for people who are looking for inspiration beyond the usual creative industry bubble. We welcome thinkers, makers and doers from across the creative, media and communication spaces: cross-platform specialists, publishers, artists, curators, strategists, creative technologists, UX evangelists, writers, designers… and of course, girls and boys are welcome.




But how many people bother to read that? How many are simply put off by the name SheSays? Maybe it's not so much that they think the event is exclusively for women, but that it's somehow more relevant to women (whatever the fuck that means)? 



Afterwards one of the few men in the audience told me he'd come along because he was interested in the format. But he did wonder whether he would be welcome and though he was, he did feel weird being one of the only gents representing.



This is terrible and absolutely not what SCAMP is about. As a woman, I  feel uncomfortable going to an event that is perceived as only for women.  I don't want to join a girls' club. It's just weird.



How can we change this?  I don't want to start another boys v. girls debate (yawn), but I would love to hear more thoughts, especially from the men who didn't come.

Cath Richardson

Cath Richardson

From ancient Greek heroes to digital communities, Cath is fascinated by people and what makes them tick. At Made by Many, she works on strategy, project management and service planning. She is particularly interested in the intersection between sustainability, technology and human behaviour.

@ohrworm