From what I could see, a lot of women attended Macworld Expo this year. While the wait to use one of the more popular restrooms was sometimes annoying, it was wonderful to see so many women at the usually male-dominated Expo. Kathryn Vercillo shared this observation in her Mac-Forums blog post, "The Women of Macworld," where she particularly noted the appearance of more women speaking in the conference tracks.
Paul Kent, General Manager for Macworld Conference & Expo, said that most of the Macworld Expo staff are taking a few well-deserved days off after the show, so he didn't yet have statistics on the number of female show-goers to share. However, he did comment, "Subjectively, the audience this year seemed particularly energized, diverse, and enthusiastic. There was a lot of growth (15 to 20 percent more attendees), so I'm thinking we'll be sharing a lot of 'new' participants at the show. I sincerely hope that female participation maps accordingly."
Strikingly, options for buying laptop bags with more feminine touches - many from woman-run companies - were also on the upswing, with choices ranging from classy leathers to light-hearted fabrics that went far beyond the usual basic black. We'll be running a photo-infused TidBITS article about bags at the show shortly, so stay tuned. Regrettably, as is so often the case for us women, form took the lead over function, and I spotted only one backpack case with a feminine design.
Women are usually welcomed at Macworld Expo, a sentiment supported by a recent Joy of Tech poll, where readers were asked, "What category of Mac celebrity do you like the best?" and the winner - by a significant margin - was "It's all about the Mac chicks... sure you might be a geek, you've still got that old need to breed." However, the people - likely single guys - who responded to the Joy of Tech survey seem to have missed the memo about the best way to make women feel welcome. While we women at Macworld Expo do know how to wield chic-looking laptop bags, whether we're out to hook up with a Mac geek is another question entirely. When it comes to women in the industry these days (apologies to ZZ Top), we've got Macs, and we know how to use them.