My initial reaction to these new noises stems from the fact that I don't like being told what to do. "Speak Up!" they say. This is, perversely, much more likely to make me purse my lips and refuse to say a word.
Yet in making the decision to contribute to the testing community I feel a little resentment at the implication by TTwT that I could only be heard in a forum specifically requesting the opinions of women. That my thoughts would be drowned or ignored in a general populace.
The mentoring program seems like a great idea, with benefits for both the aspiring speakers and mentors, but I still have not filled out a form to participate. The sales pitch starts with "We all have something to share with others", and that might be the crux of the issue. Perhaps we don't?
Just excuses and doubts perhaps.
Finally, I'm not convince that either measure is going to kill that blowfly in my lounge. We create a testing magazine with articles written by women, we orchestrate a 50/50 gender ratio in presenters at a testing conference, then what? Creating strong female role models is great, but who are we leading?
Instead of preaching to the converted at testing conferences and in testing magazines, perhaps we should focus more attention on attracting women in to testing in the first place? Why aren't we making our voices heard at high schools, colleges and universities first and foremost?