By Guest Blogger, Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter
I just got back from a huge trade event, HIMSS 10 (Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society). Lots and lots of exhibitors, 30,000 people...and - to HIMSS' credit - a "social media" education area and two panel discussion sessions with bloggers who focus on health care.
Unfortunately I was only able to attend one of the sessions, but it was worthwhile if only because I got to chat with Jane Sarasohn-Kahn, who writes the HealthPopuli blog (you may have heard her being interviewed on NPR.) The guys on the panel were also fun, engaging and real (John Halamka, Dr. Joseph Kim, Brian Ahier, and Keith Boone ["motorcyle guy" writing about standards, how cool is that?]) but - yep - they're guys. As Jane noted, "Where are the women in health care blogging?"
Well, we've been asking some form of that question for a while now at Lip-sticking, haven't we? Even in more "female-friendly" industry sectors such as marketing, women remain outnumbered by men (or are we? Is it that we simply don't get the notice from the other guys? Hmmm...)
It's not that women don't have something to say (ah-yah, yah, yah!!) or that we don't understand the technology...or that we're "too old" (I was surrounded by 50+ women typing, tweeting and texting).
Here's why I think we don't see more women bloggers.
We're still too nice. "Nice girls don't" still lingers back there somewhere in our hard-wired synapses. And, if we're successful in our field, it's because we're lucky, not because we're good (wouldn't want to take undue, unseemly credit, now would we?) For example, at the conference one "C-level" woman - at one of the top medical facilities in the country - noted in her introductory remarks that she was "lucky." They had done a nationwide search for her position, talked to ten candidates and "somehow" she had gotten the position. Ouch! And, I'd bet she wasn't even aware of what she was doing.
Men on the other hand, have internalized "nice guys finish last."
P.S. Another difference? I did it right in this post. A man would write, "Here's why we don't see more women bloggers." I wrote, "I think" which is - differences in sexes aside, actually more appropriate in a blog, since I'm giving my opinion. However, that wouldn't stop a man from stating his opinion as fact.
Nothing wrong with being nice - but you also have to know when to not be nice. If you've got something to say, say it. You can start with a comment right here.