We really do have binders full of women

There’s a new list on the block.  Sourcelist.org was just launched to be an easy-to-search database for women who work in tech policy.  Sourcelist grew out of a twitter query a few years ago from Susan Hennessey, who started keeping a list for people who asked her.  Now the list lives under a Brookings banner and is funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

The interface is sleek, and the data is searchable by tags and geographic locations.  So if you have a panel you are moderating and really need someone who is an expert on cybersecurity who lives in Chicago, there’s probably someone there for you.  Outside of tech policy, other searchable databases are at She Source and Women Also Know Stuff.

If these sites are the cheerleaders, other sites specialize in shaming.

Gender Avenger, calls out conferences and TV shows that have a dearth of women. The funny Tumblr site Congrats, you have an all male panel! calls out panels that have forgotten or neglected to add women.  Click to enjoy the cheesy David Hasselholff icon.   Even if you don’t care that men dominate your newspaper stories or panels, you don’t want to be called out by these sites. It’s not a badge of honor.

We know that event organizers, companies hosting a conference, producers and journalists often rely on their tried-and-true sources. That’s a club that gets built up over time.   Conferences are messy complicated things and often inertia carries the organizers from one year to the the next. Bringing in women and people of color takes time and effort.

If the problem with the status-quo in the club was “just didn’t know who to ask”, these lists will help those who sincerely want to expand membership.

What kind of list would you like to see?  Sourcelist.org is taking suggestions.