Gender-Focused Conferences

I just read an interesting article on why Women’s Conferences are important. I agree that these are beneficial, but I feel that they are good for both their participants and everyone the participants interact with. I feel this way for 3 main reasons:

1. Such conferences/organizations build confidence through camaraderie.
Anyone who has worked with an individual that lacked self-confidence greatly appreciates how much better it is to interact with a person confident in themselves.
2. Such conferences/organizations often include information/training on dealing with non-members of that particular group’s focus.
For example, engineering conferences often train engineers on how to effectively interact with non-engineers in work settings. This leads to better communication between all parties, and it benefits all parties.
3. Such conferences/organizations lead to a more thoughtful populace/workforce
These meetups often focus on introspection, personal responsibility, and accountability. These are characteristics well understood by effective and successful people.

Do people that have a problem with Minority-Focused Professional Development Groups also have a problem with gender-focused groups/organizations as well? Why? What is wrong with them?

One Love. One II.




About Garlin Gilchrist II

I am the City of Detroit's first ever Deputy Technology Director for Civic Community Engagement. My job is to open up the city's public data and information for the consumption and benefit of all Detroiters. I currently live in Detroit, my hometown, with my beautiful wife Ellen and our twins Garlin III and Emily Grace. I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora, and was formerly the National Campaign Director at I also co-hosted The #WinReport on "The Good Fight," a an award winning, nationally syndicated radio show that was one of Apple's Best of 2013. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. I spent two years creating and implementing a strategy for the Center to take it's 40 years of community organizing experience into the digital age. I speak before diverse audiences on effective & responsive government, empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation through emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet. Full bio here.

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