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Most of those women were on panels and workshops, but it was a huge step.
I’ve attended TAM since TAM 3 in 2005, and since TAM 4 I’ve actively raised money for grants to send more women.
That’s actually how Skepchick got started – selling calendars to raise money for women to go to TAM.
Signed calendars were even auctioned off at TAM in order to raise even more money for the JREF.
For several years, we at Skepchick actively tried to work with the JREF to help increase the number of women on stage, as well, creating long lists of potential female speakers and suggesting panels and other events that would be of interest to women.
TAM was the main event for Skepchick, even after we started running our own event at Skepchick Con.
This year was supposed to be like all the others: I would go to TAM, set up a table for Skepchick with Surly Amy at my side, perform on stage as part of the live Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe podcast, and see old friends and new at the conference and at the Del Mar bar. Amy and I worked out a plan a few months ago – she would once again run her highly successful fundraising for grants for women to attend TAM; we would get tables together, and plan for fun “events” like Skepchick reader parties at the tables; I’d continue to drum up excitement about the event and encourage our readers to attend.
All that was going very well, with Amy raising even more money than last year.
During my visit to Germany last week, I was asked by a conference attendee how I thought we could get more women to attend skeptic and atheist conferences.
I gave the answer I nearly always give: when we increase the number of women on stage, we increase the number of women in the audience. ng Meeting (TAM) run by the James Randi Educational Foundation.
I pointed out that when I first started attending (TAM 3), there were very few women on stage and the audience was only about 20% women.
I explained that last year (TAM 9) an effort had been made to have women comprise 50% of the speakers.