As a slightly nerdy girl, who used to go around computer fairs at Olympia with her dad, code MUDs and lol at ASKII art, it hasn't escaped my attention that, on the whole, Sci-Fi is a bloke-dominated genre. Moreso than the novel industry in general, which is already a heavily male-dominated profession.
I know this is only my observation, and there's probably little to back it up, but I sometimes feel that writing is a bit like cooking. I know a lot of female writers. Morgen's writing groups are 90% female attended as, it would seem, are most major literary festivals. In comparison, we're always hearing how boys are less interested in reading, and possibly shun books in favour of sports. You'd sort of expect there to be more female writers than male. Yet apparently, J.K. Rowling and E.L. James aside, it's the male novelists who go on to dominate the market. Same has been said about cooking. It's pretty much expected that a woman will be good in the kitchen, but it's proportionately men who go on to be world-famous chefs.
Something worthy of further investigation. The reason given for women rarely making comedy panels is that we're just 'not as funny'. Perhaps we're also just 'not as flavoursome' or 'engrossing' in the other two fields?
Might as well book in for my sex op now.
Back to the point, which was this article: A Simple Suggestion to Help Phase Out All-Male Panels at Tech Conferences
The idea is to ask men to refuse to participate in male-only panels.
One forum poster mentioned:
Paul Cornell has been doing this for a while, only I think he prefers parity on his panels.
Good on 'im.
One thing I found interesting at booQfest was that there was a specific Women Authors' Panel of lesbian and bi authors, but, instead of a Gay Men's Panel, a Sci-Fi Panel.
Does rather evidence the case.