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Women at CES

What CES Is Like For a Woman: 2012 Edition

Although being female in the tech industry isn't unusual, we're certainly outnumbered. At a large industry event like CES, there are perks and disadvantages to being a part of the underrepresented gender, so you definitely walk away with a solid pro/con list after the event. The best part was networking with other savvy ladies in technology, which made the con list — spoiler: it's pretty short — worth all the trouble.

  • Pro: Respect from our fellow journalists and bloggers — While we overheard some unfortunate comments about women in the tech industry last year, 2012 was all about saying hello, getting to know our favorite writers, and even sparking new friendships throughout the week.
  • Pro: Instant bonding with your female ilk — Both during the conference and at networking events, we were able to instantly bond with our female brethren. It was so nice to see so many smart, successful women in the industry, and meeting them was one of the conference's major highlights.
  • Pro: No bathroom lines. — I waxed poetic about this one already, but I can't talk enough about how refreshing it was to enjoy a line-free trip to the restroom with plenty of sink and mirror space.
  • Pro: Fewer booth babes on the show floor — Correct me if I'm wrong, but I didn't see as many booth babes as I have in years' past. Don't get me wrong, they're still there, but I think it's becoming a wider-known fact that if you need a female with her boobs popping out of her shirt to attract attention to your booth, it means your product probably sucks. Let's hope this is a trend that sticks.

Hear about what we didn't like about our time at CES this year after the break.

  • Con: Weird attitudes towards women — We hit up hundreds of booths over the course of the CES week, and only a few times did we walk away unimpressed with the way PR and sales people handled our female presence. At one booth overrun by suits, we asked about a specific product and were blown off by the male reps on the floor. We couldn't tell if they weren't interested in talking to us, or were just bad salesmen. I'm hoping for the latter.
Join The Conversation
heypeg heypeg 5 years
Also noted less booth babes and more helpful brand reps. Only had trouble navigating floor due to rubbernecking, not gender-specific discourtesy. Any information gaps I experienced were a result of a few ill-informed staffers (again, not gender specific). Posting link to this on FB/womenintech
ladyv ladyv 5 years
Even with my giant red press badge, I was still asked about release dates and info about booth products... as if I was the PR girl. Made me laugh a little bit!
HarryMonmouth HarryMonmouth 5 years
It is interesting that you should say there were fewer booth babes this year considering how many writers I have seen complaining about the presence of booth babes compared to last year when I only saw people enjoying the presence of booth babes.
Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine Gabriela-Une-Vie-Saine 5 years
Hahaha I loved reading this!! The tech world is so male dominated that I really enjoyed reading all your CES posts from a female point of view, instead of other coverage from TechCrunch or the like. Last month a friend brought me to a pretty big-time software company's Christmas party, and even with a lot of the guys bringing dates, the ladies' bathroom line was nonexistent! Keep repping the ladies in the field :)
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