Some conference organisers will say "we didn't get any submissions from women" to explain the lack of women on their stages. As of two years ago, the Ohio LinuxFest was in that category. With a little outreach effort, and embracing diversity as a core value, the Ohio LinuxFest has successfully recruited more women to share their experience at OLF.
How'd we do? While last year only five of the speakers at Ohio LinuxFest were women, out of a total of 31, this year 14 of the 38 speakers are women. That's a third of the conference speaking slots! One of the two keynoters is a woman. There were 107 talk proposals for the 27 general speaking slots. Before anyone tries to suggest that we simply took them all, it should be noted that a full 48% of the proposals for talks categorised as not assuming high levels of prior knowledge (making them suitable for the most attendees) were from women.
1/3 of conference speakers are female is a heckuvalot better than the 0 - 1/10 range we usually see, but it's still a lot less than then 1/2 distribution that I'd like to see. Go Ohio and Go Linux Chix!
Many props to the excellent, insightful, supportive, and fun grrltalk list for distributing this post.