Friday, December 17, 2010

Who's in charge?

I received a notice about a conference happening this spring at MIT on sports analytics.
The goal of the conference is:
To provide a forum for industry professionals (executives and leading researchers) and students to discuss the increasing role of analytics in the sports industry. MIT Sloan is dedicated to fostering growth in this arena, and the conference enriches opportunities for learning and understanding the sports business world.
Their website is a little wonky right now but the main page scrolls through the list of featured speakers, which is quite impressive. And quite male. When I went initially there were no women scrolling by. Now there is one, ESPN columnist Jackie MacMullan. I don't know if more women were invited and turned down the offer or if more women will be added to the program.
But it's disturbing that this conference is so male- and Caucasian-dominated. (My initial impression is that there are three men of color and one woman.)
Like I said, the website is having issues, so I cannot really figure out what they will be talking about at the conference (the panels and research paper sections are blank). But I am curious and worried. I don't know if women would say anything radically different in a conference like this. Most women who are in business are there because they know how to play the game and not rock the boat. Still, I am having flashbacks to the Blogs with Balls Conference (which I only read about) this past summer that was almost entirely comprised of men and the atmosphere of which was clearly created to appeal to men. Both conferences give the impression that women do not care about these issues and that they are not involved in these businesses.

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