“The REAL Ladies of CTIA/Wireless”

I haven’t written in a while, but today I was inspired to do so. As I was skimming my daily tweets, I ran into a blog entitled “The Ladies of CTIA 2011.” I was there this year and, as always, women were extremely under-represented, as always. I knew there was a women’s professional meet up at the conference, so I clicked on the article to see who may have been highlighted. Instead, the article was about the “Booth Babes” with a series of sexy pictures.
I’ve worked specifically in mobile financial services field now for six years and have been asked increasingly to discuss the role mobile plays in closing the gender gap in emerging markets by The Government, The World Economic Forum, the UN, universities, The Inter-American Development Bank, and other development agencies. Meanwhile here, in the US, it is sad and ironic that the most prominent “Ladies of CTIA” highlighted in an article revolves around objectification. Really?
Marc, I’m sure it’s easier to get eyeballs to your site by posting scantily clad pictures of women. If, however, you want to provide real news on a subject, I would suggest that you begin researching what women are actually involved in wireless and what they’re doing…. and perhaps, why these women aren’t attending CTIA?
I belong to a global women’s network of wireless professionals who work on the use of mobile worldwide to increase access to communications, education, healthcare, financial services, and disaster relief. Most of the women in this group have multiple degrees and PhDs. They hold senior positions at worldwide organizations and they are making a difference in the lives of those who need it the most. Perhaps they are the “REAL” women of Wireless? But then again, I guess it’s easier to go your route than to do the research. Bravo.


And the degrading practices lives on…. See BBC’s latest video on the degrading Booth Babe phenomenon at CES:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20957848

If you feel strongly that this practice needs to stop, please tweet about this, link to this article and add @CES2013.


2 responses to ““The REAL Ladies of CTIA/Wireless”

  1. As the woman responsible for the first text messaging program for youth in the U.S. in 2006, I would like to make a point that all women in wireless are not “booth babes.”

    In fact, there are many pioneers in this field who are women – Katrin Verclas of Mobile Active, Patty Mecheal from Columbia University’s Earth Institute – who often have to negotiate their way onto national panels and into meetings dominated by European and American white businessmen.

    Because my content topic is Youth Sexual Health, I realize that I will also be an outsider in the corporate wireless realm. But, we do need the wireless technology field to recognize that there are professional women working in the space in between “wireless booth babes” and corporate businessmen.

    Women are making great strides in mHealth around the world and in the U.S. We’d prefer to move away from both booth babes and men in speedos and sit in on the high-level discussions that are affecting CTIA and the wireless industry today.

  2. I’m surprised that in today’s day and age something like technology and mobile payments has a “booth babe” mentality. I can see it in things like motorcycle shows or boat shows or something, but a mobile payment or technology convention?

    Good comments Deb. It’s true that those things are purely a distraction from the real gains that are being made in mobile across the spectrum.

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