[Owasp-board] Oh no, not again...

Andrew van der Stock vanderaj at owasp.org
Mon Jan 25 11:02:25 UTC 2016

Hi there,

I note with frustration that again, despite the absolutely astonishing odds
of this occurring, we seem to have ended up with 25 men and 0 women on the
papers committee at AppSec EU.

I will let that sink in for a second. 25 men. 0 women. 2016.

I'm sure all of them are excellent and are doing a good job, but there has
to be at least a few women on this planet who could and wanted to help out,
if only they had been asked or been in the right place at the right time. I
might not be looking at the right place, but where was the announcement to
get on the papers committee. It's not on AppSecEU's social media feed. I've
searched the most likely mail lists, and nothing. So how did this committee

What do we have in place to make sure that we:

   - Do we have a standard way of calling for a papers committee? I don't
   see any announcement
   - Ensure that there's at least *some* women representation on any
   conference's papers committee?
   - Did we reach out to or invite anyone from the OWASP Women in AppSec
   group to be on the papers committee?
   - Do we make sure proposals being vetted by the papers committee are
   blind (i.e. the gender, name and bio are missing on ALL submissions)?
   - Do we have a conflict of interest policy for PC members so they can't
   submit papers or training? I'd hate for a new speaker or someone who
   normally doesn't speak at OWASP conferences, like developers, have a shot
   over someone on the PC*.
   - Do we have a few slots available for new speakers? Do we reach outside
   the echo chamber to fill these slots, whether by invitation or invitation
   to submit? There are some awesome speakers at JavaOne and at OSCON and at
   other conferences. It would be great to get some inter-profession dialog
   - Do we reach out to OWASP Women in AppSec to outright invite a keynote
   or two or ask for speakers to submit?
   - Do we reach out on social media to ask new and gender diverse speakers
   to submit?
   - Do we make sure when the final selection is made that it's not
   complete wall to wall male presenters?

I am looking for answers. I will be watching the results of the paper
selection with some interest, as we cannot ever again have a situation
where there are no women presenting at our four major global conferences.


* Full disclosure: I have put a training submission in for the ASVS at
Rome. I am not on the papers committee.
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