Microsoft's new Search Champs initiative, which involves 30 bloggers to help the company brainstorm search, counts only one woman among 30 participants. That's Liz Lawley, who comments about the situation here: i feel very alone. Super search guru Tara Calishain would have been an obvious (and excellent) choice. And she was but couldn't make it, as she comments here: Microsoft's "Search Champs" Team.
OK, brainstorming quickly between Gary and I, how about:
- Reva Basch
- Mary Ellen Bates
- Susan Feldman of IDC
- Marti Hearst at UC Berkeley
- Susanne Koch of Pandia
- Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide
- Elizabeth Liddy of Syracuse University
- Marydee Ojala, editor of Online magazine
- Barbara Quint of Searcher magazine
- Avi Rappoport of Search Tools
- Amanda Spink at the University of Pittsburgh
- Genie Tyburski of the Virtual Chase
- Leslie Walker from the Washington Post
- Our own Elisabeth Osmeloski
I'm sure we're still missing plenty of women -- and we could go even longer if we added names of people purely involved on the search marketing side of things (or employed by other search engines, like Monika Henzinger at Google or Srinija Srinivasan of Yahoo).
In short, there are plenty of women in search out there. The real issue might be that they don't all have blogs, so they may not have been visible to blogger Robert Scoble, who helped organize the Microsoft search champs. He comments here: In trouble with Liz.
Postscript: Robert tells me Microsoft asked him specifically to gather people who weren't already known for being involved in the search industry, so he mainly went after those he felt blogged interesting things about search on a more casual basis. That's one reason some on the list above may not have been included.