Proof That There Is No Excuse For Not Having Female Representation


The lack gender diversity in conversations about professional fields is so clear that we, as a culture, need literal online directories of women in professional fields. From corporate panels to congressional hearings, it’s often hard to find a female face in the room — even though, as these directories demonstrate, it's not because of a lack of women in these fields. Consider this proof that there is no excuse for not having female representation pretty much... well, ever.

In a recent Bloomberg article, author Kara Alaimo wrote about the widespread lack of female representation on professional panels. Alaimo mentions a recent Goldman-Sachs conference were only five out of the 76 speakers were women. She also calls out the 2016 Davos event which got attention for having a panel about helping women thrive at work that featured all men.

This lack of gender diversity is far from limited to these types of panels. It’s in photos of Trump reinstating the “Global Gag Rule.” It’s in a pictures of politicians meeting to discuss policy that will directly affect women’s health. It becomes shockingly clear when you look at this photo series of what politics looks like when you delete men from the photo.

Getting more women involved in professional fields where they are underrepresented (from politics to science) entails giving women who are already doing the work a seat at the table. You need to show young women what they can aspire to be by showcasing women who are currently paving the way. From women who farm to women who are funny, there are female voices in every professional field. We just need to listen. Here are a few online directories featuring women professionals, so we can all stop making excuses about not having enough female representation.

Women Who Are Scholars

Women Also Know Stuff is an online directory of scholars who focus on political science. Looking for an expert on gender and politics for your next panel? Here you go. Want to interview a scholar about the refugee crisis? Ask one of these 35 women. If you’d like to be a listed scholar, you can visit this page. Although this directory is specific to scholars of political science, the website states its creators are working on similar scholarly directories and can help find a website that represents you.

Women Who Draw

Women Who Draw is a directory of illustrators who are women, trans, and gender non-conforming. Want to depict Asian women through illustration? Why not hire an Asian-American woman who draws? Looking for female artists in the Midwest? Here are 203. If you’re a woman who draws, you can join the directory here.

Be sure to also peruse Cartoonists of Color as well as Queer Cartoonists, databases which also seek to increase the visibility of underrepresented artists.

Women of Color Who Write

Writers of Color is a response to the excuse, “I don’t know enough writers of color.” While not specific to female writers of color, this directory is amplifying minority voices of all genders who often go unheard. You can also check out their Twitter list if you’re looking for some new voices in your newsfeed. If you’re a writer of color who would like to be included in the directory, you can submit your info here.

Women in Machine Learning

Women in Machine Learning provides a directory of women who are working in one of the fastest growing fields in computer science research. Machine learning, if you aren’t familiar, is a subfield of computer science related to artificial intelligence. As computer scientist Arthur Samuel put it, machine learning “gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed.” Women in Machine Learning is working to combat the gender disparity in this field by creating opportunities for and amplifying the voices of women. If you’d like to be added to the directory of Women in Machine Learning, submit your info here.

Women Who Own Businesses

If you’re looking to patron women-owned businesses locally, I’d recommend you start with a simple Google search. After that, you can check out one of these multiple online directories for women-owned businesses. While none is completely comprehensive, they’re a great guide if you’re travelling, shopping online, or seeking female entrepreneurs.

  • Woman Owned has a directory you can sort by company-size, if you’re looking to shop small.
  • is a good source if you’re looking for federally-certified woman- and minority-owned businesses.
  • This crowdsourced list on Medium by Ashley Mayer was created in honor of “A Day Without A Woman” and includes businesses across the country.
  • has an online database of women-owned businesses you can peruse by category from clothing to publishing.
Women Who Grow

Women Grow is an online directory of women who work in the cannabis industry. As more states legalize marijuana, Women Grow is working to make sure the industry is inclusive. You can click through their different business categories, like edibles, and find place denoted with a “female owned” marker.

Women in STEM

FabFem is a directory of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions, primarily for the purpose of connecting young scientists with mentors. If you’d like to become a STEM role model, register with FabFem here.

It’s no secret that women are widely underrepresented in STEM. A 2011 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce states almost three out of every four STEM positions is held by a man. This is a stark contrast to overall jobs, where the gender divide is closer to equal. (Men held 52 percent of all jobs in 2009, while women held 48 percent.) Resources like FabFem are helping combat that.

Also, if you’re looking for more female perspectives on STEM issues in your Twitter feed, this Twitter list of women in STEM currently has 191.