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‘Techlicious’ Awards for Women-Friendly Tech: PC Fits in Her Purse

TomTom Go 740 Live portable navigation system makes the cut as finalist because it gives women the "best routing advice."


Funny, the purse-friendly Sony PC is featured on

I've been unkind in the past about awards that recognize "best technologies for women," so I couldn't pass up this opportunity: The Techlicious Women's Tech Awards.


The awards are being held at the CEA Line Show Conference, June 10-11 in New York City, complementing a Women & Technology panel.

In the past, I've judged an awards program celebrating technology for women. And I hadn't the foggiest idea of how to judge these things. Does a camera get bonus points if it is pink? Does a TV score high points because it is perfectly easy to use?

Here are the three criteria for being the most Techlicious products:

[They] perform their primary function flawlessly; go above and beyond the basics with smart features that help women in their professional, social or family lives; and finally, seamlessly integrate into the environment in which it is being used.

Men don't want that?

Techlicious Finalists

  • Sony VAIO P-Series Lifestyle PC
    Because it "easily fits in your purse."
  • Samsung Memoir mobile phone
    Because offers the "ability to upload pictures to major photo sharing sites—perfect for vacations or family events."
  • Casio High-Speed Exilim EX-FC100 digital camera
    Because, with the "capture rate of 30 frames per second, you can literally stop fast action to pick out otherwise elusive fleeting moments, like a baby’s first smile or a bat connecting with a ball.
  • Panasonic VIERA Z1 Series HDTVs
    Because the electronics box can be hidden in a cabinet "giving you the freedom to remove the entertainment center from the center of your décor."
  • TomTom Go 740 Live portable navigation system
    Because it gives you the "best routing advice."
I'm sure these are all very fine products. I would love to own any of them myself, but I find these awards sometimes insulting, mostly to men. What? Men don't like to take video of their kids or share images of family events?

Certainly they need good "routing advice." At least we chicks will ask for directions.

It's disappointing that the judges didn't recognize these truly women-friendly products like the LED light-up bra.

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About the Author

Julie Jacobson, Co-Founder, EH Publishing / Editor-at-large, CE Pro
Julie Jacobson, recipient of the 2014 CEA TechHome Leadership Award, is co-founder of EH Publishing, producer of CE Pro, Electronic House, Commercial Integrator, Security Sales and other leading technology publications. She currently spends most of her time writing for CE Pro in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V and the business of home systems integration. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin, and has never taken a journalism class in her life. She's a washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player currently residing in Carlsbad, Calif. Follow her on Twitter @juliejacobson. [More by Julie Jacobson]

4 Comments (displayed in order by date/time)

Posted by Joe Paone  on  05/18  at  04:36 PM

Ugh, marketers in this industry really need to think this stuff through before they inadvertently (or worse, purposefully) play to extremely tired stereotypes… be they about women, about young people, about men, about you name it.

My colleague Lauren Simmen just wrote a good piece about Dell’s recent epic fail in marketing to women:–-and-fails/

The more condescending the campaign or the language is, the more likely it becomes that a lot of people in your target market WON’T buy your product just because of your insulting marketing campaign.

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  05/18  at  05:11 PM

Well, stats do show that some of the stereotypes are well-founded but I just don’t get how a navigation is “woman friendly”.

I loved Best Buy’s EQ-Life store for women—buy an mp3 player on your way to getting a massage.

Posted by Suzanne Kantra  on  05/18  at  10:29 PM

We strongly share your belief that women should never be marketed down to by suggesting that somehow making a product pink or shiny makes it a “woman’s product”.  All of the products we chose, first-and-foremost, have solid functional capabilities that go above-and-beyond at meeting a specific women’s lifestyle need. 

And, while all of the products on our awards list would be great products for men, they would not necessarily have made our “best” list for men.  Women and men approach technology purchases differently; women place greater value than men on ease-of-use and style, over gee-whiz technical features or specs.  Also, men and women do take on different roles in both their social and family lives, such as memory-keeping, where women are more likely to be the driving force.

It is also important to note that many of our award finalists may not have designed their product specifically to appeal to women.  And we are not recognizing them for doing so.  What we are recognizing is that, if you are a woman, here is a list of five products we believe you should strongly consider for your next CE purchase.

Suzanne Kantra
Founder and Editor-in-Chief

Posted by Julie Jacobson  on  05/18  at  11:11 PM

Sorry, Suzanne—I fail to see how any of the finalist products are particularly female-friendly. A netbook is a netbook. It would win a Men’s Award because it easily fits in a briefcase when they’re traveling for business!

And so on for the rest of the finalists.

Reminds me of an old CEA panel discussion on marketing to women. Best Buy spoke of its (short-lived) “Jill” stores for women, with wider aisles and friendly sales personnel. A guy in the audience asked, “Where can I find a Jill store near me?”

I don’t, by the way, believe the awards are condescending to women. I just think they’re a little gimicky.

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