Monday, July 11, 2011

Does your conference have a "women to watch" list of female speakers?

Thanks to the Amazing Women Rock blog, we have this handy guide to all the women speaking this week at TEDGlobal, taking place July 11-15 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Blog founder Susan Macaulay, who has attended TEDGlobal, pulled the list together and notes that TED still averages just 30 percent women speakers. The list at the link includes videos and photos, plus links to the speakers' websites and blogs, making it a useful and thorough resource.

And it made me wish more conferences did just this: Save me the work of figuring out how many or how few women are on your program. Instead, make a feature of it--call it marketing to women participants, if you want to, or transparency, or whatever. But make note of your women speakers. Put that list on your website, in your registration materials and press kits, and at the venue. It's great in this case that a blogger's done it, but if you want to demonstrate your commitment to a gender-balanced program--and let women attendees have another reason to register--conference organizers should tackle this task next.

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2 comments:

Kristin Arnold said...

I too am disappointed that there are only 30% of women speaking on TED Global program. Sad, but true. But I am trying to figure out how your recommendation would work? Do a little bar chart in the program to show the diversity of the presenters? Male/Female? What about ethnicity? African American, Hispanic and Asian American groups are also underrepresented. Seems kinda awkward to me...

Denise Graveline said...

I'm throwing it open for discussion and for conference organizers to figure out what works for them--I can envision many options, not a single solution.