Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gender Avenger tool helps you chart women speakers at conferences

You can learn a lot on a train. A couple of weeks ago, I got on an Amtrak train heading north and tweeted--as I do--that I was in business class. The next thing I knew, Twitter acquaintance Susan Askew, one of the minds behind the Gender Avenger website, was letting me know she was in the same car. A long discussion about parity for women speakers followed, and Susan let me know that Gender Avenger's latest tool was soon to launch, and that it would give us all another option from tracking conferences with @NoWomenSpeakers.

The tool's in beta now, so expect changes to come. But here's how it works: Go to the app page and enter what you see when you see a gender imbalance--for example, enter a conference hashtag and how many men and women you see speaking in a session, attending, or on the entire program. There's room to describe what you are tallying. Once you enter your data, the app generates a sunny or stormy pie chart that helps put the imbalance (or balance) in visual terms. You can then share the graphic on Facebook or Twitter.
Of course, you can use the tool in many situations where women are underrepresented, but I'm partial to helping everyone see those gender issues related to women speakers. Give the tool a try if you're also keeping a record of the conferences you attend, and follow my @NoWomenSpeakers account on Twitter, where I retweet posts when others espy gender balance or imbalance on conference speaker rosters.

One last hopeful thing: three men created the Gender Avenger Tally app. It's a good example of how men and women need to work together to change the ratio of women speakers.

I'll be leading Be The Eloquent Woman, my day-long workshop on women and public speaking, as a pre-conference session at the European Speechwriter Network's autumn speechwriters and business communicators conference in Amsterdam. The workshop is 23 October and the conference is 24 October. You'll learn how to speak with confidence, content and credibility to subvert the common expectations of women speakers. Go here to see more details and find out what previous participants say. Please join me!

No comments: