10 Ways to Ensure a Gender Balanced Event

May 26 • Event Management • 1026 Views • No Comments on 10 Ways to Ensure a Gender Balanced Event

Well, who appears on our event programme is important, and often as event producers, we don’t really think about the wider impact of our event programme. Not having a gender balanced programme is favouring men over women.
1- If you have committees who select speakers during the event, ensure there is a woman on the team. Conference Research by American Society of Microbiology found that: “when at least one woman was in the group that invited panelists to appear, there were 72% more female speakers in those sessions and there was a 70% reduction in the likelihood of an all-male panel”

2- Ensure the whole organization knows that you are planning to achieve a more gender balanced event programme. Make sure everyone is aware of your specific objective for this event. From the events team all the way up through the organization, make the objective clear.

3- If you have a call for paper process, highlight your objective. “This event seeks a gender balance on the event programme”.

4- Start your speaker search early, this will avoid any default speakers (who will more than likely be men) appearing on your event programme. It will take longer to find a gender balanced programme in most industries so allocate the time.

5- Use Social Media to help you find speakers and organizers. This is one area where women and perfectly represented and any event planner is as likely to come across as great a potential woman speaker or organizer as a man when using online resources to find what you’re searching for.

6- Don’t ditch your traditional network. The process you normally use to source your speakers and organizers will still work when trying to build a more balanced programme, so don’t abandon that approach. Just tweak it slightly. So email your contacts and mention your desire for a “gender balanced programme”. Look at more competitor event programmes than you normally do for ideas.

7- Avoid “Woman in X Industry” Panels. You will find a fantastic female speaker or organizer for every slot you are after so avoid these types of panels; I have to say these very often border on the patronizing.

8- When inviting female speakers and organizers, highlight your objective for gender balance. Every programme producer / designer knows that it can be hard to persuade busy and successful execs to speak, so point out what makes your event different.

9- Seriously consider a female chair that will be present in every session. This will go a long way to making a balanced programme.

10- Don’t just pack panels with woman – that’s the easy way out. Ensuring a gender balance isn’t just about having the same number of men as women: not every voice on the platform is equal. A gender balanced programme has a balance of main and keynote sessions too.

Working with a diverse range of clients from many different industries, Invent Creative & Event Solutions have turn-key managed or partially managed many major events, thus we have enough experience to help you achieve this gender balance in your event or any other elements you need in order for your event to be a big success.


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