- Gender Diversity at Tech Events: Women clearly underrepresented in tech industry panel discussions and debate formats
- Tech event organisers can use directory to make panels more gender-balanced in the future
- Further digital experts wanted for inclusion in the list of speakers
The IT industry is lacking in women, not only as specialists or managers, but also as speakers at tech conferences, trade fairs and podiums. While 76 percent of speakers at global industry events in the “Information Technology & Services” division are male, only 24 percent are female, according to the Bizzabo Gender and Inclusion Report.1 Women are also underrepresented at German tech events, where they comprise an average of 29 percent, according to a brief analysis by the Berlin School of Business and Innovation.2 With the recently launched public Female Speakers Directory, eco aims to countervail male-dominated expert panels (Manels) and give female digital experts a place on the stages of tech events. Event organisers can use the directory as a contact point for finding female tech experts. The directory is available publicly and free of charge to event organisers, digital experts and all interested parties.
From keynote speeches to impetus lectures and panel discussions: At tech industry events, men form the majority, women are the exception. “When asked, organisers often say: They simply haven’t found a woman. That is simply outdated,” says Lucia Falkenberg, Chief People Officer at the eco Association and initiator of the Speakers Directory. “There is a wide range of great, highly qualified and exciting female experts in the Internet industry,” says Falkenberg. From its end, the eco Association organises over 100 events a year. For this, too, the Association would expressly like to see more female experts. “Women and their expertise must not remain invisible in debate formats concerning digital future topics, because different perspectives enrich digital debates with new ideas and other perspectives,” affirms Falkenberg. More gender balance not only promotes the visibility of women in expert rounds, but also contributes to more female talents discovering and seizing the exciting professional fields and lucrative career opportunities in IT.
Further digital experts and cooperation partners wanted
The list of female speakers starts at the launch with almost 40 experts, including representatives from eco member companies such as Microsoft, IBM, 1&1, Adacor Hosting and Hornetsecurity. The spectrum of topics covers the entire value chain of digital transformation and ranges from data protection, artificial intelligence and IT security to New Work and digital education. eco’s wish is to see numerous other female digital experts being added in the future and the successful expansion of the directory. “We look forward to welcoming many more inspiring female industry professionals and leaders who want to enrich tech stages with their expertise and join us in creating more exciting, innovative and diverse ideas and discussions,” says Falkenberg. In order to be included in the list of speakers, what is important from the association’s perspective is to have a clear link to digitalisation and eco-driven topics such as cloud computing, the Internet of Things, IT security, digital infrastructures or artificial intelligence, in addition to a certain level of expertise. In this regard, eco membership is not essential. Interested women will find the most important information on the website about the Speakers Directory (currently only available in the German language) and in the FAQ. Requests from cooperation partners such as tech event organisers or women’s networks are also welcome.
To the Speakers Directory
1 Bizzabo Gender and Inclusion Report 2019 examined the gender distribution of more than 60,000 speakers over a period of seven years (2013 to 2019). The study covered 58 countries, 45 industries and thousands of the world’s largest trade events.
2 Berlin School of Business and Innovation (BSBI) https://www.berlinsbi.com/newsroom/press-releases (as of last call on 13/01/2022)