A brand new annual report has lifted the lid on just how big the gender gap is at several leading digital marketing conferences.
Online PR News – 14-March-2017 – The gender gap study, conducted by curation wall, assessed the split between male and female speakers at a number of top events including MozCon, HubSpots Inbound 16, Search Love and SMX Advanced alongside smaller conferences such as Learn Inbound in Ireland and Turing Festival in Scotland.
The report found that overall, more than 76% of digital marketing conferences surveyed suffered from a speaker gender gap.
For larger conferences, that figure rose to 90%, with an average of 11 more speaker slots allocated to male experts than their female colleagues.
Of the larger conferences, only one conference bucked the trend by having more female speakers than male, Mozcon.
Smaller conferences performed better (though this was a very small data set), with two thirds of smaller conferences either evenly allocating speaker slots, or having more female speakers than male.
Most Conferences Trying Redress The Gender Imbalance
While the report confirms that a gender gap does exist, a lot of the conferences and seminars surveyed confirmed they are actively trying to address the imbalance. Moz has gone on record as saying it is working towards a 50/50 split between male and female speakers at its events. It has joined the 50/50 Pledge, with a number of initiatives to bring up the female speaking quota, along with other diversity measures.
Learn Inbound also consciously works to achieve gender equality. Mark Scully from Learn Inbound told the report authors, While we were blind to gender imbalance during our first year of running events, it’s something we’re now deeply passionate about resolving as we scour the globe for speakers. Ultimately, we consider a speaker on a case-by-case basis in terms of the knowledge and experience they can bring, rather than what brand or company they currently work for.
While we’ll never reject a speaker based on their sex, we try to look past the typical male speakers you generally see present at a lot of conferences, and instead search for upcoming talent we can help to nurture.
Commenting on its policy, Danny Sullivan of Third Door Media, the company behind the successful SMX events said that it works towards a 40% split for either male or female speakers. With our 40% goal, were saying that we think gender diversity is super important, but were also going to keep flexibility so that ultimately in the end, were not going to reject someone solely because they are a man or a woman.
Report author, Mike Gracia, who is Strategy Director at Curation Wall said, Its clear that although there is a gender gap with digital marketing conference speakers, many conferences are proactively trying to increase the number of female speakers, but are faced with challenges. As well as the steps conference organisers are taking steps to improve the situation, the industry as a whole also needs to step up. Our aim with the report is to highlight the issue and encourage debate on how a gender balance can be reached.
About Curation Wall
Curation Wall is a tool for creating fully responsive social media walls for events and conferences. The software makes it easy to create a social media wall in minutes, aggregating shares from multiple social media networks and RSS feeds, then display them either on an event display, or embedded on a website as a content hub.