Report Finds Nearly Two-Thirds of Event Speakers are Male

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Most event speakers are maleDespite blowback in recent years around the phenomenon of all-male speaker panels (“manels”), not much progress is being made when it comes to event speakers, according to the new Gender Diversity & Inclusion Report by event technology provider Bizzabo.

Released in December, the report analyzed the gender diversity of more than 60,000 event speakers between 2013-2019, including respondents from 58 countries, 45 industries and thousands of the world’s largest professional events. The study found that the number of female speakers at professional events has grown three percent since 2018.

Male event speakers, on average, represent 66 percent of all speakers surveyed between 2013 and 2019, while just one-third 33 percent were female, according to Bizzabo’s global analysis. This is a three percent jump from last year’s report, which showed 69 percent of speakers at professional events were male.

“Forward thinking business leaders, and marketers intuitively know that gender balance is important to the overall success of an event,” said Eran Ben-Shushan, Bizzabo’s co-founder and CEO. “We’re releasing this data to help more leaders and organizations realize that the gender gap is still large, and unfortunately, closing all too slowly.”

Which countries had the highest percentage of female speakers? Kenya ranked first with 40 percent, followed by Mexico with 38 percent, then United States and Canada, both with 36 percent. The United Kingdom, with 31 percent female speakers, ranked fourth. The 19 countries with “almost zero” percent of female speakers included Turkey, Czech Republic, South Korea, Philippines, Cote D’Ivoire, Macau, Norway, Malta, Qatar, Indonesia, Poland, Bahamas, Austria, Malaysia, Finland, Uruguay, Peru and Slovakia.

Information Technology & Services, with 76 percent male speakers versus 24 percent female, topped the industry sectors with the least gender diversity of speakers, according to Bizzabo’s report. Computer Software events were slightly more diverse with 68 percent male and 32 percent female. In contrast, Education Management showed 50 percent for each gender, while Higher Education had 40 percent female versus 60 percent male speakers.

“Fixing the problem requires a conscious effort on the part of conference organizers,” advised Bizzabo’s Ben-Shushan. “They need to look outside their immediate networks and to set goals, like aiming for 50/50 representation.”

Click here to read the full report:


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