Diverse speakers for keynotes, panels and events
You can’t be what you can’t see. Incorporating diversity into speakers for events is critical for ensuring visibility of diverse role models in our industry, creating an inclusive culture that showcases a range of talent and expertise of people of different identities.
Through the Gender Diversity & Inclusion in Events Report in 2019, global events analytics organisation Bizzabo found only 33.62% female representation as professional event speakers, while analysing thousands of events over the past years.
If you are planning an event, some strategies we encourage to help create a more diverse and inclusive set of speakers are:
- If you find yourself with a set of speakers on a panel or event who all look and sound similar (e.g. all male, all female, etc) then approach your speakers individually or as a group and explain that you’d like to increase the diversity of your panel. Ask them if they can speak to others in their close network whom they feel would contribute well to the event, to find someone of a different background or identity to replace them. You’ll be surprised by how readily many will take up this opportunity for mentoring and succession planning.
- Set a goal for all of your events to have at least 40% diversity across speakers – you’ll be surprised how once you set this as a KPI, it becomes easier to think outside of the box and find exciting, engaging expertise to bring new perspectives alongside strong credibility to your events
Some useful resources include:
- Diversity and Inclusion: The Ultimate DE&I Event Planning Checklist
- Inclusive Event Planning: How To Build Content Journeys for Neurodiversity
- How To Build a Diverse Speaker Lineup for Your Event
WIG+ Speaker Database
Geospatial conferences and events also reflect the same pattern and often lack diversity in the composition of geospatial conference speakers. If you try to reason out, you get to know the common excuse – “We were unable to find women+ speakers.“
To bridge the gap, Women+ in Geospatial created a global speakers database. We welcome all people from underrepresented gender backgrounds to add their profile so they can be invited to speak at events! Event organizers and speakers have informed the network that they have been successfully matched thanks to the database. More than 300 women+ speakers are already a part of the database. You can check out the Women+ in Geospatial list or the map here. You can filter by work sector, years of work experience, area or domain of expertise, presenting language or by location.