Around the World, GenderAvengers Are Making Women’s Voices Count. These Are Their Stories.

We’ve been noticing some really good conversations happening on social media and want to share some great successes of GenderAvengers around the world.

Geertje van Keulen started a discussion with Natural Product Biotechnology…

Geertje van Keulen (@DrGvanK) started a discussion with Natural Product Biotechnology about the lack of women invited to speak at their upcoming conference in Scotland. When they replied back with their take on the situation, Geertje let no excuse go by without comment.


Cindy Gallop tweeted at Rob McCargow…

When GenderAvenger Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) tweeted at Rob McCargow, Programme Leader of Artificial Intelligence at PwC UK, to draw his attention to the fact that an AI conference in England included only 1 woman speaker, he took action by following up with colleagues, including Raz Schwartz from Oculus and Alan Winfield, Professor of Robot Ethics, all of whom also took action by signing the GenderAvenger Pledge.


We shed light on a gender stereotypical sticker set from Melissa & Doug…

In last week’s Action Alert, we shed light on a very gender stereotypical sticker set put out by the company Melissa & Doug. They took note of our criticism and responded immediately, stating, “Gender-messaging is important to us & we've been refreshing existing sets, check our site!  This particular set is no longer available.” And while their product line is not perfect (still lots of princesses for girls and construction for boys), they do have items that are moving in the right direction.

Kathleen Schatzberg a change in The Writer's Almanac

Friend and GenderAvenger Kathleen Schatzberg (@kschatzb)‏ has noticed a change in the attention to gender balance by The Writer’s Almanac since she started her partnership with GenderAvenger. While they still have work to do (such as eliminating days without women at all, for example) May and June were the best months yet.

Our work inspired architects in Europe to create Architette…

Our work has inspired a group of architects in Europe to create Architette, Women Architects: Promoting equal rights and visibility in the profession. In a note on Facebook, they stated “we are working on architecture gender inequality, we are monitoring juries and panels as well.” We look forward to the great work they are sure to do.

There are some valuable takeaways from these successes that it’s worth highlighting:

  1. Tag the person you want a response from on social media. They are far more likely to see it this way versus using only a hashtag.
  2. Encourage productive dialogue. Be ready to engage in some back and forth when you call out imbalances. It goes without saying that maintaining respect is key to success here, but don’t settle for lip service.
  3. Reward change. Offer words of encouragement when you see change happening. Calling attention to the positive shows that gender balance can be achieved and helps build our movement.
  4. Follow up. Keep tabs on promises to feature more women to make sure they are kept.
  5. Enlist other GenderAvengers to help. Tag @GenderAvenger or email us when you have an action to share with the community.

We are so honored to have so many GenderAvengers working with us to ensure that women’s voices count in every conversation, everywhere they take place. Send us your story.  We are excited to see what comes next.