Sign The GenderAvenger Pledge: You’ll be in Good Company


The GenderAvenger Pledge is simple:

“I will not serve as a panelist at a public conference when there are no women on the panel.”

Ok, noble idea, but then what? We hear with some frequency that the intention behind the GenderAvenger Pledge is nice, but what does it really accomplish? Let us tell you a story.

About a month ago journalist Ron Fournier went public with his decision to sign the Pledge in The Atlantic. Fournier explained how he hesitated to sign the pledge at first because his job sometimes requires him to speak at specific events, whether they abide by the Pledge standards or not. Ultimately, he chose to sign it, pledging to follow it whenever possible and to call himself and event organizers out whenever he had to break it.

Many could choose to see his pledge as just a gesture, but here at GenderAvenger we believe those gestures matter. They add up.

Ron Fournier

A few weeks after Fournier publicized his participation in the GenderAvenger Pledge, he was invited to MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Morning Joe is a show GenderAvenger has been keeping tabs on for some time, and it has a history of less than stellar representation of women among their guests. The morning Fournier was scheduled to appear was no different, because there were again no women at all in the first full hour, but then something happened. When Ron was brought out to contribute to the second hour of the show, so was Kasie Hunt. While Fournier did not push for a balanced panel in advance of the episode, he told GenderAvenger that Morning Joe decision-makers were aware he had signed the Pledge. By taking a public stand, Ron Fournier made a difference.

Just a few weeks after Fournier signed, the GenderAvenger Pledge landed in the hands of a U.S. Senator, Bob Casey. But you don’t have to be a Senator or a journalist.

Every individual that takes the GenderAvenger Pledge adds to a collective shift and creates change.

Stuart Lederman, a lawyer from New Jersey, signed the Pledge.

It just makes sense. I have two teenage daughters and I want them growing up in a society where panels, in both public and private settings, reflect balance.

When asked to participate in a panel this upcoming November, he put the Pledge into action and let the organizers know that he would insist on gender balance.

Richard Davies, a podcaster from New York, signed because:

Women and men together need to be heard from at all levels of society. This includes all forms of decision making, brainstorming, and leadership. Gender, ethnic, racial and class diversity make us better.

Nathan White, Chief Technology Officer at MomsRising, signed because he believes…

…there should be more women in the room.

What will your reason be? Let us know!