The GenderAvenger Pledge is on Fire!

Even during the dog days of summer, a new burst of people have come forward to support women’s voices by taking the GenderAvenger Pledge: "I will not serve as a panelist at a public conference when there are no women on the panel."

GenderAvenger was founded to promote equal representation in the public dialog.

That only happens when both men and women support the inclusion of women’s voices, and we’re encouraged by what we’re seeing with the GenderAvenger Pledge. So far this summer, we’ve had pledgers from St. Louis to Stockholm from a range of professions including tech, politics, real estate, research, finance, and academia.

When it comes to honoring this commitment, the first thing pledge signers can do when they are invited to speak on a panel is ask event organizers how many women will be joining them as speakers.

Here are some tips on how to respond to an event organizer depending on the answer:

  • “None”: Well, that’s a dealbreaker. Tell them that you don’t speak on panels without gender diversity. Registering your criticism is critical! Many organizers don’t think about gender balance, and bringing it to their attention is an unfortunate but necessary step. Check out our list of common excuses for a lack of women speakers (there are many) and how you can beat them.

“I believe genius is equally distributed across gender, race, and nationality, and we need all genius in the discussion.” —Andrew Rodriguez, President + Chief Investment Officer, Change Finance
  • “The panel is still in formation”: Great, that means that there’s still time to get it right. Tell them you will consider it when women speakers have been confirmed.

“I know too many brilliant women who keep getting shut out of panels.” —Alan Rosenblatt SVP of Digital Strategy/Director of Digital Research, turner4D/Lake Research Partners
  • “Yes, X number of women have been confirmed”: Thank them for being attentive to gender balance! Tell them you will let GenderAvenger know so they can be recognized on social media for valuing women’s voices.
“For my wife and my daughter and every smart, powerful, woman who hired/mentored me.” —Jon Wolfsthal, Fellow, Harvard University
  • If you want to take it a step further, ask about the speaker balance beyond your own session. We encourage event organizers to reach at least 40% women speakers on every panel.

“Because it’s 2017.” —Rob McCargow, AI Programme Leader, PwC

Avengers, help us get another 30 signers in the next 30 days!

Encourage your male colleagues to take the GenderAvenger Pledge and share it with others, because women as equals will become the norm when it is the norm.

Men, you can drive change in 1 min: take the #GenderAvenger pledge never to join a panel w/out women speakers!