“It’s exciting to see the gender gap in speakers at Tech conference finally narrowing down after many years of marginal numbers of women speakers. We hope that more conferences – not those merely in the Tech sector – follow suit and are inspired by the tangible steps taken by conferences such as WebSummit, VivaTech and CES. These data points are particularly encouraging to us at The Next Billion as we work with conferences via our discovery platform www.globallyspotted.com to enable them with a pool of inspiring companies, female founders from which they can source speakers. Our goal in doing so is not only to provide these female founders with a further platform to raise more visibility for them and their companies but also to help conferences offer a more diverse speakers list and achieve gender parity through their speakers programme. We hope that these figures aren’t just a trend but a permanent change in the right direction.” Babou Olengha-Aaby (Founder & CEO at The Next Billion)
You can browse through this interactive PowerBI dashboard for more :
Some organizations are making a clear effort to promote women speakers when they sponsor conferences (kudos to Facebook, BNP Paribas, Twitter);
VivaTech has made a special effort to close the gap (from 25% women speakers in 2016 to 40% women speakers in 2018). As VivaTech is trying to internationalize, it still struggles to find women speakers from the US Tech Stars : the % share of women is much higher among European Speakers. Interesting also, there are MORE African women speakers than African men speakers. How nice when a speaker ticks two boxes at once (gender and ethnic diversity).
VivaTech is still less international and diverse than its competitors; the bulk of the internationalization has benefited the US (attracting top speakers from North America, which reflects US dominance on the Tech sector) but VivaTech remains ‘very French’. Only few speakers from the Nordics, Switzerland, China, Canada/Québec … This year edition has a focus on Africa. Strangely, France’s international traditional trade or cultural partners are little represented among speakers : the more exotic the better (English speaking countries come first, but Maghreb / North Africa is almost non-existent among speakers, …)