2 x More Men than Women are speaking about Security, International Law, Science & Technology or IT/Telecom.

In 2016, the first Annual International Gender Champions report, in the panel section we see the gap not only in number, but also in sector and subject.  We define the gender ratio as the number of men divided by the number of women on panels for a particular theme. This chart indicates that, for example, there were more than twice as many men than women on panels on International Law, Telecom/IT, Science/Technology and Security. In contrast, there were significantly less men than women on panels on Gender Equality. The vertical line designates the gender parity point.

One of the most important takeaways from the survey is that Champions have really taken to heart the Panel Parity Pledge and that invoking the Pledge has had positive results. Of the 472 panels reported on in our survey, Champions intervened 42% of the time to request a change to the gender balance of a panel on which they participated, and those interventions were successful 84% of the time. Of the panels reported on, there were only five instances where Champions withdrew as a result of gender-imbalance. Faced with a fait accompli of a single-sex panel, some Champions chose to ask moderators for special measures, such as only taking questions from female members of the audience or adding an empty chair to symbolize the absence of women. And many have started to standardize or mainstream their Parity Pledge by including it in all communications regarding their organization of panels.

Responses to our panel parity survey showed that gender bias still favours male panellists. An average panel consisted of 2.5 female panellists and 3.75 male panellists, an overall gender ratio of 3:2 men to women. This means that men had, on average, 50% higher representation than women. Parity was achieved on 18% of reported panels, however, 54% of panels had more men than women and 25% of panels had more women than men 3. In addition, 24% of panels had only one woman, while 12% of panels had only one man. Finally, 9.5% of panels were single-sex (with 26 all-male panels and 19 all-women panels).

While the lack of baseline indicators for gender balance on panels prior to 2015 does not allow us to accurately measure the impact of the Pledge, it has undoubtedly raised awareness of the critical importance of promoting the visibility and influence of women in expert discussions. 


IGC Panel Parity Pledge

I _______________________________ support the IGC Panel Parity Pledge.

The IGC Panel Parity Pledge is both a concrete process and a thoughtful internal and external exercise for the conference organizer and potential panelist. The reflective nature of the process should ensure that there is an active conversation each time a panel is composed, and that the process of including high performing dynamic female experts (and in the case of 'women's issues' panels, dynamic male experts), will eventually become reflexive, rendering the “IGC Panel Parity Pledge” obsolete.

  1. Are there women (or in the case of 'women's issues' panels, men) or equal numbers of women and men, speaking on the panel/s?

  2. What is the conference organiser doing to ensure gender balance at their event?

  3. Will the organizers commit to reaching out to additional experts to strive for gender balance on the panel and at the event?