I’m frustrated. As an event organiser and speaker, I’ve spent years traveling around the world training talent teams on better social recruiting strategies. Across these conference scenes and in conference rooms I’ve noticed one incredibly frustrating trend – there are not enough women speakers. This is a frustration both our guest last week, Louise Trance, and I share. One we want to do something about.
That was our prompt for the show. We’ve been brainstorming about how to get more women speaking and decided to have a show about why is it so hard to find women speakers. Next year will be Louise’s twenty ninth year in the recruitment space and this lack of gender equality on stage is not anything new.
It is a topic that’s garnering more action. “5 years ago, I doubt anyone would say anything if there was an event where there were 12 speakers and they were all men. Now that’s not okay.” And who’s responsible? The accountability is on the organisers. They’re the people who book the speakers. They can make the change.
But how do we motivate our audience of female speakers to jump on the stage? Just last week, I approached someone who stands up in a room all the time to deliver training. She has been to #DisruptHR so she gets the format and she said no because she didn’t feel ready.
Our opportunity boils down to advocacy. The advocate that we can be, as organisers and speakers, to insist on better representation. To insist that organisers go out of their way to book more women.
#SpeakingForAll can help women and new speakers raise their profiles.
Working together with our male counterparts, we can help organisers balance their agendas. We’ve got great networks who are vocal. We need to be brave and be prepared to tell people who are organising events, “Can I point you in the direction of some women who are amazing people.”
In a step toward that direction, we’ve launched a Facebook community. This is a forum of global Recruitment/HR speakers from veterans to the people just preparing to jump in. Our goal is to encourage diversity in event line up, celebrate successes, and encourage new speakers to get their start!