In a bid to address the shortage of female speakers at industry events, a new not-for-profit tech platform has launched to connect event organisers with female orators.
WomenPresent has been created to build a global, searchable database of female experts to speak at tech events – with just 30 per cent of the speakers at industry events, on average, currently being women, according to the IPA. The aim is to not reduce men’s presence on stage but to achieve gender diversity and better representation of the industry.
The platform enables both public and private event organisers to create a request, detailing the type of session they are looking to fill and the types of speaking roles they need. The first phase of the platform’s launch will focus on the tech industry in the UK and US and will have female experts manually matched with speaking opportunities.
WomenPresent has been co-founded by Susan Pierce, customer engineering manager for Cloud for Marketing at Google; Cadi Jones, commercial director at Beeswax and head of partnerships at Bloom UK – a professional network for women; and Tom Jenen, director at Oriel Ventures; while the trio will be joined by Ruth Zohrer, chief product officer at Mindshare and WomenPresent partner, in running the platform.
“We’re seeing a vicious cycle at the moment where women are absent from panels and discussions, so it’s less likely they’ll put themselves forward for such speaking opportunities,” said Jones. “All-male keynotes, like the agenda seen earlier this year at CES in the US, are a real problem and we’re determined to stamp this out with WomenPresent.”
Women wanting to put themselves forward for speaking opportunities, or businesses with speaking slots to fill, can do so via http://www.womenpresent.com/.