The absence of women at public professional forums is a problem. Because speakers are usually male, audiences are given an exclusive perspective. The lack of diversity limits the quality of the conversation. Moreover, when visible role models are male, absence of women perpetuates absence of women. Fewer women choose to speak, and fewer are chosen. Compounding this problem is that without the opportunity to serve on panels women lack profile-building opportunities, which is an important contributor to experience and recognition.
The Panel Pledge is a commitment made by any speaker requested to participate in a panel or forum, to ask the organiser about the gender balance of the program and highlight their commitment to diversity. It involves actively encouraging women voices in our industry and persevering to achieve change.
As an organisation, we have taken The Panel Pledge to ensure there is gender balance in AIRAH's panels and forums.
For more information, download the Panel Pledge Guide