The Conference Presenter Gender Gap #WAPOR #AAPOR #MRX


I always like to evaluate the speaker gender ratio at conferences. This is my first time at a World Association of Public Opinion Researchers, and so a quick check is definitely in order.

I’ve got the conference guide in front of me and I’ve coded the first names of all the first speakers for each paper. Given the much higher rate of attendance by non-English speakers, my ability to infer gender is greatly reduced. Since there are many names I am unable to code, my numbers may not generalize well. Here goes.

Of the 108 first names I could infer from, 47 were female names and 61 were male names. If you can’t divide 47 by 108, that’s 44%. In my books, that’s a slight bias towards male speakers.

At least one of these is the cause:
1) fewer women than men submit papers
2) women don’t brag enough in their submissions and so they aren’t chosen
3) women’s submissions are less likely to be chosen due to sexism of the judging panel, whether conscious or unconscious. (Everyone is sexist is one way or the other, be honest with yourself.)

If I had to guess, I’d say #1 is 50% of the problem, #2 is 45% of the problem, and #3 is 5% of the problem.

Agree?

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