If reading about profanity and sex aren’t your thing, you can read a tame version of this post on the Sklar Wilton & Associates blog.
Meet Cindy Gallop.
Cindy likes to blow shit up.
Cindy Gallop is glaringly bold and contentious in sharing her opinions about the state of advertising, the lack of gender equality in the advertising industry, and misperceptions of what comprises normal, healthy sexual relationships among people.
She began her career in advertising and made a name for herself at the Bartle Bogle Hegarty agency. She later founded their US branch, eventually being recognized as the Advertising Woman of the Year by the Advertising Women of New York in 2003.
Now, Cindy is the founder of MakeLoveNotPorn, an extremely ‘Not Safe For Work’ (NSFW) social sex website that aims to derail misperceptions about healthy sexual relationships. She is also the founder of IfWeRanTheWorld, a real-world experiment in tapping good intentions and turning them into tangible, do-able microactions that anyone and everyone can help you to do.
Just like Cindy, millions of people have worked hard, risen through the ranks, and founded companies. No big deal. Okay, it IS a big deal but that’s not the point here. The point, rather, is that when I think about people who are leaders, not simply presidents or founders or CEOs, I immediately think of Ms. Gallop. She reminds me on a near daily basis of four qualities I admire in genuine leaders.
1) Be bold and fierce. Cindy isn’t meek, mild, and moderately opinionated. We’ve blogged before about the appropriateness of using profanity in the workplace, and Cindy has zero qualms about it. Her unabashed use of profanity and colloquial language to make her points clear and strong captures people’s attention and brings them into the conversation regardless of whether they agree with her.
I want to be very clear on this: Yes, MakeLoveNotPorn.com and All The Sky have enormous social benefit, but I am also out to make an absolute goddamn fucking shit ton of money. – MMLaFleur
I deplore the shying away that can go on, within women, from the term ‘feminist.’ I am, absolutely, all about being a feminist. – Ted.com
Cindy personified bold when Kevin Roberts, a top ranking advertising executive at advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi, resigned after a gender diversity controversy, She had no qualms issuing a public statement with a valiant dare, a statement that on its own caused even more controversy.
“I see that Kevin Roberts was paid a total salary of $4,137,786 last year, whereas, contrary to his remarks directed at me, nobody anywhere is paying me anything to do the work I do in this area. I note that PublicisGroupe/Saatchi and Saatchi Worldwide now have a vacancy for a leadership coach, and I’d like to offer my services. Obviously, to ensure there is no gender wage gap, at the same salary Kevin Roberts was being paid.”
In her efforts to promote diversity and equality, she’s regularly accused of promoting ‘quota’ and ‘diversity’ hires that will lead to people who aren’t sufficiently qualified to be hired. Her response to those claims continue to be bold and fierce.
“Look around at the mediocre men who were hired just because they were men. Get hired because you are a woman or person of color and then do a bloody brilliant job in that role.” – AdAge
“Diversity raises the fucking bar.” – 3% Conference
2) Defy stereotypes. Everyone is raised with stereotypes. Boys and girls are taught how men and women ought to look, speak, dress, and present themselves. Boys and girls are taught how ‘young’ and ‘old’ people are supposed to behave. Our culture has taught us that older women should be quiet, demure, and blend into the background, but Cindy has completely rejected those notions. Instead, she focuses on what is right for her.
Cindy believes you shouldn’t hide your age. At 57, you could say she’s an older woman. And even though she’s not part of the Hollywood scene, she dresses however she pleases including wearing leopard-skin miniskirts, biker pants, python skin pants, leather pantsuits, and warrior outfits because what she chooses to wear is no one’s business but her own. Who’s to say that older women must show restraint and modesty in their clothing choices? Restraint is not Cindy’s modus operandi.
I consider myself a proudly visible member of the most invisible segment of our society: older women. I would like to help redefine what society thinks an older woman should look like, be like, work like, dress like and date like by the way I live my life. – The Guardian
3) Ignore what haters and nay-sayers think. Cindy knows what is meaningful and important, and if someone isn’t comfortable with her use of profanity, her social sex projects, or how she presents herself as an older woman, well, they’d better get used to feeling uncomfortable. Cindy keeps on fighting for the causes she believes in, and she keeps on trying to mend misperceptions of sexuality so that people can have more realistic expectations of what a healthy sex life really is.
4) Do what is right. Cindy has a firm handle on what it means to do the ‘right’ thing and she’s oriented her life to achieve that goal. Not in keeping with stereotypes of women, and particularly of older women, her end goal is to become rich. But at the same time, she also wants to create and support endeavors that have enormous social benefit. She’s managed to do this with both of her projects – MakeLoveNotPorn and IfWeRanTheWorld.
“When we launched If WeRanTheWorld, I said to my team, I want us to innovate in every aspect of how we design and operate this as a business venture, as much as the web platform itself – because I want us to design our own startup around the working lives that we would all like to live. Women and men alike.” – Forbes
I say to women: you have to set out to make an absolute goddamn fucking shit-tonne of money. When you negotiate your salary, ask for the most money you possibly can without bursting out laughing – for yourself and for every other woman. – The Guardian
Cindy’s leadership style and her dedication to her projects has amassed her more than 60 000 devoted followers on Twitter. Her provocative Ted Talk (Make love, not porn) has garnered millions of views. If you’re not yet convinced that Cindy’s leadership style is one to be admired, or at least appreciated, watch her talk at Mumbrella360 on How Advertising Can Change the World. You might learn a few things.
Perhaps you’d like these posts too…
- Chemistry For The Greater Good: A leadership profile of Dr. Eugenia Duodu
- Why Love a Leader Anywhere Else: A leadership profile of Sleep Country Canada’s Christine Magee
- Leading by Design: A leadership profile of Dr. Ann Cavoukian and her passion for privacy
This post was written in my role as a consultant for Sklar Wilton & Associates. SW&A has worked for more than 30 years with some of Canada’s most iconic brands to help them grow their brand, shape corporate culture, build successful innovation, define portfolio strategies, and maximize research ROI. They offer strategic advice, business facilitation, research management, qualitative/quantitative research, and analytics. SW&A was recognized as a Great Workplace for Women in 2018, and the Best Workplace in Canada for Small Companies in 2017 by the Great Place To Work® Institute. Inquire about their services here.
As a freelance market research writer (my service sheet is here), I regularly check my public profiles to make sure they’re up to date. This time, I checked my profile on Savio, a marketplace connecting market research buyers with research experts, which is maintained by GreenBook.
After clicking around the website for a bit, I realized that every researcher’s hourly rate was completely and easily transparent, not hidden behind multiple clicks and privacy walls. My brain gears sped up….
People don’t talk about salaries which is a problem. Freelancers don’t know if they’re being paid what they deserve. Women don’t know if they’re being paid less than their equivalent male counterparts. So in that regard, I have to thank Savio and Greenbook for opening the black box and helping researchers see a piece of reality.
I downloaded the data and removed the business profiles. That left me with 191 individuals who provided an hourly rate, country, and the types of work they do. I manually gendered all the profiles. Obviously, I may have gotten a few wrong as I am not the gender police (much better said by Effin Birds) – 83 women, 107 men, and 1 unknown.
As all good data people do, I started with a frequency distribution. A few things were immediately apparent. 1) 3% of men and 4% of women VASTLY undervalued themselves. If you have listed an hourly rate under $50 per hour, go to your profile right now and FIX IT. I never want to see an hourly rate less than $50. From any freelancer. For anything. 2) 6% of men and 2% of women listed stunningly high rates, a couple over $1000 per hour. These rates might be for bragging, for negotiating, or for real but if you can command them, more power to you. 3) Women were far more likely to undervalue themselves while men were far more likely to overvalue themselves. [“THAT was a pencil in the neck moment!” -Luke Sklar]
Maybe group averages would paint a different picture but nope. Across all 191 rates, women asked for 81% of what men did – $168 versus $207 per hour.I tried excluding outliers from 12 people whose rates were below $50 or above $500. Women still asked for 81% of what men asked – $153 versus $189 per hour. I then focused on the three countries with at least 8 researchers. In Canada, two women and myself listed rates that were a paltry 40% of what five men listed. Among 123 US researchers, women asked for a somewhat better 80% of what men asked for. I am thrilled, though, to offer a huge hurray to the 14 researchers in the UK where hourly rates listed by men and women were equal. (Okay, women can increase their hourly rates by $5 in the UK.)
Maybe it’s because women do “less valuable” work so I tried grouping by the 25 different type of work people specified they did. Major caveat though – these data do not account for the fact that someone might charge different rates for different types of work.
I’ll pick out two examples from the chart since it’s a little bit complicated and uses two axes. At the left of the graph, among people who offer legal research services, women specified an hourly rate of $169 compared to men at $136. Thus, women listed a rate that was 124% of what men listed. There exist four categories of work where women listed a higher hourly rate than men – Legal Research, Field Services, Recruiting, and Support Services.
Second, at the right of the chart, among researchers who conduct Mystery Shopping, women listed an hourly rate of $138 compared to men at $225. Women listed a rate that was 61% of what men listed. There exist 21 categories of work where men listed a higher hourly rate than women.
I don’t know if these differences are because women undervalue themselves or because men overvalue themselves. I don’t know how much of these differences exist for bargaining or bragging purposes.
But I do know this. As much as I love statistics, t-tests and chi-squares aren’t necessary to determine the likelihood that these results are due to chance. Correlations and Cohen’s D aren’t necessary to determine whether the effect sizes are meaningful.
Women ask for less financial compensation than do men.
Women, my advice to you is simple. Give yourself a raise. Give yourself a giant fucking raise. (I’m channeling my inner Cindy Gallop and I urge you to follow this amazing woman on Twitter or LinkedIn and personally talk about your salary with her here.)
If you’re currently in the $50 to $99 bucket, up your rate to land in the $100 to $149 bucket. If you’re in the $200 to $249 bucket, give yourself a raise into the $250 to $299 bucket. Don’t think twice, it’s all right.
If you’re curious, I may have started my day claiming my worth to be 80% of what my male research colleagues felt they were worth.
It sure didn’t end that way.
You might wish to look at:
The entirety of this post is available on the Gender Avenger website.
Why are women underrepresented as speakers?
I’ve pondered this question for years but I never knew if my hypothesis was grounded in fact or in stereotype. Fortunately, or unfortunately as the case may be, the opportunity presented itself and here we are pondering real data from a survey I did of 297 male and 252 female computer or data scientists, and market researchers aged 25 to 49 — people who ought to be on their way to securing spots on the conference circuit.
One of the questions in the survey asked people to imagine speaking at an event and to choose any attributes that would describe themselves as a conference speaker. I was careful to include an equal number of both positive and negative attributes so as to avoid leading people to choose a greater percentage of positive (or negative) items.
Curious how men and women viewed thselves? I know you are. Read the entirety of this post on the Gender Avenger website. If you’re braver enough.
It doesn’t matter whether you like it, it’s common practice to share on Facebook and Twitter your support, or lack thereof, for political candidates and issues. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense when so many people hold firmly to their beliefs and won’t change their mind anyways. So why bother?
For me, there are two main reasons.
- It reminds people that there are opposing views out there and the entirety of the world does not agree with them. It helps prevent some of the silos.
- It reminds people that others they respect and perhaps look up to for being intelligent and good people disagree with them. This helps them to see that diverging opinions probably have merit even if they hate those ideas.
With the increased use of social media algoeithms, it’s getting easier to go an entire day and not see any opinions that differ from yours. We need to see and appreciate the diversity of people and opinion.
Live blogged at #IIeX in Amsterdam. Any error or bad jokes are my own.
Panelists – Eric Salama, Anita Nayyar, Erika Harriford-McLaren, Kristin Suhlke
- When senior leadership is all middle aged white, other people might not feel included
- Research is intended for countries all the world, companies need to reflect what their clients are talking about
- Biggest issue Kantar is dealing with is gender diversity, they are 55% female. They look at all of their senior roles on a monthly basis and are running 40% female appointments to roles. They have a lot of mentoring programs. They want talented people to succeed. Business loses when you don’t help talented people rise through the organization. They mentor a few hundred people now.
- WorldThinks is run by women. They need to access diverse audiences, physically and mentally challenged people.
- Erika worked with ESOMAR for several years. She has done recruitment at other jobs and saw how difficult achieving diversity is. Students wonder do they do a diversity program or do they try to get selected on their own.
- Kristin is working to cure corporate amnesia. 3% of CEO’s of tech companies are women. She is one. Says P&G has done well on both gender and ethnic diversity.
- Women have a lot of buying but only 5% of Fortune 500 companies have a female CEO. How do we improve this? Be a mentor and advocate for women. Girls fathers have a huge role to play – the girls who did best were treated the same as their brothers by their fathers, subconsciously blur the gender line.
- “You can’t be what you can’t see”
- What is the issue? Work life balance? Not enough roles? Seems women don’t feel as confident as men in putting themselves forward for a role. WOmen say 7 out of 10 isn’t not enough but men would say 3 out of 10 is overqualified.
- “The confidence gap” book. Kristin Luck says if she’s grossly under qualified for something, she tries it anyways [THAT’S how you do it!]
- How are women supposed to balance kids and their career? [so sick of that, why isn’t it an issue for men?]
- For Marissa Mayer to go back to work in two weeks, was she a bad role model for other women? We wouldn’t have this discussion with men.
- How do companies reverse this? Flexible work locations help. Companies need to help more. Companies should publish job ads but then ensure that at least one woman is on the shortlist, even if she isn’t hired. It forces people to think about it.
- Has a man ever been asked if he plans to have children when he seeks VC funds? Kristin Z was asked. How is that appropriate?
- COmpanies with a female on their executive team raise more first and last funding, and are more financially successful.
- How can you effectively research/market a product where 70% of target is women and 0% of the business team is women?
- If you want the most talented people, you need to do the hard work to find them.
- Gender diversity isn’t the only thing to be concerned about. Ethnicity matters too, religion, age, and more. In the UK, diversity might be going backwards because the population is changing.
- People notice brands that reflect them.
- [Sad that one of the speakers stopped wearing her hijab because she was worried what people would think of her. Diversity shouldn’t have to hide.]
- Kantar finds that if you broadly get the country representation right, you broadly get religious representation right
- ESOMAR is very English, along with most other conferences so you’re excluded from participating in the global research space. Only 10% of Europeans have English but they may not feel like they can contribute in a meaningful way in English.
- How do we get younger people into the industry but…. What about all the older people? They ought be represented as well. Have you ever hired a 70 year old for a junior job? Are you bringing older people INTO the business? Why do we think a 65 year old is the same as an 85 year old? We don’t do that for 25 year old and 45 year olds?
- Actions – men need to step up and be important mentors to females from a young age, be colour brave and get involved with people you wouldn’t normally be with, hire outside the same places you always hire, be religion brave and choose people even if they don’t come from the best school as they too will have great ideas and new directions for your business, make it mandatory that for every job opening their must be a woman on the shortlist
A behind the scenes look at choosing speakers for the Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research, by Susan Abbott #MRX #Diversity
This is a guest post from my colleague Susan Abbot who was on the speaker selection committee for the Worldwide Conference on Qualitative Research. After reading an earlier blog post of mine about diversity of speakers, Susan decided to run the numbers on the conference and see how the conference did. These numbers can be seen in context with others on my conference comparison post. I would be thrilled if other conferences followed suit because this type of transparency is how we can really determine where any problems may lie.
We received multiple proposals from the same speakers, in varying combinations. Any given name was only counted once, and counted in the place first recorded, which would have been in the order received.
Some proposals had more than one speaker. We counted only primary and secondary speakers.
Our keynote speaker is female. We did a search, and invited this individual to speak, we did not solicit proposals. Factors considered: wanted an expert on futures, wanted an expert based in Europe, wanted someone who would connect with our audience, wanted to be within our budget. We looked at three speakers from one organization as finalists, two males and a female, and felt the woman would connect better because she had some qualitative research background. She is not included in the numbers shown below.
Proposals received from:
|Primary speaker gender||Secondary speaker gender||Totals|
|Total count female||33||12||45||57%|
|Total count male||26||8||34||43%|
The final program line-up is as follows.
I would note here that some people who were offered a speaking slot (including both males and females) declined the offer, for a variety of reasons.
As well, I believe one male secondary speaker was added after the session was accepted, and I didn’t try to take that into account.
|Primary speaker gender||Secondary speaker gender||Totals|
|Final Program Female||19||6||25||58%|
|Final Program Male||13||5||18||42%|
We have a speaker committee of three people who have done a lot of conference planning work over the years.
In addition, I was involved in the initial discussions with the committee, and Kendall Nash, my co-chair, also participated in some of the final selections.
A consideration in forming the committee was to have at least one European (which we did, from the UK).
We did actively solicit speaker proposals through social media, through e-mail announcements with partner organizations, and so forth. The committee also invited noteworthy individuals to submit, and we made announcements at other industry events. Basically, looking for the best and brightest.
The initial review of proposals was blinded as to name and organization. It is difficult to do that entirely, because you see trademark phrases and styles in the proposal content that make it easy to guess, however I would say we worked hard NOT to guess. Where people recognized the content, or had close friends or associates with a proposal, they disclosed this and/or recused themselves from discussions.
I have to say that we didn’t really give gender a lot of consideration in discussions.
After an initial independent rating of each proposal by the committee members, any session rated below a cut-off was not given significant further consideration.
We DID give region/country quite a bit of consideration, as we wanted to have a truly global program, which we do. Since we had many more proposals of merit than we had speaking slots, we did not have to sacrifice anything to get this global mix.
In our final deliberations, we considered our collective knowledge of the individual’s skills at presenting, as well as how often we had seen them on a conference platform recently. We also tried to ensure that the same people are not on the podium every year, even if they are really good speakers, because they already get a lot of air time for their ideas.
So, I am pretty thrilled to see that gender does not appear to have been a factor in our deliberations.
Gender is clearly a factor in how people choose to engage with QRCA – our volunteers tend to skew female, and I think that chapter meeting attendance also skews female. I’m not sure about overall membership, and there is really no way to know about participation in the workforce, as there are a lot of people who do qualitative and other marketing research that are not members of any organization. My hypothesis is that conference speaking is a more appealing way for males to participate in the industry than volunteering is.
Insight and Innovation
Rating conferences on gender ratios is not easy. Though we may want every conference to be 50/50 male/female, it doesn’t always make sense.
- Not all industries are balanced on gender. For instance, qualitative researchers are much more likely to be female than male, and some regions in the world have very different employment rates for women and men.
- Men and women don’t necessarily submit at the same ratio. For instance, maybe 70% of the submissions were male and thus it makes sense that 70% of the speakers were male.
- Men and women don’t necessarily agree to speak at the same rate. A conference may offer equal numbers of acceptances to men and women but then it’s up to men and women to actually accept those offers. Conferences with 10 speakers can instantly drop from 50% female to 44% female if just one women declines the invitation.
- Normal variation means that sometimes a conference will have more men or more women. That’s just how numbers work and you can’t fault an organization because one time, one of their conferences wasn’t perfectly equal. But when ‘random’ variation across every conference is consistently in the same direction, you’ve got to wonder what’s happening behind the scenes.
Regardless, the best way to be aware of whether there may be gender issues is to actively measure reality. My methods aren’t perfect. I can’t always tell the gender of a speaker from their name and so I manually check names in LinkedIn and other times I leave that speaker out of the equation. I never know the submission rate by gender and so I can’t defend a conference that has few female speakers even if they had zero submissions from women. If you can correct my numbers, then I absolutely welcome your help. And, if you’ve been to a conference that I haven’t attended, do let me know the numbers and I’ll add them here.
TOTAL (Excluding AAPOR/WAPOR): 1845 men, 1096 women: 37% female
A: Ratios between 47% and 50% – Huge round of applause for any conference that lands here!
- TTRA June (Colorado): 194 speakers, 78 men, 89 women (cannot identify gender of many names) = 53% female
- TMRE October (Florida): 126 speakers, 65 women, 61 men = 52% female
- TMRE Consumer Insights May (California): 12 men, 12 women, 50% female
- IIR Insight Tech: 22 speakers, 11 men, 11 women: 50% female
- AAPOR/WAPOR June (Austin): 1463 speakers, 718 men, 745 women = 49% Male (Yes, you read that correctly. 745 female speakers.)
- Quirk’s Event February (USA): 126 speakers, 64 women, 62 men = 49% Male
- LIMRA June (Florida): 39 speakers, 19 women, 20 men = 49% Female
- NewMR February (Global online): 27 Speakers, 14 women, 13 men = 48% Male
- MRIA June (Canada): 63 speakers, 33 men, 30 women = 48% Female
- EphMRA June (Frankfurt): 45 speakers, 24 men, 21 women = 47% female
- AIMRI Under30 February (New York): 9 speakers, 5 men, 4 women = 44% Female. Although this percentage doesn’t strictly belong here, with 9 speakers it can’t get any more equal.
B: Ratios from 42% and 46%
- MRS Health February (London): 26 speakers, 12 men, 14 women = 46% male
- PMRG May (USA): 37 speakers, 17 women, 20 men = 46% female
- IIR New Face: 22 speakers, 12 women, 10 men = 45% male
- Qual360 February (Berlin): 32 speakers, 14 women, 18 men = 44% female
- Media Insights February (Florida): 56 speakers, 24 women, 32 men = 43% female
- IIeX Health April (Philadelphia): 40 speakers, 17 women, 23 men = 43% female
- NEMRA May (Massachusetts): 14 speakers, 6 men, 8 women = 43% male
- ARF Audience Measurement: 58 speakers, 25 women, 33 men = 43% female
- NEMRA May (New England): 14 speakers, 6 men, 8 women = 43% male
- WCQR March : 43 speakers, 18 men, 25 women = 42% male. One of the conference organizers ran the numbers and determined that the ratio of submissions from men and women was the same as for speakers. You can read details about their speaker selection process here.
- MRA ISC May (New Orleans): 43 speakers, 18 women, 25 men = 42% female
- CASRO CRC, October: 72 speakers, 42 men, 30 women: 42% female
C: Ratios from 37% and 41%
- MAGHREB SUMMIT January (Casablanca): 17 speakers, 10 men, 7 women = 41% female
- MRS Travel March (London): 22 speakers, 13 women, 9 men = 41% male
- ESOMAR LATAM April (Bogota): 32 speakers, 13 women, 19 men = 41% female
- ESOMAR APAC May (Tokyo): 51 speakers, 20 women, 31 men = 39% female
- Omnishopper July (Chicago): 67 speakers, 41 men, 26 women: 39% female
- AMSRS September (Melbourne): 61 speakers, 37 men, 24 women: 39% female
- BHBIA May (London): 39 speakers, 24 men, 15 women: 38% female
D: Ratios from 32% and 36%
- MRS National March (London): 94 speakers, 34 women, 60 men = 36% female
- MENAP Forum March (Dubai): 25 speakers, 9 women, 16 men = 36% female
- ESOMAR congress September (New Orleans): 72 speakers, 26 women, 46 men = 36% female
- CASRO Tech (New York): 11 speakers, 7 men, 4 women: 36% female
- PMRC Europe October (Berlin): 25 speakers, 16 men, 9 women: 36% female
- Shopper Brain, June (Chicago): 23 speakers, 15 men, 8 women: 35% female
- OmniShopper International, November (London): 31 speakers, 20 men, 11 women: 35% female
- CXfusion April (Las Vegas): 53 speakers, 18 women, 35 men = 34% female
- ARF ReThink: 141 speakers, 48 women, 93 men = 34% female
- Febelmar Februrary (Brussels): 21 speakers, 14 men, 7 women = 33% female
- MRA CEO January (Florida): 12 speakers, 4 women, 8 men = 33% female
- Sentiment Analysis Symposium July (New York): 15 speakers, 5 women, 10 men = 33% female
- Shopper Brain Amsterdam (June): 21 speakers, 14 men, 7 women: 33% female
- IIeX NA June (Atlanta): 194 speakers, 63 women, 131 men: 32% female
F: Ratios <32%
- MRS Kids January (UK): 29 speakers, 20 women, 9 men = 31% male
- MRSI February (India): 35 speakers, 24 men, 11 women = 31% female
- IIeX Europe March (Amsterdam): 115 speakers, 36 women, 79 men = 31% female
- IIR Analytics: 42 speakers, 13 women, 29 men = 31% female
- ARF ReThink March: 140 speakers, 96 men, 44 women = 31% female
- MRMW Europe: 54 speakers, 37 men, 17 women: 31% female
- IIeX Latam: 68 speakers, 47 men, 21 women: 31% female
- MRweek: 32 speakers, 22 men, 10 women: 31% female
- MRIA QRC January (Toronto): 15 speakers, 11 women, 4 men = 27% male
- CASRO Digital March (Texas): 46 speakers, 14 women, 32 men = 30% female
- CX Fusion: 53 speakers, 35 men, 16 women: 30% female
- BVM Kongress April (Berlin): 28 speakers, 8 women, 20 men = 29% female
- Market Research Exchange, Florida (May): 41 speakers, 29 men, 12 women = 29% female
- AMA Analytics February (Arizona): 18 speakers, 5 women, 13 men = 28% female.
- NMWF April (Dubai): 36 speakers, 9 women, 27 men: 25% female
- Insight Show MW May (London): 123 speakers, 30 women, 93 men: 24% female
- CX week May: 25 speakers, 6 women, 19 men = 24% female
- MRMW APAC March (Malaysia): 39 speakers, 8 women, 31 men = 21% female
- ESOMAR Big Data: 27 speakers, 22 men, 5 women: 16% female
- Text Analytics Event April (Chicago): 19 speakers, 3 women, 16 men = 16% female
- SampleCon January (USA): 40 speakers, 6 women, 34 men = 15% female
- Predictive Analytics World April: 28 speakers, 4 women, 24 men = 14% female
Upcoming ratings: ESOMAR congress September, AMSRS congress September. (Please let me know of others.)
What can YOU do?
- Submit! You can’t complain if you don’t join the cause. Take the plunge and submit your first proposal ever this year! Make it easier for conference organizers to find you by taking the first step yourself.
- Encourage! Look to your left and look to your right. Have your neighbors submitted to a conference yet? Well, maybe right now is the perfect time to encourage them to just do it!
- Demand diversity! When you notice that conference speakers reflect a very narrow group of people, point it out and ask for more. Organizers want to give you want you want. But first, you need to tell them what you want. And, still, sometimes organizers don’t realize what is happening.
- Recommend! Remember that awesome speaker you saw at the last company meeting? At the last chapter event? Email your favourite organization and let them know you found a speaker for them. Organizers can’t ask them to speak if they don’t know who to ask.
What can conferences do?
- Look at submissions from a new point of view. Realize that people from different walks of life write differently and that some proposal styles may have greater appeal to you. Notice how much the writing style is affecting your choice of content and remove your style preferences from the equation. Recognize that some equally high quality proposals brag and exaggerate, while others are factual and modest.
- Ask sponsors to promote diversity. As conference organizers, only you know when the collection of speakers has veered away from a diverse group. Take a proactive approach and let sponsors know you care about representing the entire community. Ask sponsors to send great speakers who don’t fit into traditional boxes – really old, really young, differently abled, non-white, women.
- Ask for recommendations. Not just of the most popular speakers who know other popular speakers. Ask your fringe speakers about other awesome fringe speakers.
- Go to Twitter. There are tons of lists of women speakers and experts. My Lovestats account has several lists you can use. WIRe has a list a women speakers. Just ask.
- Share your numbers. When it turns out that one of your conferences seems skewed, let people know that the submissions were also skewed. It’s not necessarily a bad thing if 30% of your speakers were female if only 30% of your submissions came from women.
- Be the change we want to see. Even if your speaker ratio matches the submission ratio, if it’s not mostly equal, do something about it! Don’t wait for submissions. Hunt for awesome speakers who didn’t submit.
Demand that your conferences be Diversity Approved! (Tweet this post!)
Similar posts for other conferences
- Because it’s 2015: I challenge you to make your #MRX conference Diversity Approved
- The gender split in #MRX conferences: we’re not there yet – 2015
- The Presenter Gender Split #IIeXap14
- The Gender Bias Rears its Face #ESOMAR
- The Conference Presenter Gender Gap #WAPOR
- Gender bias among #AAPOR presenters
Demand that your conferences be Diversity Approved! (Tweet this post!)
When Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, was asked why his cabinet was 50% male and 50% female, his answer was simple. Because it’s 2015. Such a simple answer to a long standing problem.
As I look back over 2015, I see that “because it’s 2015” didn’t apply to every market research conference. Some conferences had speaker lists that were 70% male. Some conferences had speaker panels that were 100% male. No conferences had attendee lists nor industry lists that were 100% male let alone 70% male.
There are many reasons that men might be over-represented as speakers, but few that are acceptable.
- Random chance. As a lover of statistics, I accept that random chance will create some all male panels. But since I’ve never seen an all female panel, random chance is not what’s at play here. If you’d rather see the math, Greg Martin calculated the chance of having all male speakers here. It’s not good.
- 70% or more of submissions were from men. That also is an acceptable reason. If women aren’t submitting, then they can’t be selected. So on that note, it’s up to you ladies to make sure you submit at every chance you get. And don’t tell me you’re not good enough to speak. I ranted on that excuse already.
- You haven’t heard of any women working in this area. This excuse is unacceptable. You can’t look for speakers only inside your own comfortable friend list. Get out of your box. Get online. There are tons of women talking about every conceivable industry issue. Find one woman and ask her for recommendations. You can start here: Data science, Marketing research, Statistics, Tech.
- The best proposals happen to be from men. This excuse is also unacceptable. It demonstrates that you believe men are better than women. You need to broaden your perception of what ‘better’ means. Men and women speak in different ways so you need to listen in different ways. It’s good for you. Try it.
- Women decline when we ask them to speak. It’s a real shame particularly if women decline invitations more often than men. But any time a woman declines, ask her for a list of people she recommends. And then consider the women on that list. No women in the list? Then specifically ask her if she knows any women.
- It’s a paid talk and they only sent men. Know what? It’s okay to remind companies that their panel isn’t representative of the industry. You can suggest that they send a broader range of people.
- We didn’t realize this was a problem. Inexcusable. Diversity has been an issue for years. People have been pointing this out to market research conferences for years. The right time to fix things is always now.
When was the last time you prepared a sampling matrix balanced on age, gender, and ethnicity and then were pleased when it was 70% female, 70% age 50+, and 90% white? Never, that’s when. You stayed in field and implemented appropriate sampling techniques until your demographics were representative. This is absolutely no different.
So, to every conference organizer out there, ESOMAR, CASRO, MRA, MRIA, ARF, MRS, AMSRS, ESRA, AAPOR, I challenge you to review and correct your speaker list before announcing it.
- What percentage of submissions are from men versus women? Only when submissions are far from balanced is it acceptable for the acceptance list to be unbalanced.
- Are there any all male panels? Are there any all female panels? (By the way, all female panels talking about female issues do NOT count.)
- Are more than 55% of speakers male? Are more than 55% of speakers female?
- Is the invited speaker list well balanced? There is zero reason for invited speakers to NOT be representative.
- Did you actively ask companies to assist with ensuring that speakers were diverse?
If you can give appropriate answer to those questions, I invite you to publicly advertise your conference as Diversity Approved.
Will you accept this challenge for every conference you run in 2016? Will you:
- Post the gender ratio of submissions
- Post the gender ratio of acceptances
- Proudly advertise that your conference is “Diversity Approved”
Demand that your conferences be Diversity Approved! (Tweet this demand!)
I’m behind on conference tallies this year but I think this is a better way to do it anyways. I’ll continue to add all conferences to this page as the year progresses. Do note that I mainly attend quantitative research conferences so other types of conferences may have different results. Also note that, for the most part, quantitative research conferences don’t generally have a gender bias in terms of attendance – men and women are about equally likely to go.
These counts represent the number of speakers listed in the program not including any changes made after the fact. They are also based purely on my interpretation of people’s first names or their photo. If I didn’t know whether a name was likely male or female, I ignored it. Thus, counts will not accurately reflect reality. If you are able to provide a more accurate tally, I’d be more than happy to correct my numbers.
In addition, these numbers say nothing about the gender split that submitted applications to speak, and the gender split of those who were invited to speak but declined.
AAPOR Hollywood (To come)
MRIA Toronto 33 male, 43 female, 43% male
Given that the entire history of MR has been ridiculously in the other direction, this is a welcome and delightful change. The normal curve dictates that sometimes there are more male speakers and sometimes more female speakers. I do believe this is the FIRST EVER conference on the female side of the normal curve.
IIeX Atlanta 126 male, 53 female, 70% male
Ok folks. What happened here? This is too far from 50% for me to be okay with it. All the round tables were led by men. All the DIVA award judges were men. Here are the options: Skilled women aren’t in digital, tech, and innovation areas of MR. Women are choosing not to speak at this conference. Women weren’t sought out to speak at this conference. Which problem area can YOU address at the next conference.
In other words, if you doubted whether there are enough female speakers in the survey/research/polling niche, I can tell you that there are at least 412 of them. Most of the women I heard speak were good speakers and they knew their material. If you need a speaker, get the speaker list from this conference.
QRCA Orlando 25% male
Well, QRCA is a tough call. Everyone in the research industry knows that qualitative research is dominated by female researchers. But what exactly is the true ratio? Is it 25% male, 5% male, or 35%? If you’ve got those stats, i’d love to put them here so that readers can judge for themselves whether the speaker ratio here is acceptable.
AMSRS Sydney 57% male
CRC St. Louis 23 men, 18 women; 56% male. (Early program)
ESOMAR Dublin 98 men, 59 women; 62% Male. (Early program) We’re still a couple of weeks away from the official event so things may change but as of today, the program is leaning male dominated. Not good Esomar!