Tag Archives: diversity

Defying Stereotypes: A profanity-filled leadership profile of Cindy Gallop

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 Gallop - I like to blow shit up.

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 Gallop

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…

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.

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These data prove I am worth 80% of what my male research colleagues are worth #MRX #NewMR

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.

Thumb print unlockAfter 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 had planned to go see the new Solo movie but this lovely little dataset just presented itself to me. Plus, I hear there isn’t any ukulele in this movie so let’s do this.

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.

Hourly rates by genderAs 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]

Hourly rates by country and gender 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.Hourly rates by industry and gender

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.

Cindy Gallop Highest Number Without Laughing Gender Diversity Salary Income

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.)

Cindy Gallop Shit Ton Money Gender Diversity Salary IncomeIf 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:

2018 Market Research Conference Speaker Gender Tracker #MRX #NewMR

Diversity - market research speaker trackerThis list shows the gender ratio of speakers at marketing research and related conferences during 2018.

These data are not 100% accurate. I am not always able to identify whether a speaker is male or female based on their name. Online programs aren’t always up to date, and printed programs often change at the last minute and don’t reflect who was actually on stage. If you are able to correct my numbers, I would be grateful for the help.

And yes, there is far more to diversity than gender. Diversity of age, ethnicity, ability/disability, sexuality, and more also matter. But let’s at least measure what we can from conference programs.

Please contribute: If you have a PDF or image of a conference program, email it to me so I can include it in this list.

FYI, I put a ⭐ beside any conference between 45% and 55%  and a 👎🏻 beside any conference under 30% or over 70%.

 

  • QRCA, Arizona, January: 19 female, 7 male=73% female (Qual research has more female than male specialists)
  • Qual Worldwide, Spain, May: 20 female, 9 male = 69% female
  • Qual360, Washington, March: 17 female, 11 male speakers = 61% female
  • ESOMAR World, Amsterdam, March: 15 female, 11 male = 58% female
  • Customer Experience Strategies Summit, April: 15 female, 12 male=56% female
  • NewMR Festival, online, February: 16 female, 13 male=55% female
  • TTRA, June, 49 female, 41 male=54% female
  • IMPACT MRS Annual, March:  45 female,  42 male = 52% female
  • ⭐ Market Research Summit, London, May, 18 female, 18 male = 50% female
  • ⭐ ConsumerXscience, The ARF, March, New York, 24 female, 25 male= 49% female
  • ⭐ Africa Forum 2018 AMRA, Nairobi, February: 19 female, 20 male=49% female
  • ⭐ MRMW APAC, June: 9 female, 10 male = 47% female
  • ⭐ MRMW NA, April: 21 female, 24 male = 47% female
  • ⭐ MRIA, Vancouver, May: 25 female, 30 male=45% female
  • Sentiment Analysis Symposium, New York March, 9 female, 10 male=45% female
  • The Insights Show, London, March: 19 female, 25 male= 43% female
  • CX Next, Boston, April:  10 female,  13 male = 43% female
  • TMRE IN FOCUS, Chicago, May: 10 female,  13 male = 43% female
  • Quirks LA, January: 45 female,  63 male=42% female
  • Insights NEXT, April, New York: 28 female, 38 male=42% female
  • Customer Experience & Digital Innovation, San Francisco, April: 5 female, 7 male = 42% female
  • ESOMAR MAIN FEST Latam, Buenos Aires, April:  23 female,  33 male = 41% female
  • Quirks Brooklyn, February: 55 female,  81 male=40% female
  • FUSE Brand & Packaging, New York, April: 19 female, 28 male = 40% female
  • SampleCon, February, Texas: 13 female, 25 male = 39% female
  • IIEX, Amsterdam, February: 50 female, 84 male=37% female
  • Qualtrics experience summit, March, Utah, 32 female, 57 male = 36% female
  • IIEX, Atlanta, June: 44 female, 85 male speakers = 34% female
  • Sysomos Summit, February, New York: 6 female, 12 male=33% female
  • Sysomos Summit, London, April: 4 female, 10 male = 29% female
  • 👎🏻 Insights CEO Summit, January, Florida: 4 female, 13 male = 24% female
  • Insights50, May 2, New York: 1 female, 4 male=20% female
  • 👎🏻 Sawtooth conference, March, Florida, 12 female, 58 male= 17% female

—————————————————————————————————————–

  • MRMW Europe, September:  female,  male = % female
  • PMRC : female, male=% female
  • AMAART Forum, June: female, male=% female
  • AMSRS, September:  female ,  male =% female
  • Big Data & Analytics for Retail Summit, June: female, male=% female
  • CRC, October: female, male=% female
  • CX Talks, October: female, male= % female
  • ESOMAR Big Data World, November: female, male=%female
  • ESOMAR Congress, Berlin, September: female speakers, male speakers =% female
  • ESOMAR Global Qual, November:  female,  male=% female
  • ILC Insights Leadership Conference (Insights Association), September, female, male=% female
  • Insights Corporate Researchers Conference, October, Florida: female, male=% female
  • Insights Leadership Conference, November, San Diego: female, male=% female
  • MRIA Net Gain, November, Toronto: female, male=% female
  • MRMW Europe, November: female, male=% female
  • MRS Driving Transformation Through Insight, October:  female,  male= % female
  • MRS, Customer Summit , November: female, male= % female
  • MRS, Financial, November: female,  male=% female
  • MRS, Methodology in Context, November: female, male=% female
  • Omnishopper International, November, female, male =% female
  • Qual360 APAC, Singapore, October: female,  male=% female
  • Sentiment, Emotional & Behavioral Analytics, July: female, male=% female
  • Sysomos Summit, September: female, male=% female
  • TMRE, October, female, male=% female

Gender Ratios of Years Past:

How many women do you follow on Twitter? #MRX #NewMR

One of the best ways to identify lots of diverse people to speak at conferences is to follow lots of diverse people on social media. But do we?

With that question in mind, I turned to https://www.proporti.onl/, a website that says…

“Estimate the gender distribution of your followers and those you follow, based on their profile descriptions or first names. Many tech leaders follow mostly men, but I want to follow a diverse group of people. Twitter Analytics doesn’t tell me the gender distribution of those I follow, and it doesn’t try to identify gender-nonbinary people. So I built this tool for myself and put it on GitHub. It’s inaccurate and it undercounts nonbinary folk, but it’s better than making no effort at all. I want you to be able to do this, too. Estimate the distribution of those you follow and see if there’s room to improve!”

I’m cool with that so I turned to this tweet by Antonio Santos as a good place to start within the market research industry. I entered each one of these accounts (excluding @MRXblogs which is a bot that follows no one but me), in order to see how we’re doing.

On average, about 36% of the people these market research influencers follow are women.

Sadly, only 3 people follow roughly equal numbers of men and women, and only 2 people follow more women than men (you can guess who!). I’m one of them, but that’s only because I actively follow women and I’ve been using proporti.onl to monitor my status. Unfortunately, for about 43% of us,  one third or fewer of the people we follow are women. The curve is far from expected and could use a lot of improvement.

Fortunately, it’s easy to change that proportion. Lots of people have created lists of women on Twitter who specialize in different areas including marketing research, data science, analytics, STEM, and more. I keep a nice selection of those lists on my twitter account right here. However, here are some of my favourite lists.

  • Women in Data Science: I love this list. Search through the 1200 members and you’ll find tons of women who specialize in data visualization, statistics, neuroscience, RStats, business intelligence, artificial intelligence, and more.
  • Women Game Developers: 100 women who know AI, storytelling, games, user experience, digital marketing, customer relationship management.
  • BioInfo Women: 600 women who know about EEGs, fMRIs, neuroscience, computer science.
  • STEM women: 500 women who know data, engineering, cybersecurity.
  • Women in VR: So, um, these 150 experts know VR.

Now it’s your turn. Go check how many women you follow on Twitter, and then head on over to these lists to make some additions! Expand your world!

How do speakers see themselves? A survey of Speaker perceptions

The entirety of this post is available on the Gender Avenger website. 

.

Why are women underrepresented as speakers?

Why are women underrepresented as speakers, particularly at the conferences I go to where half of the audience members are women? Does fear chase them off the stage in disproportionate numbers?

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. 

Your Facebook opinion has no effect on me

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. 

  1. 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. 
  2. 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. 

Presidential Address: Mollyann Brodie talks about diversity in all its forms #AAPOR @MollyBrodie

Introduction

  • Molly loves !!!!!!!!!!
  • If there is only one ! in an email, then maybe you’ve done something wrong. Several is lukewarm endorsement
  • She also likes 🙂
  • She is so athletic it’s exhausting to sit beside her 
  • Harvard beats Ya; 29 to 29

Address

  • Spent 3 months reading EVERY past presidential address
  • Most set #AAPOR agenda relating to it’s role in the world
  • We’re having. a deep conversation about equality and diversity, we might elect our first woman president after our first black president
  • Is it some for us to have a discussion about inclusion in our own institutions
  • We are stronger and more successful  if we embrace more fully what has made us special, diverse methods, diverse people, diverse issues, diverse culturally 
  • The answer isn’t Sure, of course
  • We study methods and implications, Qual or quant, small or large, chapters and regions, and yes by our personal demographics – gender, race, religion, age, sexual orientation
  • Many feel their perspective has belittled or ignored, 
  • Do we ignore nonprobability, do we care if you aren’t a methodologist
  • There ARE inequities but it is not intentional exclusion, it comes from our inattention
  • We must be more deliberate about who we mentor and include
  • Gender in AAPOR leadership, Molly was preceded and mentored by many women, gender wasn’t an issue for her. But picture changed. Grumbling about all male panels. 7 male presidents in a row. Does the data support a concern?
  • [woot my gender ratio chart is on the screen! You can see that most conferences have a higher proportion of male speakers.  Http://Lovestats.Wordpress.ca]

  • In the old days 1 in 5 members were female, by the 70s had the first woman president
  • Over last 16 years, share of women members increased but not the share of the leaders
  • We’ve only seen ONE female versus female president election, just once in 7 decades
  • We rarely select female achievers as award winners – only five
  • Is this a problem across the board or just some committees
  • This is a long persistent pattern, not intentional or quickly fixed
  • Are we sampling properly to get a full range of perspectives?
  • We need ALL differences of opinions to expand our thinking
  • We can’t risk being irrelevant by not ensuring their is fresh air in our organization
  • We want everyone to feel that AAPOR is their home, we want all companies large and small, surveys and data science to feel at home
  • We want to bring different styles into the organization as well, we are stronger together
  • It is the right thing to do [can we insert Justin Trudeau here? Because it’s 2016!]
  • We need to LOOK like the public for them to believe and trust us, we need to have the voices of the public
  • More diverse is not necessarily easy, more constituencies with limited resources, traditions might have to change
  • We will have to get better at dealing with differences of opinion
  • We need to appreciate some uncomfortable differences to benefit from the collective whole
  • We have the tools to do this
  • We now have a diversity statement
  • Our bylaws call for a rotation of public and private organizations to guarantee equity between the groups
  • Need to understand structural barriers
  • New policy added term limits to ensure one voice isn’t the only voice for decades
  • Pipeline for leadership is being seeded
  • Where are our gaps, what are our impediments, FILL OUT YOUR MEMBERSHIP SURVEY
  • Need for affinity groups so everyone has opportunity to find their voice
  • GAYPOR is one group that self organized in 2012, Hispanic AAPOR established this year, Retired AAPOR might be the next affinity group, we have have so many more
  • ASA has a Women in Statistics group which helps with mentoring
  • #WomenAlsoKnowStuff – find voices for your conferences
  • Racial and ethnic diversity is the hardest at all – we are very white. [As I look around the room, I can’t see any black people. 😦 ]
  • We do care about over sixty but good intentions are not enough. We need to change this going forward.
  • We need an actionable plan
  • Do YOU pay attention to this? It changed her behaviora and choices. Honestly think about inclusion in your role. Planning panels, committed, who you sit with, how are you trying to reach outside your normal circle? Are you seeding the pipeline?  Have you recruited a different type of person?
  • Insights are richer when produced by a diverse set of researchers.
  • Who is and isn’t participating? Who is on the sidelines?

In which I rant about “we only choose the best conference proposals and we can’t help it if they’re mostly from men” #NewMR #MRX 

I’ve had this post on my mind for many months now but I’ve been hesitant to write it. It seems today is the day. 

If you’ve been following my speaker gender ratio post, you’ll see that I keep adding to the list conferences where fewer than 40% of speakers are women.  Today, I added several to that bucket. On top of that, Ray Poynter just pointed out that the nine new and genuinely deserving fellows of the MRS are all, you guessed it, men. Have women not made any important contributions? I highly doubt it. So today is the day. 

There are many different reasons for conferences to over index on male speakers but I’d like to address one reason in particular. Conference organizers regularly say they choose the abstracts that will be the most interesting and intriguing for their audience.  If that means that most of the speakers are men, then so be it.  Quality wins. As it rightly should. 

But.  

Men do not propose better topics than women.  Men do not have better ideas than women. Men do not propose more innovative nor more important ideas than women. This is truth. 

How do I know? I’m lucky that I get to go to a lot of conferences. I’ve been in the audience for literally hundreds of talks. I’ve seen lots of men give horrible talks. But, as expected, the vast majority of talks given by men are fine. Not horrible, not great, just fine. Most male speakers are awkward or forget what they were going to say or don’t speak loud enough or rush or go over or under time. Most men are basically acceptable speakers.  Such is the law of averages.  

To be clear, most women are also basically acceptable speakers. I, for one, know I’m an awkward speaker who regularly forgets what I want to say.  If the goal of conference organizers is to choose great speakers, well, I’m not seeing it. They could have randomly selected speakers by putting submissions in a hat and the quality of speakers wouldn’t decrease very much. It could even increase because the gems who keep submitting awkward proposals might actually get chosen. 

And when it comes to the topics of the talks, most talks that men give are fairly ordinary.  People like to think that THEIR talk is unique and innovative and offers a previously undiscovered point of view in their field but that’s usually not the case. The vast majority of talks given by men cover material that has already been addressed in twenty other talks at twenty other conferences and in twenty other white papers and fifty other blog posts. New material is exceedingly rare.  Our industry simply doesn’t move very fast.  

To be clear, most women also cover material that has been addressed in twenty other talks at twenty other conferences. Again, the topics I present are rarely truly new and innovative. If the goal was to choose innovative topics, I’m not seeing that either.  Once again, we could randomly choose talks with a magician’s top hat and the degree of innovation would… Well, actually, the talks might be more innovative simply because people who stink at bragging would finally have their papers chosen.  

Even better, random choosing based on top hats would increase the demographic diversity of speakers, and ensure speakers better reflect the diversity of submissions. 
My point is that men and women are similarly generally ok speakers.  Men and women give similarly ordinary talks. If submission acceptances for men outweigh acceptances for women, something is terribly wrong with how organizers identity “greatness.”

Maybe it’s time to completely rethink how conference proposals are reviewed.  Maybe it’s time to use only blind submissions where names and companies are removed. Maybe it’s time to find a way to remove writing style gender cues that unconsciously affect our perceptions. Maybe it’s time to consciously review proposals with the mindset that some people brag and exaggerate the importance of their work whereas other people stick to the facts and discuss their findings within the confines of appropriate generalizations.  Maybe it’s time to give the magician’s hat a chance – remove the obviously horrid submissions and then put every submission in the hat. 

It could only improve things.  Rant done. 

(By reading this far, you hearby commit to submitting to at least one conference this year. Thank you for being part of the solution. )

Innovation through diversity – uniformity is killing your bottom line

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

Hi readers,

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.


Overall

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%
Totals 59 20 79 100%

 

Program

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%
Totals 32 11 43 100%

 

Process

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.

 

Susan Abbott

Insight and Innovation

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