Tag Archives: gender ratio

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!

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2017 Market Research Conference Speaker Gender Tracker #MRX #NewMR 

This list shows the gender ratio of speakers at marketing research and related conferences during 2017.

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.

Please contribute: Some conferences remove their information immediately afterwards. If you have a PDF or image of a conference program, email it to me so I can include it in this list. If you have a paper program, mail it me or do the counts and simply send me the final numbers.

  • ESOMAR Global Qual, Porto, November: 25 female, 17 male=60% female
  • MRS Driving Transformation Through Insight, London, October: 15 female, 12 male= 56% female
  • ⭐️ AMSRS, Sydney, September: 3 female keynotes, 3 male keynotes, 1 female invited, 1 male invited, 28 female speakers, 19 male speakers=53% female
  • ⭐️ MRS, Financial, London, November: 11 female, 12 male=48% female
  • ⭐️ Qual360 APAC, Singapore, October: 16 female, 17 male=48% female
  • ⭐️ TMRE, Orlando, October, 79 female, 88 male=47% female
  • ⭐️ MR and CI Exchange, St Louis, May: 13 female, 16 male speakers=45% female
  • MRIA, Toronto, May: 25 female speakers, 33 male speakers, 6 female panelists, 4 male panelists, 1 female keynote, 4 male keynotes=44% female
  • CRC, Chicago, October: 37 female, 55 male=40% female
  • Market Research Summit, London, May, 22 female, 29 male=43% female
  • ESOMAR Congress, Amsterdam, September: 62 female speakers, 83 male speakers =43% female
  • MRS, Customer Summit 2017, November, London: 6 female, 8 male=43 % female
  • IIEX, Amsterdam, February: 52 female, 76 male=41% female
  • MRS, Methodology in Context, London, November: 40 female, 6 male=40% female
  • Customer Experience Strategies Summit, April, Toronto: 12 female, 18 male=40% female
  • Sysomos Summit, February, North Carolina: 16 female, 25 male=39% female
  • Sysomos Summit, September , NYC: 6 female, 10 male=38% female
  • MRIA Net Gain, November, Toronto: 6 female, 10 male=38% female
  • MRMW Europe, Berlin, November: 13 female, 23 male=36% female 
  • ILC Insights Leadership Conference (Insights Association) Chicago, September, 13 female, 24 male=35% female
  • IIEX, Atlanta, June: 58 female, 108 male speakers=35% female
  • 👎🏻 ESOMAR Big Data World, New York, November: 10 female, 24 male=29% female
  • 👎🏻 Sentiment Analysis Symposium, New York, June, 14 female, 35 male=29% female
  • 👎🏻 Omnishopper International, Spain, November, 4 female, 13 male =24% female
  • 👎🏻 CX Talks, Atlanta, October: 7 female, 25 male=22 % female
  • 👎🏻 Big Data & Analytics for Retail Summit, Chicago, June: 5 female, 19 male=21% female
  • 👎🏻 Sysomos Summit, June, London: 3 female, 14 male=18% female
  • 👎🏻 Insights50 (Insights Association), Chicago, October: 1 female, 7 male=13% female
  • 👎🏻 AMA ART Forum, Seattle, June: 4 female, 32 male=11% female
  • 👎🏻 Sentiment, Emotional & Behavioral Analytics, July, San Francisco: 4 female, 36 male=10% female
  • .
  • PMRC Speakers not available online

 

Gender Ratios of Years Past:

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. )

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