TED Conversations

Kat Haber

Organizer / Curator, WILD Foundation


This conversation is closed.

How can TEDx events balance the ratio of female to male speakers?

Recently many organizers and TED staff have been wondering why men are more likely to show up on TEDx stages speaking than do women. Is it a question of courage or time or desire or family responsibilities or not being known or lack of degrees or lack of power or looking harder? What do you think are the reasons? How can we change this?

Women are reshaping our world. http://www.ted.com/themes/women_reshaping_the_world.html

How do we find them, invite them, support them, give them a platform to amplify their ideas, have their voices heard, and radically increase their own image of what they are capable of impacting? Where are they investing their life energy? How can we value and reward them? Do you know any who should be speaking at a TEDx? Or nominated to be a TED Fellow?


Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Nov 9 2013: 16. How about a group of High School aged women speaking on the problems they see for women in thier generation. Similarly, college seniors.

    17. Women think differently in some areas than men, but not all women, and not all areas. Perhaps a speaker that was versed in these differences and their root causes, accompanied by strategies for overcoming the problems and exploiting the intellectual talents. I think something on types of intelligence would be nice (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence). I like Howard Gardner's ideas the best i think.

    18. I think some talks about women that were inventors would be cool and perhaps inspire the audience, particularly technical inventions.

    19. A lot of the other responders point out that there is a tone of reversed gender bias in the post, but I think the intent was not to complain, but inspire. Perhaps talks on successful strategies for overcoming any real or perceived weakness or inequalities would be useful.

    20. Most of the women I know that have answers to some of the questions you are asking are so busy multitasking that the idea of attending a conference over a period of several days, or something involving flights might be an unwanted perturbation to a very delicately balanced energy management system. How can you make it easier for potential women speakers? Maybe concurrent family related events, perhaps focus on speakers local to the conference, perhaps find ways to reduce the impact of speaking on their lives.
    • thumb
      Nov 9 2013: Robert, you are giving this question careful positive consideration, which I truly appreciate!
      16. Yes, a female high school student organized TEDxYouth@Homer2012 themed Let's Play. Intergenerational talks make a TEDx event even more interesting.
      17. Love this idea. TEDxCalTech, biannual event, this year's theme was The Brain, hosted several to address this variation in physiology.
      18. Women inventors are likely to show up on this years TEDWomen stage livestreaming from San Francisco's new Jazz Center. If you are interested in watching, you can apply for a livestream license. TEDWomen will be simultaneously translated into Spanish! TEDWomen is a TED Conference taking place in San Francisco on December 5th, with the theme of "Invented Here."
      19. Inspiration is the goal. Forgive any miscommunication about gender bias in reverse.
      20. Multitasking is truly the life of modern women. Research shows we can be less effective, however, with a layered approach to accomplishing things-I write as I have several docs, diagrams, spreadsheets, emails, tracks running on my external brain, my beloved Mac Book Pro, whom I name Amanda, after the TED staff person responsible for the TEDWomen conference.

      I organize my-mostly women-speakers using google+hangouts. TEDx embraces sustainability in all its forms: from event production to communications to hospitality to transportation. For an Xellent intergenerational livestreamed event, check out TEDxBeaconStreet on November 16 & 17.

      Keep your recommendations coming. I, and many other TEDxWomen organizers, listen. If you have specific women to suggest, we are interested.
      • Nov 9 2013: It is my pleasure to contribute.

        "Ideas worth spreading" is an opportunity for building positive energy momentum, inspiring curiosity, and passivle yet personalized brainstorming and collaboration. I look at all questions in this forum as potential opportunities to help others in some small way. At this point in my life, that is important to me.

        I try and give the question due consideration and usually respond as if it were to come from one of my children(now adult professionals), family members or Scouts. It is a privilege to be be able to contribute, in particular when the endeavor is directed towards helping others, such as what you describe. I typically find these opportunities in the 'Questions' area of TED conversations, so I do my best to give good answers, often good advice, stay positive, and perhaps bring something new to the table. We all have different experiences, the challenge is to determine the relevant ones and integrate them into the line of thought started by the author. So, I will gladly continue to contribute.

        If you merge the 'Starfish effect', Bacon's "six degrees of separation", and Karma with TED, then perhaps one of the questions I answer (or throw back as wit a Starfish) will come back in some later form to positively impact me, or one of my family members in some small way.

        By the way, looked at your bio. Thanks for your service and Happy Veterans Day. You may like this site (http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/awc-thkg.htm)

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.