TED Conversations

Kat Haber

Organizer / Curator, WILD Foundation


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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?


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  • Nov 12 2013: How sexist of you to notice that which has minimal importance to the objective, which is effective communication. As the stream of speakers makes point. To dwell in the sexist argument as if an online forum is deliberately sexist makes you the sexist. The person who sees gender first then bias then rational for that bias. A better question is, Can women still claim discrimination or bias toward them? Do women still need to be considered a special class as more and more industries include and practice gender neutrality. Isn't that the goal? No on can convince you that your assertion is misguided and destructive when it would seem women need to step up into the TED forum on their own.
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      Nov 13 2013: The answer is assuredly yes, women still face discrimination in numerous fields, especially scientific and technical. See my comment below and stats from my own profession. Gender inequalities at the top levels of power and privilege are obvious and well documented. And that has the effect of intimidating women who may consider stepping up, such as at a TED forum. They know they will be scrutizined and judged much more harshly then men. The editor of TED.com, Emily McManus, said at the TEDxSummit that females who give scientific talks at TED receive many more negative comments on their videos than men. Huh.

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