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?

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    Nov 8 2013: Kat, Please take this in the manner it is intended ... I do not care about the gender of who finds a cure for cancer, has a outstanding idea, etc .... TED is (IMO) committed to ideas worth spreading.

    I do not chose a talk because it is a male or female ... I chose it because the subject interests me in some manner.
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    Nov 14 2013: Krisztina "Z" Holly, Curator of first TEDx has this to say about who makes it onto the TEDx stage.
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    Nov 13 2013: Men and women are similar but not the same. Perhaps more men show up at TEDx events because they are actively seeking a sense of fulfilment or completion. Women, on the other hand, as mothers, possess an inherent sense of purpose and fulfilment which is unavailable to men.
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    Nov 13 2013: 33. Mentoring matters. To take the long view, mentors, especially women mentors, must invest without an immediate return. Giving the stage to girls who are making big things happen in their communities is a moving message for many girls who have not yet imagined that their voice is being heard and matters.
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    Nov 13 2013: Like almost all inequalities we identify and face, if we are to see a change in the representation of male vs. female presenters at TED conferences, it will come from two efforts:
    1. Short-term, TED organizing committees incorporating a quota (not 50/50, but something more than the current ratio)
    2. Long-term cultural change: a visionary woman/organization who has the leadership qualities to galvanize women to bring about the change.
  • Nov 11 2013: 31. There appears to be quite a list of TED Fellows that have messages that might align with your theme. Perhaps a look at the ones that are closest to you venue, that also align with your theme might yield some good candidates.
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    Nov 8 2013: Robert, thanks these are all Xellent suggestions! I am processing now how to adjust my own upcoming TEDxVailWomen event to include many of your ideas, which are quite worthy of sharing.
    • Nov 8 2013: I like some of Roberts ideas but panel, panel of anything will clear the room in a hurry. There is a reason talks work so well and that is no interruptions! One person, one topic, one trend of thought.... easy for anyone to follow, short, sweet and to the point. IMHO I would rather listen to a gaggle of geese than a gaggle of men or women. Why fix it, it is not broken. If you want more women, invite more women, I'm all for that, in fact that is exactly how I vote also. I'm more than ready to give women a chance to run the world, God knows men have not done to well and she's not happy!

      By the way Kat in my computer business when ever we had meetings it was just before lunch in an empty room. No table, no chairs, no coffee just people and we all stood up, exceptions only for handicapped. You would be surprised how much you can accomplish under those conditions and also how fast the meeting is over.
    • Nov 8 2013: I'm betting you know some friends of mine- Kevin & Lucinda Sidelinger from Alaska's Ridgewood Lodge in Halibut Cove. They were my first customers on CeeAmerica Vacation Guide six years ago. I still have their check, I never cashed it, wonderful people.
      Kat I just read your profile... Holly Molly what a resume! I think you need more points so I gave you a click.
  • Nov 8 2013: Here are some ideas:

    1. Increase the intimacy of the venues (decrease size, have a chair with a table, have audiences of other women or children).

    2. Do a TEDX talk on how easy doing a TEDx talk would be (Meta-TEDx?) Include a camera following a female speaker as she gets there, prepares, and has all the resources and help from TED to get ready.

    3. Have some big names of people that women want to hear and meet make an appearance at some of the talks and just shake the hand of the speaker, give them a hug, and then walk off stage.

    4. Have a TEDx event where all the speakers have a pet or child with them.

    5. Have a TEDx event centric to topics women care deeply about, record the top 10, then do another public TV show using these 10 similar to the education special.

    6. Have more than one speaker. Make it a small panel rather than a just one person.

    7. Maybe a panel of just fascinating women. Ellen, Maryilynn Vos Savant, Ellen, Oprah, business leaders, academic leaders, politicians, doctors.

    8. Have a panel made up of the ladies that come up with great responses to these questions, (or with great questions!), maybe based on thumbs up ratings.

    9. Have a TEDx on women's health, happiness, self-improvement ideas, and mental/emotional health.

    10. Have a TED talk on bringing out the beauty on the inside.

    11. Have some talks on successful ideas for raising families (Marilynn from 7 has a book)

    12. Have a talk about mothers of famous people, with a guest appearance by the famous people.

    13. Have some talks about how to balance a stressful life and still remain healthy and happy.

    14. Have a talk on some of the underlying reasons for style choices, beauty perceptions, and dispell some of the myths being used to persuade or sell women on bad choices.

    15. Have a podiatrist speak on the importance of comfortable shoes and the prolonged long-term effects of shoes worn solely for style.

    Give each female attendee a rose, a gift bag, and a chance to meet a speaker. .
    • Nov 9 2013: Robert Galway 50+

      Your last sentence gave me a chuckle.

      With my knuckles on the floor --
      I must protest as a male for inequality of purpose.
      For male attendee's give each a Gold Excavator, a D9,
      and a chance to punch a male speaker in the nose.

      Just kidding ladies.

      While watching my Peacocks strut around the property,
      I see the reasons, but not a "lasting" solution.
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    Nov 21 2013: Thanks everyone for your ideas! Last day for this conversation to spark you into fresh thinking.
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    Gord G

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    Nov 15 2013: Why is it the responsibility of TEDx to balance the ratio? The question unjustly infers a failure to attract female speakers. The question should be ... Why don't more females choose to speak? There is no inequality, only a failure to participate.
  • Nov 13 2013: But isn't your point merely to be argumentative? Aren't gender equity differences an easy attack on men? Men are always this giant target and broad generalities fit the scheme because we are accustomed to blaming white men, not for their success but for our own insecurities. You can easily drop gender from those reports and replace it with any of the maligned groups white men are accused of harming. Don't the trail of numbers always connect to (pick a complaint ) and low and behold we have discrimination. If you really want the answer to the question, why do I have gender envy? It is to simple to blame the problems of a complex female on the perception that all men are guilty of sexism simple because they are men. "They know they will be scrutinized and judged much more harshly then men." Which seems to be your point. Same sex envy is a very common phenomenon amongst females. I just think that tabloid criticism of such a general nature doesn't belong and isn't substance enough to warrant an argument against the program.
  • Nov 13 2013: 32. Is there a tie between TED and organizations that focus on developing young women into leaders (such as Girl Scouts)? It seems to me the leadership of such groups might have some pretty keen insight on how to best amplify efforts to grow the type of attendees and speakers TED seeks to see in its audience.

    33. It would seem that Presidential Classroom members, Governor school standouts, children doing extraordinary things or in extreme circumstances might really benefit from a series of motivational and inspirational TED talks to help give them the extra incentive to achieve greatness in whatever they do. This gender demographic, whatever it is, should be representative of what TED should expect to see in its ranks. Might be a great outreach for a group of TED Fellows that work with this age group and could help mentor progress via TED to continue the personal growth.
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    Nov 13 2013: Is it possible that men show up more on TEDx stages simply because they have more original ideas than women ?? Can we face this one simple possible answer ??

    And what about considering such questions in opposite direction ?? Like, why the nursing profession is occupied so vastly by women ?? What changes should we make to balance the ratio in this profession ??
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      Nov 13 2013: I haven't seen a shred of evidence to support the idea that men have more original ideas than women. And until you can present a solid and well-built case to defend that statement, you should refrain from even floating the idea. It is extremely offensive and oppressive. Ideas like this are why professional gender inequalities remain so entrenched.
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        Nov 13 2013: Just what we need.... keeping score....
        Get over it, the world isn't fair. Don't go charging windmills, submit your ideas and let them be judged on their merit, not on quotas....
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        Nov 13 2013: To clarify,.... saying “more original ideas”, I was referring the “More” to the ideas and not to their originality—meaning to the Ideas’ numbers and not to their quality.

        However, part of your reply proves that the second question of mine was to the point – “Can we face this one simple possible answer ??”

        In your reply you do not face my first question but you try to shut me up. You are talking like an extreme religious person who forbids even raising any simple doubt in God (“you should refrain from even floating the idea.”). This alone is enough for me to doubt your judgment about almost any arguments//data you provide.

        My general argument is this: Women should start to take responsibility as individuals to what they do, they achieve or not achieve, and stop dumping every failure of theirs onto the society and men. Women always were and are 50 percent of the society and so they share the responsibility with men to the past as well as to the present and the future.
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          Nov 13 2013: Thanks for clarifying Yubal,
          In my humble perception and experience, women have taken responsibility for their/our roles from the beginning of humankind. Women certainly ARE 50 percent of the society, and we HAVE shared the responsibility. Perhaps it is time to recognize that fact.
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          Nov 13 2013: Yulbal, no matter how you define "more" in your statement, it is offensive to women. Also, I am not trying to shut you up. I am simply stating my opinion that it is unwise to float such an inflammatory idea without evidence to support it.
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          Nov 13 2013: Which, by the way, you still haven't provided. Let me know when you do, and then I will gladly rejoin the conversation.
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        Nov 14 2013: It all starts with overall understanding of certain reality. In this case the reality as I see it regarding the genderic differences. It’s NOT just about ideas for TEDx. The issue of ideas for TEDx is just one side aspect of the general reality. My views are not just my subjective opinions, but the views are based upon various scientific studies which can be found on the web and as I shall specify below.

        The fundamentals of these studies and so also of my own views regarding the genderic issue are that there ARE basic inborn (biological) differences between men and women which materialize into practical genderic differences in the various actions both men and women take. The grave mistake the society has committed for many generations is that the society has pushed forward these basic genderic differences into extremity by imposing rules, customs, traditions, discrimination....etc, by assuming that if there are certain natural genderic differences, then we as humans should “improve” the nature’s choices by stressing further these natural differences.

        As I see it nowadays, there’s a counter reaction to this mistake of the society. But this counter reaction is again making the same mistake as committed for so long by the society. This reaction is again extreme in the sense that it ignores or even tries to wipe out the natural inborn differences in the name of Equality, Feminism….etc.

        “10 Gender Differences Backed Up by Science”

        “It's not sexist to accept that biology affects behavior”:

        “Gender-Specific Differences Found In Human Brain”:

        Book: “The Essential Difference: Men, Women and the Extreme Male Brain” (read the Book Description little below):
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          Nov 14 2013: Yubal,
          There is no question that men and women are biologically different.

          The topic question here is..."How can TEDx events balance the ratio of female to male speakers?"

          You respond..."Is it possible that men show up more on TEDx stages simply because they have more original ideas than women ?? Can we face this one simple possible answer ??"

          1) Do you have anything to support that statement?
          2) How does that statement contribute to the topic discussion?
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      Nov 13 2013: Well said Diana,

      To address your questions....
      "Like, why the nursing profession is occupied so vastly by women ??"

      I suggest that women have been characterized as care givers and emotional supporters throughout most of history. So, in our patriarchal societies, the nursing and teaching professions were more "acceptable" and encouraged.

      What changes should we make to balance the ratio in this profession ??

      First and foremost, it would be helpful to change the thinking....beginning with the idea that "men show up more on TEDx simply because they have more original ideas than women". Let us not forget, that in patriarchal societies, women are often discouraged from presenting original ideas.
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      Nov 13 2013: Yubal; We men are driven to tinker (although we prefer such terms as "invent, develop, improve and discover, etc."), not because we come up with more original ideas than women, but because we aren't equipped to compete with them in their role in procreation.
  • 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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    Nov 12 2013: Back in 2010, TED even noticed that only 20% of their talks were given by women. http://www.salon.com/2010/07/16/ted_women_conference/
    • Nov 12 2013: Why should TEDx balance the ratio of female to male speakers? Gender is irrelevant, the idea is what matters.
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        Nov 12 2013: The idea is paramount. The talker creates the angle of delivery. With the perfect combination changed minds and heart are shapeshifted.
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    Nov 11 2013: Yes, Greg, I have a 17 year old son who fashions himself as a rapper. I also have a step daughter who was 16 when I became her step mom. I also have grandsons, 19 & 9. Yes, my focus shifted dramatically when children entered my life. It was as if my heart had suddenly decided to take up residence outside of my own chest.
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    Nov 11 2013: No I do not have precise numbers. But very good question to ask and not one we have been traditionally tracking.
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    Nov 11 2013: Just returned from a professional meeting of science writers at which very dismal statistics regarding gender imbalances in the profession were presented. For women like myself who have been working since the late 70s- early 80s, it is depressing to see how very little far we have come. The good news is a new generation of younger journalists are very fired up about this and are making a ruckus. The meeting was the National Association of Science Writers; the panel discussion (The XX Question) was moderated by Deborah Blum. PP (by Kate Pregaman) with pie charts showing major gender imbalances on magazine mastheads, among recipients of book and magazine awards, etc., is here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0Tg4mzDYsUiYlF5OVV4V2JYVWs/edit?usp=sharing This conversation bound to be continued at next professional meeting: ScienceOnline (Feb. 2014).
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    Nov 11 2013: Re: "why men are more likely to show up on TEDx stages speaking than do women. "

    What's the breakdown? Do you have the numbers?
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      Nov 11 2013: We have been noticing a dramatic difference, Theodore. But no specific stats exist, as far as I am aware.
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        Nov 11 2013: Well, I will suggest that any disproportion is representative of society at large.
        In academia the breakdown of professorships is 63% male, 37% female, but this is changing.
        Additionally, TED seeks out those with compelling ideas. Does this always need to play out in a proportionate way? Should TEDWomen be required to have an equal number of male speakers. Should there be a TEDMEN ( which there should be,, since there is a need)?
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          Nov 11 2013: Theodore, I am wondering why I chuckled at your clever inquiry about a TEDMen. What would be the focus and need for such an Xperience? Who would be included? What ideas would be innovative, inventive, and inspiring for TEDMen?
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        Nov 11 2013: Re: TEDMen

        As you already noted by including the link to the Zimbardo TEDTalk, boys are struggling.
        " Girls outperform boys now at every level, from elementary school to graduate school. There's a 10 percent differential between getting BA's and all graduate programs, with guys falling behind girls. Two-thirds of all students in special ed. remedial programs are guys. And as you all know, boys are five times more likely than girls to be labeled as having attention deficit disorder -- and therefore we drug them with Ritalin."

        With the number of single parent households (read, household where mother's are the sole parent) this situation is not going to be getting better any time soon.
        This is also spelled out in Ali Carr-Chelman TEDTalk when she mentions the 100 Girl Study.
        "The Hundred Girls Project tells us some really nice statistics. For example, for every 100 girls that are suspended from school, there are 250 boys that are suspended from school. For every 100 girls who are expelled from school, there are 335 boys who are expelled from school. For every 100 girls in special education, there are 217 boys. For every 100 girls with a learning disability, there are 276 boys. For every 100 girls with an emotional disturbance diagnosed, we have 324 boys. And by the way, all of these numbers are significantly higher if you happen to be black, if you happen to be poor,"
        But the strongest case is the TEDTalk by Jackson Katz: Violence Against Women.
        " That whole range of issues that I'll refer to in shorthand as "gender violence issues," they've been seen as women's issues that some good men help out with, but I have a problem with that frame and I don't accept it. I don't see these as women's issues that some good men help out with. In fact, I'm going to argue that these are men's issues, first and foremost.
        Read the comments there and I think you will find a case for a TEDMen Conference that might explore the need for men to reinvent themselves for the 21st century.
  • Nov 11 2013: 26. 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? Perhaps ask Red Cross, FEMA, Habitat for humanity, and similar orgs for outstanding female contributors and innovators. Similarly, ask military services, professional societies, and civil service if they have any recommendations. People that have published messages you agree with that deserve greater amplification would be good choices as well. They should be in pubs that align with your TEDX theme.

    27. Where are they investing their life energy? Finding people that have a body of work that exudes positive energy and has some unique balancing strategy or coping mechanism to discuss, and are at peace with their lives would be who I would want to hear. People with social or political agendas, a cross to bear or just angry at something or everything would turn me off. Stories of female DAVs that have found a way to continue to serve or contribute always leaves me with a lump in my throat.

    28. How can we value and reward them? I think you will find most of your speakers will say doing good service is its own reward. We use to say this about volunteering as Scout leaders. Perhaps you could use the influence of TED to help them overcome some administrative obstacle or find a critical element to the success in their plan in the group you select for attendance and hope they work together.

    29. Do you know any who should be speaking at a TEDx? Ellen, you, National teacher of the year, any current female flag officer, any female college president, any supreme court justice, or any female that the general public considers to be an ambassador of goodwill.

    30. Consider potential to spread and amplify the messages at TEDx events as a selection criteria for attending events, even more than fame and fortune. Young teachers leap to mind, perhaps subsidize attendance somehow?
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    Nov 10 2013: well, one thought that comes to mind is that many women may still be following traditional roles of staying home and raising children. To become a TED speaker you have to first speak at many lesser gatherings, I would think. But if a woman doesn't want to leave her children, perhaps can't afford or doesn't trust babysitters, she might not be getting out to practice her speaking skills. Do people even trust babysitters these days, one hears occasional tales of abuse. I wonder if there is a way gatherings of people could offer convenient child care.
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      Nov 11 2013: Yes, Greg-child care does remain largely the responsibility of women. Your recommendation of offering childcare to support mothers in attending and speaking at TEDx events is a good one. Done.
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        Nov 11 2013: Yes, that might encourage single mothers, and there are even some single dads. Now, Kat, a TEDx event is usually close to home, right, the people don't have to fly to get to it? Because if a mother had to fly and pay her own way, if she has to bring her children that becomes a more expensive proposition?

        Sometimes it is confusing how women respond to child care issues. For example, after the actress Julia Roberts had children, it seemed to me she largely dropped out of filmmaking. I thought maybe it was because of the children, although I could be wrong. But Angelina Jolie has continued to make films despite her kids (although maybe fewer?.) Both women could afford to have the children on the set, cared for. Maybe after Julia became a mom working as an actress didn't mean as much to her, it became real important to concentrate on her children? Do you, Kat, have children? After you had them, did you feel less of a need to shine in the big outside world?

        I think it would be real interesting if women would talk at TED about innovative ideas they have about raising children, the talks would root in actual experience. (Just to be clear, I don't think women should be imprisoned by biology to be childraisers, I am a feminist.)
  • Nov 10 2013: 21. How does TED do its advertising? Is the target demographic for the advertising 'all computer users' or a gender balanced group of computer users? Perhaps advertising in the location of the TED event on TV programs, Radio shows, and in locations popular with women might help. Off hand, I would say botanical gardens, senior centers and communities, clothing stores, libraries, colleges and universities, and churches might be good target markets.

    22. Women also like both discounts and company when they do things. Perhaps offering a discount if you bring a friend, or a group, would attract them to the events.

    23. How about offering a concurrent competition of some kind that is frequented by women? Examples might include floral arranging or growing (my wife competes in this), art of some form (digital photography is easy to handle), or food preparation (Maybe health food recipes?), interior design, or maybe "re-purposing re-recyclable materials" of some kind.

    24. I am sure trying to get sponsors is tough, but perhaps a few sponsors for things that women buy could have a table in the lobby of the event. Perhaps cosmetics, a particularly popular clothing or jewelry line, a local bookstore, Starbucks, or craft store.

    25. Also in the lobby, you could have small clinics the solve small problems that are likely to face women. Examples might be: How do I get car work done with out feeling like I am being cheated? How do I contract for home improvements or repairs successfully (Angie's list, etc.)? How do I select medical care that is the best for my needs? What should I look for in a children's daycare? Interior design tips, Party ideas, Wine selection, etc...

    BTW, My wife and I spent a very enjoyable morning in Vail shooting photos in the Betty Ford Alpine Garden in a side trip while visiting my sister in Colorado Springs. Love the river running through that little community. Wind is a bit tough on photographers though. Well done! ...hmmm...Karma?
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      Nov 10 2013: Robert, you're in a flow!

      21. TED is distinct from TEDx. Locally organized TEDx events are likely to employ all of these building the buzz locales. TED sells out a year in advance and employs a comprehensive screening for attendees it invites to attend. Many TEDx's in large cities where the demand far exceeds the supply of seats also use an application process to choose as carefully those in the seats as those on the stage.

      22. Good point we all like a deal! Bringing a friend is a natural for girlfriends.

      23. Competition as well as collaboration are both within the zeitgeist of TEDx's,

      24. Yes, including partners is a common opportunity that goes unfulfilled for many TEDx's and is an often talked about in all learning platforms. Your suggestions for female frequented consumer companies is a clear channel for potential partners. Making the event as interesting as possible in our social spaces to women and girls without alienating the men who attend our events. For TEDxVailWomen the ratio is about 3 to 1 females to males. How could those interactive spaces be gender neutral while appealing to leading edge innovations in their industries?

      25. There may even be a TEDx talk within this list. We'll offer childcare to support including Latina moms who may not otherwise be able to attend the 12 hour Xperience. Betty Ford Alpine Gardens will host a mega crossword puzzle, naturally. I used to serve that Foundation decades ago and Betty was a good friend. The highest public garden in the US is a treasure of alpine colors, forms, and fragrances. Please do share a digital memory or two from your visit to our precious gardens at TEDxVailWomen Facebook page. There you can catch up on ideas relevant to Vail's thinkers and doers of all sexes. Can you imagine a TEDx talk we could invite its long time horticulturalist or its waterfall and boulder designer to deliver-innovative, inventive, investigative, interesting, insightful, and inclusive, naturally?
      • Nov 10 2013: 24. How could those interactive spaces be gender neutral while appealing to leading edge innovations in their industries? Make the balance of the group reflect the balance you seek. Appeals to the mind and not the gender (Books, Food, Computers(Amanda)), and travel might fit the bill).

        25. Can you imagine a TEDx talk we could invite its long time horticulturalist or its waterfall and boulder designer to deliver-innovative, inventive, investigative, interesting, insightful, and inclusive, naturally? Yes, living in harmony with nature heightens the senses and would also be a gender neutral topic.
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          Nov 10 2013: 25. We concur and nature-based wisdom is a common thread throughout many TEDx talks. Earth, an original teacher, ultimately gets the last vote on species that remain living over time.
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    Nov 9 2013: Bryan, I am the grateful recipient of a quota 35 years ago for women to attend the US MIlitary Service Academies, receiving an appointment to US Air Force Academy from then Congressman Les Aspin, later to become Defense Secretary. That being said, TEDx organizers are free to program our events as we wish. Quota is contraculture TEDx events. TED Cred contributes to TEDx events being respected and attractive to Xtraordinary voices waiting to be heard and invited to speak on TEDx stages. So it is not likely that quotas would be invoked by organizers. Cred trumps supply and demand.
    • Nov 10 2013: If you want "balance", only a quota will work. What is your priority? I had thought that the Service Academy policy was not a quota but a realignment of standards to essentially eliminate a quota of "little to no women at all".
  • Nov 9 2013: Institute a quota. That's the only thing that will work. Good luck maintaining credibility.
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    Nov 9 2013: Daniel, there is great interest on the part of TEDx organizers to be as inclusive and diverse as possible in presenting ideas to and from our communities at our TEDx events. There have been more than 8,200 TEDx events since 2009. With a slight shift in sourcing who presents on what on our stages, a fresh set of ideas may begin to flow throughout the world. With historically less access, the female perspective has lacked channels through which it could impact the decisions being made in civil society.
  • 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.
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      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)
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    Nov 9 2013: You are most welcome.
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    Nov 9 2013: Honestly, I think that there's too much of an emphasis on this. Yes; there are imbalances in demographics, which stems from a more fundamental issue, but I it seems logical to me that instead of trying to balance Demographics, we should just rely on the content of the speech. If there's good idea, let's share it. Let's not even look at the speaker's demography.
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    Nov 8 2013: Yes, best idea curation is key. We are wondering as curators, where are the best ideas held by females and how they may be distinct from solutions to global challenges created by males? We are digging a bit below the surface to satisfy our communities curiosities.
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    Nov 8 2013: Thanks, Keith your point about starting early is wise advice.
    • Nov 9 2013: Now if you want to play dirty just start talking happy talk, no man is going to have any part of that for long. :)

      BY the way I loved that young man's courageous talk down at the Mexico Wild. TY for sharing.
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    Nov 8 2013: Hmmm, why should there be a balance of male-female speakers ? Wouldn't it be better to select topics by value instead og the speaker's gender ? Doesn't matter whether this means 90 male/10 female or 90 female/10 male or 50/50.
  • Nov 8 2013: Kat in my experience all animals are attracted to food above any other need. Besides the obvious food (nourishment or drink) there are many other forms of food that attract women and I am sure you would know better than I what they are. The point is if you want to attract more women then the food you offer should be more appealing to women.
    You may also consider whether you are trying to win a single battle or the war. If you are going long term then you will want to start the preparation at a younger age and attack on all age fronts with a sustained educational process. Once you have there attention it is important to make sure they have a sustained access to feed their need.

    Today a lot of people are looking at mobile computers so you could offer websites, games, apps, blogs, social sites, clubs and advertise like any other business. Try also to get your ideas in early schools both online (Kahn Academy) and in the community (kindergarten), the earlier they are exposed to TED the better.
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    Nov 8 2013: Got it Robert. The perspective shifts based on a person's life experience. Do you agree? A set of challenges can be solved in very different ways, depending on the person's life experiences. A male set of solutions may diverge greatly from a females. It is this distinction the world seems to be awakening to in the 21st Century. Capturing that perspective can be elusive.
  • Nov 8 2013: All the talks you linked are modern feminists advancing their ideology. Are you commenting that when women do give speeches it’s always about feminism? Or that there aren’t enough women giving speeches about feminism and sometimes they have be given by men? Obviously I am not quite ignorant of your complaint as my rhetoric suggests; but your comment is laced with assumptions I find counter-productive to any goal of intellect or discourse.
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      Nov 8 2013: How could this question be posed in a more productive manner? No, when women give TEDx talks they certainly are not exclusively feminist in nature. This is precisely why more of them need to be on stage to illustrate this point. That they are far more capable than the world has heard. What are their leading edges? What compels them to be researchers, inventors, bold risk takers? How is their life balance distinct from men in their fields?
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    Nov 8 2013: One approach is to contact some of your favorite male or female speakers from the two big TED Conferences and ask them which of their female collaborators they would recommend.

    Another is to piggy-back off other institutions that also are attentive to diversity of honors and opportunity. An example might be to look at the last few years of honorary doctorates and graduation speakers from eminent universities, speakers in a city's Arts and Lectures series, and so forth.
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    Nov 8 2013: Interesting questions! :D

    I was part of organizing team of TEDxChiangMai, though I haven't been involved in searching process, but did notice that this is one thing they took into account. I think the big question is "How are we going to find awesome women from different fields?" Some granting agencies and awarders can provide us some ideas. However, some of the young talented people can be unnoticed if we only count on this; It's tricky. I think networking is the key.

    I think if you have staffs with different background as your TEDx team, it will work out wonderfully. Hope you enjoy organizing TEDx. Wish it turns out awesome! Cheering you all the way :))))