Last week we lunched with the Boston Women in Media and Entertainment. Next week we’re flying to San Jose for the IEEE Women in Engineering International Leadership Conference where we’ll be doing a fireside chat with Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s Minister of Science. She is also currently an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto and has published a book about her 1998 expedition to uncover the cause of the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. MP Duncan’s appearance is part of our “concierge service” for event managers. We were able to help the IEEE secure her appearance.
While these female-focused conferences are awesome, our mission-oriented attention is often focused on conferences like TechCrunch Disrupt. (We were there this week, Monday through Wednesday.) These tech industry conferences are often heavily male (and pale.) From speaking with TechCrunch organizers over the past couple of months, we can attest to their level of effort. As one member of their team says, “Our gender ratio onstage is part of every event meeting.” And they are working with a number of different onstage opportunities — speakers, fireside chats, return visits from alumni, startup pitches, judges and their own staff doing the interviews. We were pleased to see TC staffer/editor Jordan Crook doing a lot of the MC work.
In an industry where gender-balance is decidedly lop-sided, this conference was just shy of 1/3 women on stage and a full 30 percent of the founders from the Startup Battlefield were women, up from 21% the year before. 40% of judges were female, closely approaching gender parity.A review of startup founders who participated in the conference found that roughly 47% were non-white, and nearly 30% female.
Plus the conference had two separate receptions for female attendees, allowing us to more easily connect with other women at the event. TechCrunch is committed to using their tools and resources to bring tech opportunities to people from all walks of life, through their “Include” efforts. You can learn more about TechCrunch’s Include and their 2016 progress report here.
If you are running a tech conference, let Innovation Women help you. Browse our speaker database on your own, or contact us for concierge assistance.