Inspired by the lack of female voices at industry events and conferences, WomenPresent, a new tech platform, has launched to connect public and private event organisers with the wealth of talented female speakers that exists.
On average only 30% of speakers at industry events are women, according to the IPA.
WomenPresent aims to create a global, searchable database of experts who also happen to be women to help tackle the significant issue of a lack of diversity among speakers at industry events. It is not about reducing men’s presence on stage, but about achieving gender diversity and ensuring a variety of different voices are heard.
WomenPresent allows event organisers to create a request, detailing what type of session they are looking to fill and what types of speaking roles they need, from keynotes to subject presenters, panellists and moderators.
During the first phase of the launch, which will focus initially on the tech industry in the UK and US, expert female speakers will be manually matched with these speaking opportunities.
WomenPresent is run by co-founders Susan Pierce, (Customer Engineering Manager, Cloud for Marketing, Google); Cadi Jones, (Beeswax Commercial Director and Head of Partnerships at Bloom UK, a professional network for women); and Tom Jenen, (Director, Oriel Ventures); and WomenPresent Partner (and Mindshare Chief Product Officer) Ruth Zohrer.
Co-founder, Cadi Jones, said: “We’re seeing a vicious cycle at the moment where women are absent from panels and discussions, so it’s less likely they’ll put themselves forward for such speaking opportunities. All-male keynotes, like the agenda seen earlier this year at CES in the US, are a real problem and we’re determined to stamp this out with WomenPresent.”
Any women wanting to put themselves forward for speaking opportunities can do so via www.womenpresent.com. Businesses with speaking opportunities can also log the sessions and the expertise they are seeking via the website.