by Allen J. Sheinman | November 01, 2018
New research conducted by event-software provider Bizzabo finds that nearly 70 percent of professional event speakers are male. The report analyzed the gender diversity of more than 60,000 presenters over a five-year period (2013-2018), spanning 23 countries and thousands of the world's largest professional events.
Globally, according to Bizzabo's analysis, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of all speakers were male, while less than one-third (31 percent) were female. When comparing the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, the U.S. came out on top with women representing 35 percent of speakers, followed by Canada (32 percent) and the U.K. (25 percent). Of the 20 other countries studied, Poland took last place with only 10 percent of its speakers being female, followed by (in ascending order) Belgium (13 percent) and Portugal (14 percent). The country with the highest number of female speakers was Kenya, with women comprising 42 percent vs. men at 58 percent.
On an industry basis, telecommunications scored poorest with just 16 percent of speakers being female; tech-oriented events proved almost as lopsided, with information technology registering a 20/80 percent split among female/male speakers and Internet-focused events scoring 21/79 percent. The industries with the most parity between genders were higher education (44/56 percent), education management (41/59 percent) and marketing/advertising (39/61 percent).
Analyzing statistics by type of event, the Bizzabo study found the top two for women speakers were fundraisers and galas (54 percent female vs. 46 percent male) and social gatherings (40/60 percent). The least diverse event types were general meetings and networking events (29 percent female vs. 71 percent male), and conferences and conventions (32 percent female vs. 68 percent male).

"Every event benefits from having greater gender diversity and balance across its speaker lineup," said Alon Alroy, co-founder and chief marketing officer at Bizzabo. "By releasing this data, we hope to spotlight the lack of representation that's still, unfortunately, too common."

The complete study is available here.