We are passionate about ensuring that speaker panels have diversity of thought. We know that inclusive panels are needed to achieve this.
The absence of women at public professional forums is a problem and because speakers are usually male, audiences are given an exclusive perspective. This is true of other diverse groups too, such as those who take part in DiM’s Pride, Ethnicity and Mental Health Networks. The lack of diversity limits the quality of the conversation.
For example, when visible role models are male, absence of women perpetuates absence of women. Fewer women choose to speak, and fewer are chosen. Compounding this problem is that without the opportunity to serve on panels women lack profile-building opportunities, which is an important contributor to experience and recognition.
This is a problem in the UK maritime sector and needs addressing. We believe diverse representation at events is entirely solvable and the opportunity for improving is awaiting widespread sign-up. We have created the Conference and Events Panel Pledge to highlight gender imbalance at such events, and we have launched the Speaker Bank as a way of solving it.
The Speaker Bank provides a portfolio of women technical speakers and speakers to talk on a range of equality, diversity and inclusion topics from across the UK maritime sector. Speakers from other underrepresented groups are also listed. It is a free resource. Find out more about the Conference and Events Panel Pledge here.
Find out more about volunteering for the Speaker Bank or utilising the Speaker Bank below.