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Event Industry Trends
1 November 2018 

New Study: Almost 70% of Professional Event Speakers are Male

Shivina Kumar
New Study: Almost 70% of Professional Event Speakers are Male


We analyzed event data from thousands of events over the past five years and discovered that events still have a long way to go when it comes to gender diversity.

We recently released the results of our first ever “Gender Diversity & Inclusion in Events Report.” The report analyzed the gender diversity of more than 60,000 event speakers over a five-year period, from 2013 to 2018. The study spanned 23 countries and thousands of the world’s largest professional events.

“Every event benefits from having greater gender diversity and balance across its speaker lineup,” said Alon Alroy, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer at Bizzabo. “By releasing this data, we hope to spotlight the lack of representation that’s still, unfortunately, too common.”

Almost 70% of All Event Speakers are Male.

Globally, according to our analysis, more than two-thirds (69 percent) of all speakers were male, while less than one-third (31 percent) were female.

Event Gender Diversity - Global Distribution

US Beats UK & Canada on Gender Diversity

When comparing the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, the US came out on top with 35 percent of its speakers female versus 65 percent male. In Canada, 32 percent of all speakers were female versus 68 percent male. The United Kingdom was the least diverse of the three countries, with only 25 percent of its speakers being female versus 75 percent male.

Of the 20 other countries studied, Poland came in last, with only 10 percent of its speakers being female. Belgium (13 percent) and Portugal (14 percent) rounded out the bottom-three. The country with the highest number of female speakers was Kenya, at 42 percent versus 58 percent. Right behind Kenya were Mexico (39 percent) and the United States (35 percent).

Event Gender Diversity - By Country

The study revealed that, across industries, technology events have a long way to go before achieving greater gender balance. Internet-focused events featured speakers that were 79 percent male and 21 percent female, while computer software event speakers were 75 percent male and 25 percent female. IT services speakers were 80 percent male and 20 percent female. Higher education was the most diverse industry at 56 percent male, 44 percent female.

Event Gender Diversity - By Industry

Female Representation Has Barely Improved

Over the last three years, gender diversity has improved — albeit narrowly. In 2016, 70 percent of all speakers were male versus 30 percent female. In 2017, female representation went up to 33 percent, only to decline to 32 percent this year. The table below shows the evolution:

Event Gender Diversity - By Year

Fundraisers & Galas Most Diverse Event Type

In analyzing gender distribution across speakers by type of events, the top-two were fundraisers and galas (54 percent female versus 46% male) and social gatherings (60 percent male versus 40 percent female). The least diverse event types were meetings and networking (71 percent male versus 29 percent female) and conferences and conventions (68 percent male versus 32 percent female).  

Event Gender Diversity - By Event Type

Methodology: AI to ID Gender Diversity  

For the “Diversity & Inclusion in Events Report,” we used a high-precision facial recognition technology to categorize gender profiles, while keeping the identities of speakers anonymous. The new tool harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence to accurately profile images of event speakers and identify gender. With over 60,000 images examined, the company was able to establish that its AI tool is precise nearly 100 (99.27) percent of the time.

“Every day we’re building new tools that enable brands and businesses to maximize the power of events,” said Boaz Katz, Co-Founder & Chief Data Officer at Bizzabo. “In addition to recognizing gender with face recognition, AI technology has many different applications in the events space and we’re very excited by what the future holds for the industry. There is an endless amount of data that can be leveraged to help organizations understand the impact created by bringing people together. 

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