CMC and Gender Diversity
Olivia Dickinson on CMC and Gender Diversity
I’ve been involved with the CMC for over five years and this year I’m exec producing two panels: Learning – What’s Happening?and Learning What’s Next? One of my key concerns is the visible representation of women and women’s voices in the learning and kids’ content industry in general and at the CMC itself. This year the CMC is nearly there with a balance of men and women: of the Changemakers 7 are women, 5 are men; there are 22 women moderators and 26 men; there are 106 women speakers and 118 men.
But: gender equality is not just for Christmas. We need to be thinking about how we ensure that in ongoing years the effort to have gender equal programming is robust.
I’d like to suggest that the CMC looks at five actionsfor the future:
- The Session Producers and the Executive Producers at CMC to be given ideas and strategies on how to approach more women. The key point is that it’s no one’s fault: If we don’t intentionally include, the system unintentionally excludes*.
- The Session Producers’ guidelines do already say that consideration must be given to recruiting for speakers across gender, ethnicity and disability. However, specific guidance should be included as to how to check on this. It could be as simple astracking who they have approached in a spreadsheet so as not to think they’ve approached ‘enough’ women.
- Companies who attend CMC to make a pledge not to send speakers to participate in all male panels – the FT for example do this.
- Male speakers who are invited to CMC to say that they only accept the invitation when the panel is a mixture of men and women (not including the Chair). In fact, all invited speakers should ask about the gender, ethnic and disability mix of the panel.
- During the CMC, I will be crowd sourcing women and any others who are able to speak but don’t get recognised or approached – please tweet @OlivaceousD to nominate yourself or others, with #tcmcdiversity as the hashtag.
And I would encourage any women who are invited to speak next year – say no to imposter syndrome and say yes to speaking!