How to Create a Better Gender Balance Onstage at Meetings

As new research reveals that almost two-thirds of event speakers are male, experts offer tips for creating more representative events.

In recent years, the business-events industry has begun to more seriously grapple with an issue that has long affected meetings and conventions: the lack of gender balance among the speakers. While awareness has grown about the drawbacks of speaker lineups that fail to reflect the makeup of the audience -- and all-male panels, or "manels," are more likely than ever to be called out on social media -- new research finds that global educational programming is far from reaching gender parity. 

A new report from event software company Bizzabo finds that between the years 2013 and 2019, almost two-thirds of event speakers (66 percent) across the globe were male.

The research, taking into account more than 60,000 event speakers -- spanning 58 countries, 45 industries and thousands of events -- reflects a continuing gender gap, albeit one with a 3 percent improvement over last year's analysis. The United States and Canada were marginally better than the global average, with 64 percent male vs. 36 percent female.

Planners must be proactive in speeding the rate of change. Read the full story on for tips on how to create a better gender balance on the event stage.