Aquiles Carattino

limit the number of male speakers in conferences

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When planning a conference, there will be a forefront question: how many women should be invited to speak. Scientific conferences trade "invited speakers" as a prestige measure. Invited speakers are selected ad-hoc, which means that organizers have a natural position of power (see: The problem with people in positions of power in academia).

People (i.e. men) like complaining about the lack of women to select from to have as candidates for being invited speakers. And therefore, instead of striving for a 50% female presence, they try to do, at best, a number of female speakers completely skewed in favor of men (see: women are half the population, not a minority). This have a very simple solution:

LIMIT THE NUMBER OF MEN!.

If you only find 10 women to speak at your conference, then invite no more than 10 men. Period. I am confident that if you force this policy, organizers will find women to speak at their conferences. And if they don't (women have other things to do, you know? unpaid work done by women), just organize a smaller conference. Have fewer male speakers. Voilà, out-of-the-box problem solution.


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Aquiles Carattino
Aquiles Carattino
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