People with big job titles–especially in marketing–are starting to notice. Twitter CMO Leslie Berland tweeted, “Hey @CES. Big respect for what you’ve built. Please do better here. I’ve got a long list of amazing women to hit your stage. Let’s talk. #changetheratio.” HP’s global CMO Antonio Lucio jumped on that thread and took it to 11. “All men should boycott @CES if women are not invited to speak!” he wrote. Others calling out CES include former PepsiCo Global president Brad Jakeman, Twitter director of sales Robin Wheeler, and ToysRUs global CMO Carla Hassan.
The persistence of all-male panels (just like all-white panels) is a sign of indifference and a serious lack of imagination and effort. Tackling the issue means men must play an active role in making them obsolete. If you’re a panel organizer or news producer, play close attention to the gender split, make a concerted effort to invite women, and consult Canadian databases of female experts so you never have to utter “But I couldn’t find a woman to speak” ever again.
"I was asked to participate on a panel for an issue I care deeply about. As a son watching my mother break the glass ceiling in politics and as a father of 2 daughters, I have a passion for the pursuit of equality," he tweeted. "In light of a full understanding of the composition of this panel, I will be withdrawing from participating and offering my seat instead to someone who can bring a more diverse and inclusive point of view to this critical issue."