Posts Written by Susan

Invisible Women: Where Is Half The World’s Population?

“I hadn’t thought about it,” said award-winning science writer Jessa Gamble.

We sat side-by-side in the theater at Ted Global 2010 in Oxford, UK, chatting as we waited for the next in a lineup of stellar speakers (of which 29% were women), at one of the world’s premier conferences (TED basics here: TED 101 (Or TED For Dummies)).

Gamble told me she planned to organize a TEDx event in the Canadian North, where she now lives. My gender-parity curiosity was piqued. I asked if she intended to invite women to speak, and if so, how many. Her reply was telling – like most conference organizers around the world, she hadn’t given it much thought.

I, on the other hand, have been a vocal proponent for more gender parity on TED stages for almost two years. So far, my voice, and those of like-minded others, seems to have fallen on deaf ears. When the TED 2011 speaker lineup was announced, I was again disappointed by the lack of women on the slate: only 15 of a total of 53 speakers, or about 28%, were women.

(That said, the women who did make it to the TED 2010 stage were awesome in every way. See for yourself here: 15 Trailblazers Take The Stage (A Feminist’s Guide To TED 2011))