The Panel Pledge is an important initiative that aims to highlight the need for gender balance for forums and to actively encourage women's voices across all domains. In taking the UON Gender Equality Leadership Pledge, you are committing to the Panel Pledge.
One of the things I’ve learnt is that if you don’t intentionally include, the system unintentionally excludes.
Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
Consequences of (in)visibility
The absence of women at public professional forums is a problem. Because speakers are usually male, audiences are given a narrow perspective. The lack of diversity limits the quality of the conversation and potential outcomes. Moreover, when visible role models are male, the absence of women perpetuates absence of women.
Taking the Panel Pledge
In taking the Panel Pledge, you are committing to openly calling for gender balance on panels, at conferences and other professional events. You also commit to actively supporting women's voices.
What do you need to do?
In your own organisation, you will advocate for gender diversity in all events. You will make it known to your colleagues that you stand for gender equality and that you will only support and attend events where a gender diverse panel or line-up of speakers is offered, or significant attempts were made.
Here is a checklist for event organisers to support your gender balance efforts.
When invited to participate in or attend other panel sessions and conferences, you will:
- Request confirmation of who the other panelists/speakers/participants are, and how gender balance will be achieved
- Insist that as a condition of acceptance, you expect women to participate in a meaningful way
- Reserve the right to withdraw from the event, even at the last minute, should this not be the case when the speaker list is finalised
- Offer names of women from within your organisation or network and, if helpful, point them to resources for support in finding women
Here are some suggested words to help you with upholding the Panel Pledge.