OSF Report Finds That Women Are Vastly Outnumbered at Europe’s Top Policy Events

Thursday, March 8, 2018

OSF Report Finds That Women Are Vastly Outnumbered at Europe’s Top Policy Events

Europe’s top 23 policy events feature an average of three male speakers to every woman, according to an Open Society Foundations report published on Thursday. The Foundations warned that the European Union could not achieve gender equality without more female role models taking the stage at key policy debates.

“These events reinforce the glass ceiling by presenting men as more important decision makers and limiting networking opportunities for women,” said Christal Morehouse, the report’s author and senior program officer for the Open Society Foundations.

“The policies being debated affect women and men equally—it’s perplexing that in 2018 women still don’t have an equal opportunity to shape them.”

The report, An End to Manels: Closing the Gender Gap at Europe’s Top Policy Events, uses a five-year statistical analysis of 12,600 speakers at leading European policy conferences to quantify, for the first time, the exact extent to which men dominate the stage.

Among the worst events for gender balance were the Munich Security Conference, which hosts just three female speakers for every seventeen male ones, and the Davos World Economic Forum, which averaged one female speaker for every four men. Both conferences provide an arena at which heads of state, business, and think tank leaders learn from each other’s experience and research. The international press report what speakers say from these podiums to the world...

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