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Even Cannes Can Do Better: Diversity and Inclusion on the Conference Stage.


Seems that efforts by conference producers to bring a little more diversity onto the stages at various business gatherings are moving in the right direction. According to a survey by conference tech platform Bizzabo, and highlighted in this Ad Age piece, The Cannes Lions Festival is outpacing other professional conferences in balancing the gender ratio represented on its stages.

Bizzabo’s study found that the Cannes Lions — which gathers marketing and advertising professionals from around the world for a weeklong gathering — is proportionally doing better than other conferences in getting more women on stage, with 44 percent of speakers of the female persuasion. Not quite hitting equality, but definitely better than the conference scene across the board, which Bizzabo’s study showed as having stages still dominated by dudes at 69% male.

Much to be done here, not just in gender diversity, but also ensuring a range of diverse voices across ethnicities, genders and backgrounds are represented. Without diversity there is no innovation.

I look forward to the day when we’re not even having this conversation!