This is a charter to encourage the representation of greater diversity in engineering and technical conferences amongst the invited speakers and panelists.
Diversity is low in engineering. In the UK a little over 12% of the engineering workforce are women. But we would like to change this, and show engineering as a welcoming place for women to work.
Organisers of engineering and technical conferences have their part to play in this, and they can do this simply by taking the pledge to aim for a 50/50 men/women representation on their conference programme.
If you are a Conference Organiser
So what we are advocating is simple:
When organising a conference please ensure that you select a diverse range of speakers. Female speakers may be more difficult to find, but making the effort to find suitable representatives is your way of ensuring that we address the gender imbalance and force change.
It's as simple as that. And if you are finding it hard to get the speakers you need in the UK, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a Conference Delegate
If you are a potential delegate and come across a conference which does not have sufficient representation of diversity, please feel free to email the organiser with the following polite reminder.
Dear Conference Organiser,
I am concerned about the lack of diversity on your conference programme for the <Conference Name> conference taking place on <date, month, year>. I would like to suggest that you take a Conference Diversity pledge to represent a diverse engineering sector through a 50/50 representation of men and women speakers at your conferences. By taking this pledge you are playing your part in ensuring that the unacceptable gender inequality in engineering and technical careers does not continue. If you achieve a 50/50 speaker ratio you will be leading the way for other conference organisers in areas where women are traditionally underrepresented. You can also use this to further promote attendance at your conference and attract more sponsors.