Outside the UK
This page has been created in order to share information on what is happening in other countries on the issue of gender balance in plenary, keynote and panel speakers at ELT events. The Fair List itself is only for UK events. The reasoning for this was posted on the ‘About’ page of this web site when it was launched. It is repeated below.
Why the UK only?
“In my view, people in the UK, especially those in government, have meddled quite enough in other people’s countries. I was born and bred in the UK. This is where I have the right to vote. I received my initial EFL teacher training in the UK and have worked here for many years. So I feel I have the right to speak here. If you were born and bred in another country and feel you would like to start up a similar award there, please do get in touch.”
Well, people have been getting in touch and explaining what they are doing and asking for a mention on this site. Here is a sample of the sort of response that comes in.
This website set up by Tanja McCandie and Paul Arenson was inspired by The Fair List and Gender Equality in ELT in the hope of creating more diversity and correcting the imbalance of gender when it comes to ELT speakers at events and meetings in Japan. For far too long in Japan, there has existed an observable bias in favour of male academics for panels, keynote speakers, plenaries and chapter presentations within our professional community – often ignoring the voices of the many talented and well-spoken female educators working in this country. It is our hope that the website will be utilized by conference organizers and teacher associations so that the excuse, “We couldn’t find any women” will never hold credibility.
The web site includes a Database of women ELT presenters and a database of male allies.
English Talks is a series of short talks in English, given by people from around the world for whom English is not the first language, but who use it to realise their personal or professional goals and dreams. At the event, all speakers are treated equally. There are no key notes or plenaries. All of them have up to ten minutes to share their ideas, talk about their inspirations, and try to inspire others.
The event takes place in a different country every year (2015: Brazil, 2016: Spain, 2017: Ireland), and it brings together people from all walks of life, from university lecturers to students, representing professional areas as varied as education, art, neuroscience or economics. All talks are video recorded and can be watched on the English Talks YouTube channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJSJ4_rPz55NxqEI5k5XpSw/videos
If you look at the 2017 event as an example, you will notice a healthy gender balance of speakers!
The Teacher Educator Conference is held each year in Hyderabad, India.
‘We recently (in 2015) completed the fifth year of this event and, inspired by the ethos of The Fair List, we have worked hard to ensure that we have achieved a gender balance in the selected speakers, as well as encouraging female delegates to apply to attend the event as sponsored participants under our teacher education projects in India.
This year, we had over 950 participants in the conference, including more than 100 speakers, many of whom were women. As an indication, the following is a list of the plenary, keynote and panel speakers, with female speakers names in italics:
Key note: Rod Bolitho
Plenary speakers: Rukmini Banerji, Alison Barrett, Paul Gunashekar
Panel discussion 1: Chair – Rittika Chanda Parruck; Speakers – Maya Menon, Colin Bangay, Lina Mukhopadhyay, Amol Padwad
Panel discussion 2: Chair – Sara Pierson; Speakers – Rama Mathew, Michael Connolly, David Hayes, Renu Singh
Debate: Chair – Chris Brandwood; Speakers – Diane Millar, Deepali Dharmaraj, Usha Venkat, Rod Bolitho.
Of the remaining speaker list (not including the above speakers) 51% of the speakers were female. We are aware that The Fair List focuses primarily on UK events but, as the British Council is a UK based organisation, we would like to tell people about our event.’
Interestingly, one thing Amy Lightfoot, Head of Academic Quality Assurance British Council Division, New Delhi, India has noticed from looking at the participant data received is that ‘While we have achieved gender parity for speakers, only 40% of delegates were female. As a result, we will look at how we can increase participation from female delegates and other under-represented groups next year. There are several options and it’s early days, but I definitely have my thinking cap on!’