About the Panel Pledge

Many high-profile conferences, events and taskforces lack equal gender representation, despite there often being no shortage of qualified women. It is estimated less than 15% of panellists in Australia are women. Less than 12% of experts cited in business newspapers are women (Male Champions of Change, 2016).

Why is this a problem?

The absence of women in public professional forums is a problem. A narrower range of perspectives usually limits the quality of the conversation and potential outcomes.

The absence of women in these conversations is self-perpetuating. When men are overrepresented as visible role models, fewer women put their hands up to speak and fewer women are chosen.

Without the opportunity to serve on panels as experts and thought leaders, women have less profile-building and networking opportunities, which is an important contributor to career progression, particularly in academia.

The Panel Pledge initiative

The panel pledge is a joint initiative of Male Champions of Change, Chief Executive Women and Women’s Leadership Institute Australia. It is a tangible way individuals can challenge the status quo to enhance the representation of women and ensure diverse voices are heard.