Looking for an expert female speaker for your Australian event?

After nearly a year in concept, the No Chicks No Excuses website listing women speakers covering a wide variety of expertise has been launched, so that Australian organisers no longer find it so terribly difficult to find women who know how to speak at a large event.

Catherine Deveny, March 2010: Leslie Cannold and Jane Caro and I have decided to address the common refrain of ”We couldn’t find any women to speak” by setting up a website called No Chicks No Excuse, with a list of women speakers on diverse topics.

As the front page of the website says:

No Chicks No Excuses - Women Speakers ListingThere’s no excuse for not having women speakers. Inspirational females to enliven your next conference, panel, board, think tank, article, broadcast, programme or lecture.

So if you’re looking for more women speakers to balance your event, or you’re a woman who would like more event organisers to know about you, head on over there. They’re listing speakers based on their own network of contacts primarily, so if you don’t know anybody who already knows Leslie, Jane or Catherine then they’ll expect to see a video of you in action before deciding whether you qualify for their list.

I’m not affiliated with this endeavour, although at one time being involved with setting up the website was discussed and ended up not proceeding. I’m thrilled to see that it’s all come together now.



Categories: education, gender & feminism, media

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14 replies

  1. There’s also http://geekspeakr.com/ in the technology space. I’m not centrally involved in that, but sadly almost all women listed there report that they have never received an enquiry about speaking.

  2. What a great idea!
    Ironic, that I am in the process of organising a roundtable where I am inviting a whole bunch of academics to get together and have a chat (about a definitely female-dominated area), and I can’t find a man!

  3. @Jose: What city and subject area? The commentariat here might have suggestions.

  4. Mary, how sad, and itcan’t be just an SEO thing either. Geekspeakr.com comes up on just the third page of results for “women speakers” (GeekFeminismWiki’s page on women speakers comes up on the first page, with its link to Geekspeakr), and if we can’t trust technical types to drill beyond the first page of results, who can we trust?
    When we go sector-specific, “women speakers in tech”, Geekspeakr comes up on the third result on the first page, and the GeekFeminismWiki page comes up fifth.
    It’s one reason I quite like the implicit challenge in the title of No Chicks No Excuses. Women speakers are already not that hard to find, if one is really looking. This website’s title just makes that super-duper clear.
    I wonder whether perhaps a link exchange between NCNE and other women’s speakers listing sites could be organised? That’s totally whitehat SEO between sites with such relevant shared content/purpose.

  5. tigtog: I can certainly introduce you to the people behind geekspeakr for the purposes of cross-promotion.

  6. Is quite ok, but thanks for the offer Orlando. I am not that desperate to find a man, as invitations are all merit based 🙂

  7. @jose, I know you’re joking, but this is worth mentioning for the lurkers. Merit’s one thing, as a basic filter for eligible candidates. In terms of productive contributions, the benefits gained from people looking at issues from multiply diverse perspectives is another thing.
    e.g. it wasn’t until women and people of colour became senior medical researchers that anybody effectively challenged the wisdom of the tradition of only testing pharmaceutical products on young, white, fit, male college students.

  8. @mary, I’m not sure I’m the best point of contact, since I’m really not part of it, I just think it’s a good idea. I’m throwing out ideas on the sideline here.

  9. Just had an interesting thought on that usual “but it should be merit-based” cri-de-coeur that is so often heard whenever one talks about diversity/balance considerations. That assumption that the establishment of “merit” is in some way objectively measurable, presumably by recourse to SAT/HSC results or something: what exactly do they think “merit” entails, and why are they so damned sure that no marginalised minority candidate could possibly have more merit than a straight-arrow-mainstream candidate in terms of perceived potential contributions to an organisation?
    What if the most important question a hiring group can ask about a candidate’s merit is “now let’s look at what variant expertise this person could bring to our endeavour to increase our likelihood of noticing a bigger picture of opportunities and challenge our stick-in-the-mud ways”?

  10. @tigtog @Mary

    I wonder whether perhaps a link exchange between NCNE and other women’s speakers listing sites could be organised? That’s totally whitehat SEO between sites with such relevant shared content/purpose.

    I’m involved in setting up No Chicks No Excuses, and will definitely bring this up as a worthwhile thing to pursue 🙂

  11. Onya, Emily! Thanks for dropping by, and congratulations on getting it up and running.

  12. Happy to step out of lurkdom 🙂

    Working on getting up links now. Will chase down your email, Mary!

  13. Emily and I are now in touch and I’ve introduced her to the geekspeakr folks.

  14. Awww, I love a happy ending.

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