Include Fresh Perspectives

The road to gender diversity in the workplace begins with embracing perspectives that are fresh, varied and inclusive.  The event industry is taking a powerful step forward in order to reflect a tapestry of voices that resonate with evolving audiences. Meeting, conference and event planners hold a particularly influential position to impact and balance the front line and illuminate the global conversation. The recipe is simple, invite a woman to take the stage and watch minds open and horizons expand.

Finding a Woman Speaker

In my role as co-founder of Chasing Light Speakers, an empowering, all-women speakers agency, I often hear clients say “we would like to book women speakers, but they are hard to find, ” or  “I’ve only been able to locate men keynotes in tech (or finance etc.), are there women out there?”  The answer is a resounding yes. This perception is morphing daily, as there are women at the apex of every field imaginable.  In all sectors from business and start-ups, to technology, politics, science, sports, literature, education, arts, finance, sports and religion, women are being recognized for leading the way.  They are transforming corporations, changing lives, and building communities.  Women share engaging and inspiring stories and they light up the room.  They tend to be open and communicative, dynamic and bright.  Their engaging stories reflect the tenacity, inner strength and commitment they harnessed along the road to where they are today and that is a message everyone can embrace.

Strong Voices

Women have become adept at successfully launching and fostering their own forums. They passionately share their knowledge while making personal and professional connections with colleagues in their respective fields.  Some of the most popular women led conferences include: The Forbes Women’s SummitThe Maker’s Conferenceand TEDWomen, among numerous others.  A host of highly influential networking groups for women are thriving and most recently, we have witnessed the establishment of well-funded, women-only workspaces such as Modernwell in Minneapolis, Evolve Her in Chicago and The Wing in Brooklyn, NY.

The Benefit for Audiences

The percentage of women on boards of directors is climbing steadily thanks in part to organizations like Direct WomenThe 30% Coalition, and 2020 Women on Boards.  These incubators have established a strong foundation on which to achieve an equally significant mission.  As these initiatives continue to grow and flourish, we have reached the time for women to share the power base at the helm of every room. Audiences benefit when they hear the whole story, not only 49% of it.

The Best Fit

I encourage my clients to remember that sometimes the most essential and ideal speaker match to achieve impact may not be the most outspoken or well-known woman, but perhaps the most amazing woman they’ve never heard of.  Though her story may be lesser known, it can be the most significant and relevant when tailored for a group’s size, interests and budget. Women of all backgrounds, areas of expertise and levels of experience have dynamic stories and insights to share and their messages highlight perseverance, creativity and moxie.


In this unprecedented era of event growth and significance, invite a woman to be the luminary at the front of the room and watch the audience bask in the light of a truly inspiring moment!