Thoughts on ELT, English and whatever else comes into my head
Back in April, Russ Mayne and I gave a talk about women in ELT and we started a website called Gender Equality ELT. One of the things we planned to do with it was to create a reference point for anyone planning a conference and looking to feature more female speakers, particularly in the often poorly representative plenary speaker line-up.
We contacted conference organisers to ask if they had a policy about booking female plenary speakers and aiming for equality as The Fair List advocates. Many of those we spoke to were keen on promoting diversity in many forms while others suggested that they just preferred to get the ‘best candidate‘.
Some also suggested that they didn’t know many female speakers nor where to look for them. Another comment was that the organisers would love to have some great female speakers but that ‘unless you attend a lot of conferences it’s easy to fall into the trap of only inviting the best known speakers’. They then suggested The Fair List put up details and videos of female speakers to make it easier for conference organisers to learn about potential speakers.
While we think it’s certainly possible to find female speakers in a profession largely made up of them, it might be true that there isn’t one easy place to find who they are and what they speak about. We want to provide that reference and compile a directory of women who speak at conferences, or would like to, and their availability and areas of interest.
Please fill in the contact form below if you’d like to suggest someone who you think is a great speaker or if you’d like to be featured. We know it’s not good form for women to blow their own trumpets but this is one way to actually do something positive about the status quo. We’ll contact nominees and ask them if they want to be listed. Gender Equality ELT.wordpress.com
Also worth mentioning is the opportunity the Innovate ELT conference in Barcelona, May & 7, 2016, is offering. Instead of inviting plenary speakers, they are inviting them to apply to give ten-minute plenaries on the conference topic of Grassroots ELT: Power to the teacher. I’m submitting a proposal and I urge any other females particularly to give it a go. This really is innovative — plenaries that are short! Apply here. Deadline December, 2015.