Knowledge Work Incentives at EACBPM

June was a bit of a crazy month, with three conferences in a row (Orlando-London-DC) including two presentations at IRM’s BPM conference in London: a half-day workshop on the Future of Work, and a breakout session on Knowledge Work Incentives, which was a deep dive into one of the themes in the workshop. I put the slides for the breakout session up on the day of the presentation, but then went off for a couple of days of holidays in Brighton and completely forgot to post a link here:

Yesterday, I read a post on The Eloquent Women called In a world of #allmalepanels, can we share pics of #eloquentwomen?, which is a riff on the Congrats, you have an all male panel Tumblr. This has been going on a long time: I wrote about the problem at Toronto’s mesh conference starting in 2007, and then just stopped attending it.

The recent TEW post had me think about the opportunities that I’ve had to present at conferences all over the world, and I decided to take them up on their challenge and post some of the pictures and videos from me presenting in the past. First, a few videos in a variety of speaking styles:

And some pictures taken and tweeted by audience members:

I speak primarily about technology and the impact that it has on business, and I’m recognized as an expert in my field, so I have to say that the common excuses for having no (paid) women speakers summarized here – no qualified women speakers; woman only speak about “women stuff” [wtf?]; women are more likely to say no to speaking; women are more likely to cancel – are patently untrue in my case, and likely in the case of most women speakers.

There are some shining examples of companies that put a lot of women – internal and external – on the stage at their conferences, and we need to see more of this in the future. Otherwise, you’re just ignoring half of the IQ available as speakers, and starting to alienate the attendees.

4 thoughts on “Knowledge Work Incentives at EACBPM”

  1. Sandy, I agree that the excuses that are often given about not hiring women speakers isn’t fair. But if I were to read between the lines, I’m guessing that these came from places that weren’t paying speakers. It’s hard to imagine that a woman (or man) who was being paid industry rates to speak wouldn’t show up or wouldn’t have a relevant topic.

    1. Julie, that’s possible — I also agree that it’s unlikely that someone under a paid contractual obligation to speak at a conference would just not show up. However, these seemed to be the reasons that men use to not even look for women speakers at their conferences, sort of like the stories about the bogeyman in the closet.

    1. TIBCO doesn’t do too badly at it, and you’re a big contributor to that. You need to get more technical women on stage (and on your board/management, for that matter), not just the marketing types.

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