We’ve been working on a new campaign, directed at event managers, conference organizers, venues and even cities and regions. The idea is to get these influencers to declare their spaces, venues and conferences “No MANel Zones” — i.e. no all-male panels allowed. We’ve started reaching out to various groups and have a number who have already signed on. Many of our supporters already have moratoriums on all male panels but this is a quick way to communicate that restriction. If you and your organization are interested in participating sign up today. Declare your event or location a “No Manel Zone“.
Background on the “No Manel Zone” branding
While I’m usually in favor of very positive marketing efforts, the “No Manel Zone” has taken on a life of its own. If you work in the events or speaking gig, you probably already know what a manel is. The quick explanation is enough for everyone else. It just makes sense.
There have been many efforts at positive branding around diversity onstage at conferences and events – including our own Innovation Women “Supporter” badges which are available for anyone who wants to use them. There are several pledges male speakers can take. The CEO Action pledge isn’t specific to shows and events but it does address diversity in the workplace and more. The Gender Avenger app (GA Tally) allows the audience to measure diversity and gender balance. There’s even a Minimum Viable Pledge for events.
But nothing has really captured people’s imagination like the somewhat snarky “Congrats you have an all-male panel”. Congrats posts pictures of all-male panels stamped with a picture of David Hasselhoff giving the event organizer a big thumbs up. The Event Manager bingo card from Jezebel (now found on Gender Avenger’s website) is another good example.
So, in that vein, welcome the No Manel Zone. Feel free to share it with your favorite event managers. If you’re an event manager or conference organizer, tell the world where you stand. The buck stops with you.