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Have you ever noticed how many more women there seem to be in ELT than men? Teaching in classrooms, attending conferences, on CELTA and DELTA courses, working in publishing as editors … In fact, apart from the last category which we couldn’t get figures for, and the first which we can’t do more than speculate about, it’s 60/40 women to men.

The Fair List has started some excellent work in raising awareness of the lack of female speakers at conferences and rewarding UK events that achieve gender balance. We think we can go further. ELT is an international industry. Gender equality is an international issue. But what can we do?

  • Is it time to highlight events that aren’t achieving equality?
  • Should conference organisers publicly pledge to invite equal numbers of men and women? Should male plenary speakers should consider turning down invitations from conferences that aren’t featuring enough female plenaries?
  • Some organisers say they can’t think of any women to invite. Would women be interested in signing up to a database to leave no doubt that there are plenty of women willing to share the spotlight?

What do you think?

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