Russ:So here is a link to the talk we gave at IATEFL in April. I think it’s fair to say that there has been a mixed reaction to it. Some people thought it was great and others less so. There have been a number of criticisms, which we’ve tried to answer and which you can look at on this page. You can also see more info on the research we carried out here.
Before you watch the video, we would like to add that some of the criticisms focused on the perception that we were saying established figures were ‘blocking the way’ for women or that they were only famous because of books written 20 years ago. There are some phrases in the talk which could be open to interpretation. That’s a shame because, in the IATEFL Online interview earlier, we were much clearer in saying that we wouldn’t want to suggest that anyone mentioned didn’t deserve their success or that any of those mentioned were to blame for the status quo. The point was more whether or not traditional routes to the ‘top’ can be emulated (by women OR men).
Finally, we can’t show the video of the talk because we couldn’t get a very good angle so it’s slides and audio we’re afraid. The audio is less than perfect but we’ve tried to get it to a reasonable level. We asked the consent of everyone** who participated in the Q&A session and so have been able to include their questions and comments in the audio.
EDIT: A BIG thank you to Mike Harrison for recording this. We appreciate it!
We asked for suggestions at the end of the talk and we’d love to hear them in the comments section.
** There was one lady from Brazil who we didn’t know so were unable to ask. Her comment is transcribed below and would have been the penultimate commenter.
Commenter: It might be nice to compare with other areas. for example, you said you didn’t look at Applied Linguistics —
Nicola: Just because we didn’t know it as well, that’s why we didn’t…
Commenter: Yeah but you look at the related areas, although in Applied Linguistics I think the big names might be men, I don’t know what happens at events. I think it may be different
Russ: I think, I mean, I work in EAP and BALEAP is quite …[Commenter: strong] yeah, and the president is a woman and a lot of the plenary speakers are women. It’s very, very, much more kind of representative
Commenter: I come from Brazil and it’s clear when an event is organised around publishers, it’s pretty often, I mean we know what is going on.