The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and Consumer Technology Association (CTA) are in a red alert, and some industry professionals are rising up against them, like Cindy Gallop and others. The reason? They set-up an all-male keynote speaker lineup. To add to this, five out of the six men were white. This was highlighted by GenderAvenger, who are devoted to safeguarding the rights for females. They addressed the issue by alerting CES to take action. “For a show marketed as ‘the world’s gathering place for all who thrive on the business of consumer technologies’, it sure seems like ‘for all’ really means ‘for all men. You still have over five weeks to make this right, CES,” the action alert red.
The industry experts took their concerns to Twitter to express their discontentment of the all-male dominance. The message coming from Ad industry expert Cindy Gallop was that the lineup “unacceptable” and, like GenderAvenger, advised them to do better within the next five weeks.
However, for the oppositions received by CTA online of its lineup, Chupka cited that the keynote speakers must be presidents or CEOs of a large entity “who has name recognition in the industry. As upsetting as it is, there is a limited pool when it comes to women in these positions,” she wrote. “We feel your pain. It bothers us, too. The tech industry and every industry must do better.”
Gina Glantz, co-founder of GenderAvenger noted that the response didn’t satisfy them. “There’s not some force outside of them setting the criteria,” Glantz quoted. “They set the criteria, and if its result is all white men, then they need to rethink their criteria to ensure they have innovative, smart, different … perspectives on their stage of women and of people of color.”
Diversity activist Cindy Gallop, a past agency executive who is now a coach and consultant as well as founder of Make Love Not Porn, dismissed CES’ argument that it had a “limited pool when it comes to women in these positions.”
“The industry body that produces the biggest consumer tech event in our industry should be setting the agenda,” she mentioned. “Who represents the cutting edge of consumer tech in the way we want to showcase? Maybe they’re number two, maybe they’re not leading a company that is as humongous as some of these.”