CES 2018: Event boss addresses speaker diversity criticism
Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, which owns and produces the CES trade show, has pledged to "redouble efforts to expand women's voices" following criticism that all the major keynote presentations are by men this year. This follows an all-male line-up of major speakers in 2017.
"A recent report from the Government Accountability Office found that 'there remains a persistent lack of racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the technology workforce,'" he wrote in a letter to Gina Glantz, founder of equality group Gender Avenger and a critic of CES's speaker selection. "This is a global issue - not just within the technology sector - all industries and our society at large can and must do better. Those of us who produce events must do better too."
In a blog post last month, Karen Chupka, Senior VP, CES & Corporate Business Strategy, Consumer Technology Association, noted that to keynote the event, the speaker must head (President/CEO level) 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. We feel your pain. It bothers us, too. The tech industry and every industry must do better,” she said.