An End to Manels II: Closing the Gender Gap at Europe’s Top Policy Events

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An End to Manels II is the second in a two-part series from the Open Society Foundations on closing the gender gap at Europe’s high-level policy events. The first brief, An End to Manels, examined the composition of panels, highlighting the dramatic underrepresentation of women. Manels II, scrutinizes this data further, taking a closer look at 23 European conferences, over the course of five years and analyzing discussion topics, their frequency, and speakers’ gender in an effort improve the quality of debate in Europe.

The report reveals the dramatic underrepresentation of women engaged in speaking roles for six topics at Europe’s top conferences: foreign policy; the European Union; crime, terrorism and security; economic situation; environment, climate, and energy issues; and technology. Likewise, men are underrepresented as speakers on gender. 

Having quantified the gender gap at 23 conferences in Europe, the report offers a range of pragmatic solutions that conference organizers should consider to close this gap. These range from a broadening the range of topics discussed to speaker recruitment and better monitoring.