Ten Simple Rules to Achieve Conference Speaker Gender Balance

Recently, the quantum molecular science world was in uproar. The preliminary list of approximately 25 speakers for the International Congress of Quantum Chemistry (ICQC) was published online, with no women speakers listed. One reaction to this list was to set up a petition to “condemn gender-biased discriminatory practices of which ICQC-2015 is the most recent example”. This resulted in an apology and a new speaker list with six women speakers.

Sadly though, this is not an isolated incident: men-only invited conference speaker lists are all too common.

How can we get gender balance right? To begin with, it’s worth reminding ourselves why gender balance is important.