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Women on a Mission to Bring Diversity in Speaking on Stage KeyNote bringing an opportunity to give women the confidence to speak on stage

By Dipen Pradhan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Very often, the speakers' line up at events is male-dominted. According to a study conducted by Bizzabo, an events' management platform, male conference speakers and panelists outnumber women 2-to-1. Last year, it published a report that analysed 60,000 speakers at thousands of events over five years in 23 countries, and found that men made 68 per cent of speakers at conferences, trade shows, marketing events.

Mette Johansson, chair of KeyNote, a Singapore-based women speakers' directory, said, "Women only need a little push in their confidence and a little bit of training, and they will speak up and inspire others." And, she is right! When all of us get used to listening to women as inspirational thought leaders on the stage, we will also get used to listening to women in the government, in academia, and even at home.

Launched in 2017, KeyNote boasts of more than 50 women in its line-up. It aims to bring diversity to the speaking stages around the world, and challenges the prevailing status quo in conferences and events. The volunteer-run organisation started this initiative in Asia last year, and has recently expanded to Europe and North America.

"At KeyNote, we're convinced that the time is right for accelerating women's empowerment. I see this as a huge opportunity to give women the confidence to speak on stages and make it easy for conference organisers to find inspiring female speakers. Studies show that diversity increases group intelligence," Johansson said.

Dipen Pradhan

Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia Pacific

Dipen is a senior correspondent for Entrepreneur, Asia Pacific edition. He joined Entrepreneur after a stint reporting on India's startup ecosystmem for Inc42 and, prior to that, more than four years covering human interest news on an array of issues for The Statesman. He is a graduate in Humanities & Social Sciences, with major in English and Journalism from Orient College, Tribhuvan University. You may write to him at
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