Following considerable backlash , the Consumer Technology Association—overlords of this week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada—has added two female panelists to its keynote lineup. Though the ratio of female to male keynote presenters or panelists at the show is still pretty off-balance, it's at least a bit more inclusive than when CES first announced the lineup: all men, zero women.
The new keynote panelists are Nancy Dubuc, president and chief executive officer of A+E Networks, and Kristin Dolan, founder and CEO of television analytics firm 605. Both will appear as part of a larger group discussion called "The Future of Video" on Wednesday, January 10.
"As we plan 2019 we will redouble our efforts to expand women's voices throughout the conference and as featured speakers," reads a letter from Gary Shapiro, CTA president and CEO, and Karen Chupka, senior vice president, in response to GenderAvenger founder Gina Glantz.
According to a Fast Company report from last week, CTA initially looked for women to fill its top speaking spots, but couldn't find any participants.
"To keynote at CES, 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," Chupka wrote in a December blog post.
CTA's inability to find female keynote speakers set off a backlash in the technology community, with numerous companies and leaders chiming in with criticisms—and, more importantly, plenty of helpful suggestions for potential speakers.
"Amazing women innovators in tech and media who would slay any keynote anywhere. Came up with these in less time than it took to drink coffee," tweeted JPMorgan Chase CMO Kristin Lemkau when offering up a list of 21 different female executives for CTA to consider.
Twitter even went so far as to plan its own alternative panel discussion at CES—#HereWeAre—which will feature six prominent industry women, including Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, and Padmasree Warrior, CEO of Chinese automotive manufacturer NIO.
"This event isn't about the lack of women on the CES keynote stage, it's about all the women who belong on stages, lists and panels across industries, around the world," said Twitter CMO Leslie Berland in a tweet.