The Gendered Conference Campaign aims to raise awareness of the prevalence of all-male* conferences (and volumes, and summer schools), of the harm that they do. We make no claims whatsoever about the causes of such conferences: our focus is on their existence and effects. We are therefore not in the business of blaming conference organisers, and not interested (here, anyway) in discussions of blameworthiness. Instead, we are interested in drawing attention to this systematic phenomenon. (We also have an awesome theme song. And an interview about the theme song can be found here.)
The harms: All-male events and volumes help to perpetuate the stereotyping of philosophy as male. This in turn to contributes to implicit bias against women in philosophy, which very likely leads even those genuinely committed to gender equality to evaluate women’s contributions as less good than men’s. (It may also in some cases be caused by implicit bias, which means that women’s names will leap less easily to mind than men’s, but that is not our topic here.) For a quick discussion, go here. It also perpetuates stereotype threat, which very likely keeps women from performing as well in philosophy as they otherwise would. For some longer discussions, you may want to look at Sally Haslanger’s and Jenny Saul’s papers on the topic. (Jenny’s is a download from the right hand side of her page.) We would like these harms to stop, and we think that a significant step toward achieving that is drawing people’s attention to some of their causes.
See also our FAQ for the quick run-down!
* By ‘all-male’ we mean all-male lists of invited speakers.
Some all-male conferences (just a few– to get more click on the category Gendered Conference Campaign):
Want to avoid a gendered conference, but not sure what to do? Try the suggestions here.
(An update: There have been a ton more all-male conferences, so many that we have not been able to keep up with them lately!)
There are now several petitions that in one way or another support the goals of the gendered conference campaign. Here’s our official one. Here’s one from NewAPPS, which is more specific in its content. And here’s an interdiscplinary one from Virginia Valian and Dan Sperber.