I am so done with manels. A woman’s place is on a panel

2017-11-02T20:29:46+00:00 Speaking|

I’m not a dick. I’m not a pussy either. So when I saw The Globe and Mail’s Globe Talks event, Invest Like a Legend manel, I did something. I spoke up.

OK, I spoke up after Gail Vaz-Oxlade beat me to it. Bit$h is fast.

Not. A. One?

WTF? (Where’s The Females?)

Since I know a few financial females, I was quick to highlight their awesomeness. Maybe The Globe asked them to the panel party, and they declined?

Then again, maybe not.

Seems many women were not invited to be on The Globe’s investing panel. Despite The Globe’s inability to “find” a lady investing expert, both my Twitter feed and my inbox exploded with prospective panelists. So I made a binder — a binder full of financial women.

Women added their names to my binder. Women added other women’s names too. Plus more names. I couldn’t keep up! The list continues to grow, BTW.

Turns out there are many women who know about investing, and many of them have the experience and credentials required to speak on this panel.

Sure, event organizers rang me up and apologized for not “finding” a gal. But the damage was done. The event advertisement ran with a panel full of men.

manels

Canada’s #1 national newspaper (their words) would have you believe their popularity reflects the “unwavering loyalty and engagement of our readers and our continual investment in quality content with broad appeal.”

Broad appeal? Since when does an all male panel appeal to broads? And if you’re truly Canada’s national newspaper then shouldn’t your events represent, well, the nation?

A wee problem with manels

There’s nothing new about all male panels. The Tumblr Congrats, you have an all male panel! is dedicated to documenting events featuring all male experts across many disciplines, including: politics, business, finance, health, technology, arts, and science.

The message is blunt. When you have only men on a panel, it says that women’s perspectives are neither important nor relevant. Women don’t have a voice.

It also says there are no women qualified to speak. The article All-male panels face backlash speaks strongly on this issue.

The Globe Talks Invest Like a Legend panel is particularly obnoxious though. The subtext reads: men are legends, men are investing experts, only men can talk about money with authority.

Then there’s the issue of a lack of female role models.

Women as role models

I have a computer science background, a field where I’ve experienced a lack of gender diversity. OK, a HUGE BIG lack of gender diversity. Seeing other gals in a field, speaking as an expert in that field, and representing that field can make a huge difference in bringing more gals into those areas lacking in diversity. Like, you know, many business and technology sectors.

I learned first hand the importance of female role models back in 1995 when I helped found a technology summer camp at Carleton University called Virtual Ventures. The first year the camp ran the participants were mostly male. In the second year we figured out the problem — we needed to send female staff, along with the male staff, to the schools to promote the camp and hopefully recruit more girls.

By the third year our team had gender parity and we visited elementary and secondary schools with equal time dedicated to female and male staff speaking to students about the coolness of computer science and engineering. The results were astounding. Our registration reflected our staff and we had equal participation of boys and girls.

A decade later I caught up with a few former campers. Four gals returned as camp volunteers, and then later enrolled in Carleton University’s computer science and engineering bachelor degree programs. Amazing.

Women and money and “buying power”

Invest Like a Legend should have been a fantastic panel featuring a few women. Women and girls account for 50.4% of the total population, “a slim female majority that has held for over three decades”, so there are plenty of possible attendees to draw from. So much for buying power?

Given that women live longer than men and earn 87¢ to men’s $1 — a gender pay gap of painful proportions — girls, gals, ladies, and women would benefit from solid investing skills to help mitigate this time and pay gap.

So where am I going with this?

I bought a $120 ticket to see The Globe’s Invest Like a Legend panel. While I’m not looking for legendary advice on investing, I am going to the event to participate, to encourage women to attend, and to listen.

I’ve spoken out. The Globe and Mail should listen.

Love love love,
Kerry

21 Comments

  1. Dave April 10, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    Way to go Kerry! Form your own all-female panel. Every female advisor I have worked with the past 40 years has been far sharper than any male counterpart. Perhaps my ‘luck of the draw’, but honestly.

    This ad is shocking isn’t it? Did the organizer(s) truly hear Justin’s ‘2015’ reply?

  2. Sheila April 10, 2017 at 10:08 pm

    Thank you!!!

  3. Grace Kravac April 10, 2017 at 10:25 pm

    My husband purchased the automobiles, I purchased the real estate. Yes, I negotiated for the two houses that we lived in throughout our years, also the furniture and other accoutrements to make it a comfortable home. I was instrumental in purchasing a condo as an investment and other investments were made through my impetus.
    We enjoyed a debt free life which afforded us to travel extensively.
    Frugally yours,

  4. LMBL April 10, 2017 at 10:26 pm

    Actually just looking at any newspaper and counting heads (as related to what gender is speaking) makes one realize we still live in a world of HIS story not including HERS. Really depressing and disappointing…while the rhetoric is one thing the reality is quite another.

  5. Karen April 10, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    Hey in the original “Year of the Woman” my aunt was a government employee in the maritimes. A newspaper headlined her as ‘Trudeau’s Girl Friday”. I was just a little girl then. What year was that? 197? something.It seems to never change. Women are still paid less in similar value jobs. And often ignored.One day while in Grade 8, I came home with an essay assignment. The Assignment was titled “How Women Are Equal to Men”. My Grandmother was furious. I asked her why. Her reply was “You are already superior to any man out there and to write that essay you will have to lower your standards. Shame on your teacher.

  6. Sharon April 10, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    “I’m not a dick. I’m not a pussy either.” So wonderful a way to open!

    I’m worked in financial services and, like a lot of women in male-dominated industries, experienced the subtle and not so subtle way women are assumed to be less capable when it comes to money.

    Hooray that you spoke up and that it resulted in the “Binder full of women” connecting women financial experts.

    Press on!

    Sharon

  7. Debbie Phippen April 11, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Another overlooked market in the financial industry, in my opinion, is singles. I have a male portfolio manager and he is young enough (but not too young) to “see me to the grave” (along with a female dentist but will need to replace my aging male doctor who, unfortunately, won’t see me to the grave). Female and single – what a demographic. I was lucky (or smart!) enough to work for the fed gov’t so have a lovely pension and was frugal (thanks Dad) from an early age. Saved, lived within my means, paid the ONE credit card off every month, ate lunch out at work a couple of times a year and now I winter in Palm Springs. I also remember a line from the movie “A New Leaf” with Walter Matthau and Elaine May where he blows through his money and visits his banker who says, “You’ve exhausted your capital” and Matthau replies, “Well just write a cheque to cover it”. I broke out in a cold sweat – my capital will outlive me.

    Love your blog Kerry – keep up the good work and the good fight.

  8. Blair W Carrigan April 11, 2017 at 8:29 am

    Great piece! 🙂

  9. Diane April 11, 2017 at 8:48 am

    Maybe follow up with a little positive “political” proactivity… deliver a copy of the binder to the Globe and Mail with a cover letter signed by a list of qualified female investor panelists, so they can never say they don’t know of any. Laziness and unawareness can Play a role in the decisions made when putting together such events.

  10. Big Cajun Man (AW) April 11, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Love the new Moxy and Chutzpa here! I have a lot of left over binders from my UNIX support days, you can use them for your list!

    The world shouldn’t be run by middle aged men who think they are always right (spoiler alert: I am one of those, and I am right on this one too).

  11. Weesie April 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Thank you, Kerry. I stopped buying the “The Glib and Male” several years ago as
    I realized our “national” newspaper had become less and less relevant to me — a single, older woman. I follow Rob Carrick via Twitter and email because he’s a sensible guy, but that’s it.

  12. My Own Advisor April 11, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    Bam! Well done Kerry! A very important and powerful statement. Curious about any response.
    Mark

  13. Gillian Janes April 12, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Well-said, Kerry! Thanks so much for bringing this issue to our attention!

  14. […] supply at least a dozen names for you. In fact, Kerry Taylor (@squawkfox) has already done that in her brilliant blog post about your gaffe. It sounds like you got under her skin too, and Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s, and the many […]

  15. Elizabeth April 12, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Great article Kerry! I always try to listen to Patty Lovett-Reid on CTV on the weekends. She has good advice for us.

  16. Kathleen April 12, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Thank you for having our back. Sadly we still have a way to go for equality, but we will get there someday. I look forward to your review of the panel.

  17. […] Kerry Taylor went off on The Globe and Mail – good on her – why weren’t women on this panel?? […]

  18. Carol Shetler April 14, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I lambasted a public relations panel discussion convenor over 30 years ago for the same reason – no women on a key presentation about communication in public relations. Seems not much has changed since 1985. I’m rooting for Kerry to make a big “SQUAWK” at this event! Please attend if you can, financial experts of all genders, and get the message out: women know about money, too!

  19. Dr. Nabankita Chowdhury April 29, 2017 at 1:45 am

    Excellent job Kerry ma’am!
    You have picked up an important topic which plays a vital role in women empowerment.

    You are doing a great job by attending the event! Kudos! 🙂

  20. […] Kerry K. Taylor aka Squawkfox read about the session, she immediately blogged her displeasure in A woman’s place is on a panel.“ She wrote, “Despite The Globe’s inability to ‘find’ a lady investing expert, both my […]

  21. Cricita Woods December 30, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    This is disgraceful not only for the lack of gender diversity but also the lack of ethnic diversity,
    In many families women are the primary money managers and investors, Why is this never acknowledged, This panel was not at all inviting to many, and whom ever planned it shows their innate biases, Thank you for speaking up. It is clear that we still have a tremendous amount of work to do.

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