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Last Updated on November 7, 2018 by Diane Hoffmaster
This post about how to make women's voices heard in public dialogue has been sponsored by GenderAvenger. All opinions are my own.
When I went to college about 25 years ago, I chose to major in Microbiology. As a women in a STEM field, there were definitely more men than women in my classes but I was certainly not the only female in my science classes. Times were already starting to change, even way back then. When my mom had considered college, her choices were pretty much nurse, teacher, or librarian. She never ended up going, a fact she has always regretted.
Gender Equality in Public Dialogue
While I live in a more gender equal society than my mother did, women still have a long way to go when it comes to making our voices heard. So, when I was contacted about a project with GenderAvenger, I was curious. Where are women't voices NOT being heard? Turns out, there are plenty of places women still don't have as loud a voice as men do. However, with the GenderAvenger app, we can change that! And you can help make women's voices heard in public dialogue by using it and sharing the results with your own community.
What Is the GenderAvenger Movement?
The GenderAvenger projects is a non partisan effort to showcase where women's voices are and are NOT being heard in our society. This is a non profit organization working to create a community of men and women committed to making sure that women voices are always part of the public dialogue.
There are four ways that you can get involved:
- Use the GenderAvenger Tally app to count who’s present and who’s talking — on conference stages, in the media, and wherever you see inequality — and share instantly on social media.
- Subscribe to their email list to take part in their weekly social media actions.
- Take the pledge: Sign the GenderAvenger Pledge to declare: "I will not serve as a panelist at a public conference when there are no women on the panel."
- Create a balanced event: Get the GenderAvenger Stamp of Approval which is awarded to conferences and other public events with a minimum of 40% women represented on stage, of which at least 30% are women of color.
You can count two things with this app: Who’s Talking and Who’s Present. For 'who's talking' use it at a town council meeting to see if men are dominating the conversation. Or, you can 'count who's present' instead. Reading your favorite section of the newspaper? Look at all the bylines and count how many men are featured and how many women.
Download the GA Tally app: https://www.genderavenger.com/tally
My GenderAvenger Tally Results
So, for the last 4 weeks I have been using the GenderAvenger tally app to share my experiences when it comes to identifying gender imbalances in society. The app was very easy to use and I think it has a lot of potential for encouraging women to make their voices heard. Here are the places I chose to spotlight:
- Political book authors: I hung out in the current events section of my local book store. Sadly, I found a significant difference in the number of male authors versus female authors.
- Newspaper authors: I went through my entire newspaper story by story. While I found that the number of male and female authors weren't hugely different, the types of articles they wrote WERE. There were a lot more male authors writing front page stories. Female authors wrote more articles in the Lifestyle and Arts section.
- Georgia Government Leaders: There is a definite 'male dominated' leaning to the people currently running my state. Public dialogue when it comes to politics is definitely heavy on male voices!
- Georgia Board of Education: I was surprised to see that there are significantly fewer women on the Georgia Board of Education than there are men. I thought for sure that women's voices would be stronger on a panel that governs education in my state.
How to Make Women's Voices Heard in Public Dialogue
Use the GenderAvenger tally app and share your results with your followers. It's a great way to start making gender imbalances known to the public. Of course, they want you to use the app to share the BALANCED panels, too. As well as the discussions that are too FEMALE oriented. The ultimate goal of the GenderAvenger team is to make sure ALL voices are heard in balance to one another.
Don't just use the GenderAvenger app to highlight imbalance in your community, get involved! If you see a panel that needs more women's voices on it, join it! Your voice will be a part of the public dialogue to enact change in your community. Write a book. Join your child's school PTA. Get involved in politics. Raise your hand and speak at a community meeting. All of these actions help women's voices become louder. And your voice may be the one to make a real difference in the community.
Be a GenderAvenger and Make a Difference
Whether it’s on TV, at a conference, or on a magazine cover, the GA Tally makes it easy to hold decision-makers accountable. Use it to count the number of women (including women of color) and men present. Or, you can track and share who is dominating the conversation. But when you see an imbalance, strive to do something about it! Download the GenderAvenger Tally app here and get started!
How will YOU make your voice heard?
Diane is a professional blogger and nationally certified pharmacy technician at Good Pill Pharmacy. She has two college aged kids, one husband and more pets than she will admit to. She earned her BS in Microbiology at the University of New Hampshire but left her career in science to become a stay at home mom. Years of playing with LEGO and coloring with crayons had her craving a more grown up purpose to her life and she began blogging and freelance writing full time. You can learn more about her HERE.