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How do we achieve equal representation in our events & organizations?

How do we achieve equal representation in our events & organizations?

Screenshot of planned speakers for 2015 from The Conference site

Martin Thörnkvist, director of The Conference, plans the event so it will have equal representation of men and women.

While not church-specific (The Conference is about “exploring complexity in a digital world”), Thörnkvist outlines a helpful process to act his values. He realized after initial criticism that he was thinking about his values, but neither living them nor demonstrating them, and has since changed many aspects of the event in order to keep representation of men and women equal.

Thörnkvist explains his method in detail in a posting on the Medium.

From the post:

  1. Write your values down
  2. Start with topics
  3. Communicate your values every time you ask for help
  4. Be stubborn

Can you see ways to apply his process to your church or church-related events? Is there anything you’d add?


Posted by David Streever


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Christopher Donald

I am curious whether the representation should be equal, or proportional. Assuming there are in fact more women as members of the Episcopal church, are you living into your values if you exclude some women to include more men? If the conference were on marriage, do you then make it equal different and same sex couples? Equality is important but might not be as simple as equal numbers of the two genders.

Christopher Donald

David thank you for your reply. I am not sure how to amend my comment, if you could point me to how that is possible it would be my pleasure to add my last name.

I certainly understand the value of increasing women’s representation in tech, from classroom participation in programming classes to management in the technology industry .

Balancing our values in the Episcopal church between including members in a conference versus helping a group that might have been disadvantaged historically is one of the challenges. Representing differing views might be another value. But it all links back to objective of the activity, and how does that activity link to our core values.

Bro David

But David, I think that you know from another thread that is very active today, that there isn’t always a purpose for equal representation, at least were POV is concerned.

Take some scientific topics for which the press seems to think they need to provide equal representation, as do folks in organizations and sponsoring conferences;
Evolution vs creationism
Global warming

I think that the scientists and their students who represent both evolution and the existence of global warming caused by human intervention in the world far out number exponentially those who subscribe to creationism and that global warming either doesn’t exist or is a natural phenomena. And yet there are folks who still believe that the two sides must be represented equally.

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