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Gender Tracker

Who shows up at events and conferences matters! Public and closed-door events, whether in-person or virtual, are places where successes and failures are analyzed, where theories and conceptions about security, what it means, and how we can achieve it are debated and refined, and where novel solutions to problems are sought. The greater the diversity of perspectives, the more powerful and inclusive the outcomes. But when discussions and debates are limited because of the exclusion of certain groups of people – in particular women – the potential of any event to benefit from multiple perspectives is limited, and the excluded individuals themselves are disadvantaged

Women still make up only a small percentage of most militaries and security institutions globally. Two important methods for changing this are; first, encouraging organizations to commit to abolishing “manels” (male-dominant panels) and second, actively inviting women or non-binary identifying individuals to speak at conferences and events, not only as panelists, but also in more substantive roles, including as conference chairs.

Pacific Forum is committed to fostering greater gender diversity and inclusion in its events and conferences, and within the organization itself. Acknowledging that what is unknown and unmeasured cannot be effectively changed, we embarked upon a study of our programming since 2013, with the goal of increasing the number of women attending, speaking at, and chairing our events. You can now see the results through our newly released Gender Tracker Dashboard, which will be regularly updated with event data. Click through each of the three pages to see how factors beyond the gender of panelists, including the location, topic, time of year and length of event, all impact gender balance in our programming. Over time, insights that arise from our Gender Tracker Dashboard will inform and improve the inclusiveness and diversity of our programming at Pacific Forum. We recognize such methods may not substantially transform the masculinization of militaries and institutions, but aim to inspire more organizations to make a similar commitment, and welcome organizations to get in touch to share ideas and best practices!