CES organizers are coming under fire for announcing a keynote speaker lineup that’s overwhelmingly white and male.
The 2018 lineup of chief executive keynote speakers is absent of women and features six men, five of whom are white. Speakers include Intel’s Brian Krzanich, Ford’s Jim Hackett, Huawei’s Richard Yu, Turner’s John Martin, Hulu’s Randy Freer and the Consumer Technology Association’s Gary Shapiro.
On Twitter, Cindy Gallop called the current lineup “unacceptable,” telling CES that it has “5 weeks to do better.” Industry heavyweights including former president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group Brad Jakeman and HP chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio also weighed in on Twitter, with the latter stating: “We must change: No panel without females. No event without female and people of color keynotes!” In another tweet, he said that “all men should boycott @CES if women are not invited to speak!”
— Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) November 29, 2017
— BradJakeman (@BradJakeman) November 30, 2017
This must stop ! Inconceivable @CES#CESallwhitemales . We must change: No panel without females. No event without female and people of color keynotes! @wolfepereira@cindygallop@KLemkau@lindaboff@BradJakeman
— Antonio J Lucio (@ajlucio5) December 4, 2017
Steven Wolfe Pereira, chief marketing officer of Quantcast, said that it’s “insulting not to have any #women, #Black or #Latino innovators speaking” at a conference that claims to be on the bleeding edge of innovation and technology.
“@CES stands for innovators & the promise & power of #technology. “ Really? It’s insulting not to have any #women, #Black or #Latino innovators speaking! #Diversity@BradJakeman@KLemkau@ajlucio5@ceverson@lindaboff@bethcomstock@keithweed@maryambhttps://t.co/4oWYc3FPwe
— Steven Wolfe Pereira (@wolfepereira) December 3, 2017
JPMorgan Chase chief marketing officer Kristin Lemkau offered up a list of executive women that she said “would kill a keynote.” 3% Conference founder Kat Gordon quipped that “CES must stand for ‘Chaps Exclusively on Stage.’”
@ajlucio5@BradJakeman@wolfepereira - I’m going to assume it wasn’t a CES oversight, they just need ideas. As I drank a cup of coffee, I came up with this list of amazing women innovators in no particular order who would kill a keynote. Other suggestions? pic.twitter.com/K2KaESsVc6
— Kristin Lemkau (@KLemkau) December 3, 2017
In response to the criticism, the Consumer Technology Association - the organization behind CES - has been somewhat mum on what, if any, plans it has to make its keynote lineup more diverse.
Last week, the association’s senior vice president of CES Karen Chupka said on Twitter that the conference, which takes place in Las Vegas every January, has “a long tradition of diverse keynoters highlighting the latest in technology.”
@CES has a long tradition of diverse keynoters highlighting the latest in technology. We go beyond the keynote stage & bring a diversity of speakers to all our conference programming and we encourage you to check out our past CES lineups. Diversity is too important to ignore. pic.twitter.com/E431on92mK
— Karen Chupka (@KarenChupka) November 30, 2017
In the days since, Jakeman has called out CES for largely staying silent on the matter aside from Chupka’s tweet.
— BradJakeman (@BradJakeman) December 2, 2017
— BradJakeman (@BradJakeman) December 4, 2017
The Consumer Technology Association has not responded to The Drum’s request for comment.