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CES fails to add women to keynote on main stage events

CES chief executive and president Gary Shapiro at last year's conference. For a second year, there'll be no female-led keynotes / CES

After a weeks-long scramble to add female talent to its keynote roster, CES confirmed that it will not have any women in any of its top slots this year, making it a second-straight year without women as keynote speakers.

CES faced an onslaught of criticism from industry heavyweights, including HP's Antonio Lucio, Cindy Gallop, and former PepsiCo CMO Brad Jakeman via Twitter after the initial announcement of keynote speakers. This prompted CES to respond with a tweet highlighting past speakers, and teased a search for women to fill main stage slots.

"We are still securing speakers at all levels for CES 2018, but the current program features high-profile women speakers in technology, entertainment and business," CES senior vice president Karen Chupka had said in a blog post, also saying: “As upsetting as it is, there is a limited pool when it comes to women in these positions. We feel your pain. It bothers us, too. The tech industry and every industry must do better.”

According to Fast Company, that search ended with no fruitful results: six men will be this year's keynote speakers to address the conference's 180k attendees. With the exception of Huawei's Richard Yu, all of them will be white.

The CES keynote page included a few women in topic-specific keynote roles, including Nancy Duboc of A+E Networks and Wenda Harris Millard of MediaLink.

The four day conference will start next week.

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