Women Speaking Up

January 31, 2012

Women Speaking Up

We have been very busy this month. We also released a survey on where the most powerful women in business spoke in 2011. Using the Fortune Most Powerful Women in business list that includes U.S. and non-U.S. professional executives, we audited where they spoke to determine how much they were in demand and what podiums they were invited to.  There were several interesting findings that are worth noting since one way to build professional reputation, get company messages across to important audiences as well as build corporate reputation is to leave those four walls of the C-suite.  In fact, I was speaking to someone at Forbes the other day who confirmed to me that the executive conference business was booming. As it were, women are in great demand.

  • These most powerful women spoke at 218 unique events in 2011.
  • The leading speaking forums in 2011 for these top women executives included Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, The World Economic Forum/Davos, India-US CEO Forum, Women Corporate Director’s Global Institute, the Paley Center for Media International Council Summit and the APEC Women and the Economy Summit.
  • We also provided insights on what types of conference events they spoke at – from industry-specific events (e.g., World Food Prize Conference and FICCI-IBI Conference on Global Banking) and conferences geared toward job function (e.g., Techonomy and ANA Conference), followed by women’s leadership and academic forums.
  • Our research also found that the digital category (e.g., Digital Life Design and South by Southwest) is starting to emerge and is crossing women business leaders’ radar screens.

We do this type of analysis every year and sometimes we analyze all CEOs and top level executives –men and women. However, we thought that looking at where executive women spoke was past due. So here we are.


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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

  • Lois Phillips PhD
    Posted at 01:30h, 04 February Reply

    I appreciated your research about where women executives are speaking and their increasing visibility at leadership conferences. I’d welcome feedback regarding our research found in “Women Seen and Heard” or our blog posts regarding women’s speaking style (www.womenseenandheard.wordpress.com). Best regards, Lois Phillips

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