Shoptalk will push back against the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles with an all-female lineup at Shoptalk 2020. All 225 speakers, from main stage keynotes to moderators, will be women, including leaders from Lowe’s, Build-a-Bear-Workshop, e.l.f. Beauty, ipsy and Birchbox.
“Speaker gender parity in 2020 would have been relatively easy, but it would not have shifted the dialogue in the way that we have done consistently,” said Simran Rekhi Aggarwal, Founder and President of Shoptalk in a statement. “Is this all-female speaker approach extreme? Absolutely, but we think extreme problems require extreme solutions.”
Underrepresentation of women in senior roles isn’t just a problem for the retail industry: there are now more college-educated women than men in the workforce, but the percentage of S&P 500 companies led by women is just 5%. Shoptalk will commit to fixing this disparity beyond 2020 by featuring a 50/50 split of male and female speakers every year starting in 2021.
“At Shoptalk we always strive to be a catalyst for the positive transformation of retail — we have also, from the very beginning, been a huge advocate for women in our industry,” said Zia Daniell Wigder, Chief Global Content Officer at Shoptalk in a statement. “We’ve seen women founding companies, driving startups forward and rising through the ranks at brands, retailers and tech companies, yet progress has remained woefully slow. This is simply unacceptable and untenable.”
Shoptalk’s fifth annual event will be held on March 22-25, 2020 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.