Monitoring Month 2016: The best and worst of EU debates

We’ve seen notable progress on last year, especially with the proportion of women speaking increasing from 24 to 34% overall. However, we still noted that in 2/3 of debates the majority of speakers are men. Research shows that only when women outnumber men (not even when they are equally represented) do they actually speak for the same amount of time.

For the first time we also took a look at ethnic diversity, noting a mere 7% non-white speakers.





Employment, justice, health, equality and social affairs

For tipping the balance at 53% female speakers.



Energy, climate, environment, transport and industry

For 24 all-male panels and 80% of panels having mostly male speakers.



European Development Days

For diversity of more than gender: 44% female and 30% non-white speakers

Host: European Commission with various partners, 15-16 June 2016



Policy at the Intersection of Equity and Efficiency

For 20/20 male speakers and 5 all-male panels!

Host: UCL and College of Europe , 8 June 2016

Incredibly, this all-male event was actually held in honour of a woman! As the event description says: Leading competition law scholars from around the world will comment on Eleanor Fox’s scholarship, reflecting on her legacy, while engaging with the broader debate of the relation between “efficiency” and “equity” in competition law.




  • Politico’s interview series at the European Business Summit: 12 men and just 1 woman


  • The audience member at an event on Ukraine and energy who’s question was longer than any speaker’s presentation and who then proceeded to stay at the lectern and answer other audience members’ questions


  • A speaker at the European Economic and Social Committee’s event on prosumers who answered his phone while sitting on the panel


  • A nearly all-male line-up where the woman was last to speak, but then didn’t get to as there was no time left.


In conclusion, while we’re encouraged by the progress on last year, there are still twice as many all-male panels as equal panels and debates remain dominated by an unrepresentative group of speakers.