The Stream

Why are all-male panels still a thing?

The Stream reveals the results of a two-year-long effort to diversify our guest speakers.


On Thursday, December 19 at 19:30 GMT:

Manferences. Himposiums. Manels. When it comes to speaking engagements, men continue to outnumber women by a large margin. In the media world, the same rules apply.

(Debunked) excuses for this include that there aren’t enough women experts in the field; it takes too long to find female guests; and no women were available to participate.

But have you noticed? Over the past couple of years, The Stream has made a concerted effort to diversify our guest panels, producing shows with all-female experts on topics ranging from Bitcoin to Iranian politics to the world’s growing rubbish problem.

We are now one of the only news programs on television to have featured more female experts than male ones. According to advocates, this kind of inclusion is important because public speakers are “perceived as thought leaders and experts. The more women are held back from the stage, the longer we will keep being perceived as ‘less than’ “.

In this episode we ask, why are all-male panels still a thing? Join the conversation.


On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:


Elisa Lees Muñoz, @ElisaLeesMunoz
Executive director of the International Women’s Media Foundation


Sonia Bhagat, @SoniaAnanti
Interview producer at The Stream


Zuleqa Husain, @zuleqa
Interview producer at The Stream


Anade Situma, @Anade_Situma
Interview producer at The Stream


Read more:

How The Stream ended up booking more female guests than male – Al Jazeera
Tackling the Underrepresentation of Women in Media – Harvard Business Review
Survey Suggests ‘Manels’ — All-Male Panels — Are Still The Norm – NPR

What do you think? Record a video comment or leave your thoughts in the comments below.