In this episode of Retail Right Now, Total Retail's Kristina Stidham and Ashley Chiaradio discuss Shoptalk’s announcement that its 2020 conference will feature an all-women speaker lineup for both track sessions and main stage keynotes. This is a groundbreaking move that's the first of its kind for a retail event, as conferences traditionally struggle to feature even half the number of female speakers as they do male speakers. In a blog post written by Zia Daniell Wigder, Shoptalk’s chief global content officer, she says that featuring all women speakers in 2020 is "necessary to propel our industry forward and showcase many incredibly talented women who are working to transform retail in every way." Wigder added that the drastic move was necessary for Shoptalk because "gender parity in 2020 would have been relatively easy, but it wouldn't have shifted the dialogue."
This move by Shoptalk is going to make waves that reach far outside the retail industry. For a conference as big as Shoptalk, generally regarded as the largest in the retail industry, to feature an all-women speaker lineup sends a message to conferences of all sizes in all industries that it's possible to get qualified women on stage. Starting in 2021, Shoptalk will feature a 50/50 split between male and female speakers. That’s an incredible commitment to gender parity going forward. To learn more about this announcement, click here to read an article published on our sister brand’s site, Women in Retail Leadership Circle.