Why do so few women attend industry events like Broadband World Forum?

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Broadband World Forum, the annual recognised event for executives in the sector, attracts over 5,000 visitors from all over the world during its three days in London. And yet last year, only 14% of our attendees were female.

To put that in perspective, for every 6 men attending BBWF, only 1 woman was present!

Women inforgraphic

If you attend a number of events throughout the year, then this probably isn’t shocking news to you. Photos from TMT tradeshows, conferences and similar events are nearly always a visual representation of this uneven balance. Take Mobile World Congress as another example, where only 18% of their massive 2015 attendance were women.*

So why do so few women attend these industry events?

The reality is that these stats are indicative of what’s happening in the wider industry. As less than 10% of executive directors at FTSE 100 companies are women, it’s not surprising that the number of female executives in attendance is not even close to that of their male counterparts.

It’s widely recognised by many organisations that the number of women in executive roles across the industry is still too low. It’s not the 50% it should be to represent the gender split of the wider working population, not even close. And each year, in published lists of the most powerful and influential people in the telco, media and tech industries, women are severely under-represented.

How can we address the gender imbalance?

This year, Accenture will be headlining an open, Women in TMT meet-up at Broadband World Forum. The session will give our audience an opportunity to address the gender imbalance in the industry and discuss what we can do to support and promote female leaders from each area of the industry.Accenture

The afternoon session will include presentations from Light Reading’s Women in Comms’ members and BBWF speakers, as well as informal networking and debating opportunities.

Questions on this year’s agenda include:

  • How can we engage more men and women in the conversation around gender diversity?
  • Mentoring opportunities: How we can support other women throughout the industry?
  • How does your organisation help support more women into senior roles?
  • Share your story: How did you get to your position and what advice can you give?

Inspiring speakers at BBWF include:


Lori Fink, Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T

Anna Krzyzanowska Head of Broadband Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission

Dana Tobak, Managing Director, Hyperoptic

Sonia Jorge, Executive Director, Alliance for Affordable Internet

KNect 365 are determined to provide more women with thought-leadership and speaking opportunities at our world-leading events to help raise their profiles and enhance careers.

For more information on opportunities, to get involved in our wider initiative, or simply attend the session at BBWF, please get in touch!


Emma Hosgood
Portfolio & Community Manager, Broadband World Series
KNect 365 TMT – an informa business
Twitter: @EmmaHosgood


4 thoughts on “Why do so few women attend industry events like Broadband World Forum?

  1. What date and time is this session?
    Looking at the agenda on the website, I can’t see it listed. It would be good to publicise the event better.

  2. This article is a display of extremist Feminism, it should be banned as any other extremist article. The phenomenon described is just natural, there is no issue here.

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