The EVE team feel that the time is right. Good progress has been made already in the fight for parity for women and highly proficient L1 / L2 speakers. The Fair List, UK, for example, has led the way in paying attention to gender balance in UK conference plenaries. Now is the time to take it one step further and to recognise the great strides being made globally.
Who is involved in the EVE team?
The team comprises a group of ELT practitioners interested in the issue of equality at conferences and other professional events. The idea was conceived by Fiona Mauchline and Sue Leather. They are joined in the Founding Team by Higor Cavalcante, Henrick Oprea, Aleksandra Popovski and Adam Simpson.
What are they doing?
On the website, a calendar of events is posted whose line-ups fit one of the following criteria: gender parity (even number of plenaries) or near parity (odd number of plenaries); highly proficient L1 / L2 speaker parity (even) or near parity (odd); balance both of gender and highly proficient speaker L2 / L1 parity (even) or near parity (odd).
Organisations are encouraged to contact the team with the final line-ups for their forthcoming events, if they wish to be considered for inclusion in the calendar. For the gender category, they only include events not taking place in the UK. Any UK events will be referred to The Fair List.
The organisers of conferences or events who achieve these ratios will then be invited to display one of three EVE badges, which you can see above, on their conference page. The purple badge is for gender parity, the green badge is for L1/L2 parity, and the platinum badge is for both. There will also be a link to their event page on the EVE Calendar.
The EVE team recognises that there are factors involved when organising a conference or event that can make balance difficult to achieve. However, it is achievable with support from all involved, and EVEs are awarded in recognition of both the efforts made by the event’s organisers and the support given by the event’s sponsors.
How can you be part of EVE?
You can be part of this positive movement in a number of ways. You can tell your colleagues about them, and remind conference organisers that they exist. You can follow them on Facebook and on Twitter and find out about events, conference presentations, and tweetchats.
Last but not least, you can become one of the ‘Friends of EVE’ and add your name to the hundreds who have done just that. If you would like to support EVE: Equal Voices in ELT, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org