Main aim of CEE HER initiative is to drive a change towards improving significant underrepresentation of women experts engaged as speakers at Europe’s top conferences and to expand the female talent pipeline in Europe, specifically in CEE region, we at GLOBSEC hope not only to build on our improving track record, but to become a reference point for other strategic conveners in the region.

Specifically, the project aims to improve the current percentage of women invited and engaged as a speakers and participants at GLOBSEC conferences and it also foresees the creation of a matrix for V4 region of sectors and topics where women’s voices are absent. Subsequently it targeted the creation of an online roster of female experts in the CEE region, which is available also for other organisations and conference hosts. CEE HER webpage is active and publicly available since January 2020.

Moreover, initiative supports additional activities designed to enable women voices to be present and heard at respective GLOBSEC conferences, as well as including gender related topics into specific conference agendas. Likewise, CEE HER initiative encompasses mentoring programme for junior female experts from the region that is already running and includes mentors such as Jana Kobzová, Annemie Turtelboom, Ida Manton, Valerie Hopkins, Merle Maigre or Eeva Eek-Pajuste.

As most conference organizers, we are fully aware of the significant underrepresentation of women engaged as speakers at Europe’s top conferences, ours not being an exception. We cannot excuse ourselves by stating that this is the reality, even if we know from experience that changing it requires time and will from both private and public sectors. As we aim towards excellence and inclusiveness while generating impact, new ideas and solutions for a better and safer world, we see it of paramount importance to start tackling internally first our shortcomings. Then we plan to scale up and create a reference point for the region.

Considering that conference hosts should make knowledgeable and intentional choices about their speakers and participants, we reflect CEE HER initiative as a natural evolution of our organization, its practices and its future direction. We embrace the need for more equal share of male/female ratio when it comes to participation on top conferences in Europe and we do foresee a wide-ranging use of the matrix of absent voices and list of female experts not only for the internal purposes of our organization, including the GLOBSEC Policy Institute think-tank, but also as a tool that will contribute to the overall improvement of the current situation in expanding the female talent pipeline in Europe, as it is planned to be available also for other organizations.