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Six tips to ensure balanced panels and a range of questions

Staging fair and diverse events can be a challenge. Alice Bell has some suggestions for making it easier.

It has happened, I’m sure, to many of us. For a while your event panel looked dangerously like being a ‘manel’. You had been hoping to book everyone’s favourite female expert in the field, but she has a diary clash.

Eventually—phew— you find an alternative who isn’t a man. But then, on the day, all the questions from the audience came from men! No matter how keenly the chair scanned the room, all the raised hands had a bloke attached to them. It was a bad look. Now people are complaining on Twitter and that scary PhD student from the department is shooting you evil looks.

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