CEA has recently conducted a series of analyses to help us better understand how people of different genders and racial backgrounds experienced EA Global events in 2022 (not including EAGx). In response to some requests (like this one), we wanted to share some preliminary findings.
This post is primarily going to report on some summary statistics. We are still investigating pieces of this picture but wanted to get the raw data out fast for others to look at, especially since we suspect this may help shed light on other broad trends within EA.
- Attendees generally find EA Global welcoming (4.51/5 with 1–5 as options) and are likely to recommend it to others (9.03/10 with 0–10 as options).
- Women and non-binary attendees reported that they find EA Global slightly less welcoming (4.46/5 compared to 4.56/5 for men and 4.51 overall).
- Otherwise, we found no statistically significant difference in terms of feelings of welcomeness and overall recommendation scores across groups in terms of gender and race/ethnicity.
- 43% of speakers and MCs at EA Global events in 2022 were female or non-binary.
- 28% of speakers and MCs were people of color.
- Some initial takeaways:
- A more diverse set of people apply to and attend EAG than complete the EA survey.
- Welcomingness and likelihood to recommend scores for women and POC were very similar to the overall scores.
- There is a small but statistically significant difference in welcomingness scores for women.
- We are not sure what to make of the fact that the application stats for POC were higher than the admissions stats. We are currently investigating whether this demographic is newer to EA (our best guess) and if that might be influencing the admissions rate.
- One update for our team is that women / non-binary speaker stats are higher compared to the applicant pool and this is not the case for POC. We had not realized that prior to conducting this analysis.
- The 2022 speaker statistics appear to be broadly in line with our statistics since London 2018 when we started tracking. We had significantly less diverse speakers prior to EAG London 2018.
Applicants and registrants
For EA Globals in 2022, our applicant pool was slightly more diverse in terms of race/ethnicity than our attendee pool (38% of applicants were POC vs. 33% of attendees), and around the same in terms of gender (35% of applicants were female or non-binary vs. 33% of attendees).
We had much more racial diversity at EAGx events outside of the US and Europe (e.g. EAGxSingapore, EAGxLatAm, and EAGxIndia, where POC were the majority). Generally, EAGx attendees end up later attending EAGs, so we think the events could result in more attendees from these locations. (However, due to funding constraints and their impact on travel grants, we expect this will not impact EAGs in 2023 as much as it might have otherwise.)
Experiences of attendees
Overall, attendees tend to find EA Global welcoming (4.51/5 with 1–5 as options) and are likely to recommend it to others (9.03/10 with 0–10 as options).
Women and non-binary attendees reported slightly lower average scores on whether EA Global was “a place where [they] felt welcome” (women and non-binary attendees reported an average score of 4.46/5 vs an average of 4.56/5 for men). Otherwise, we found no statistically significant differences in terms of welcomeness and overall recommendation scores across groups in terms of gender and race/ethnicity.
Methodology note: In many cases, attendees did not give us gender or race/ethnicity data, but we calculated the global average across all attendees for the feeling of ‘welcomeness’ and ‘likelihood to recommend’ scores. This is why for instance the ‘overall’ welcomeness for EA Global is lower than the average welcomeness for either POC or non-POC attendees.
We are tracking the lower welcomingness scores experienced by women and non-binary attendees and have shared this with the Community Health team in case it is useful for their gender experiences project.
However, because the absolute differences here are pretty small, and overall ratings remain high, we currently do not think this is a major problem.
Many elements of EAG were designed to encourage welcoming experiences for all attendees. We’ve been holding affinity group meetups for years (e.g. women and non-binary people, people of color, and parents), and those events have often been cited as conference highlights by survey respondents. We generally have at least one community health point of contact onsite, have a code of conduct, have gender-neutral toilets available when possible, and have a parents’ room. Feedback can also be left anonymously in our survey or via the community health form. We take feedback reported to the contact people or in our feedback survey seriously, and where possible investigate cases where attendees feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. As with other demographics, we expect that people who like the events less or feel less welcome at the event might not come back and thus might not be captured in this data.
Speakers and MCs
Overall, speakers and MCs are more diverse in terms of gender than the attendee pool (43% for speakers vs 33% for attendees), and less diverse in terms of race/ethnicity (28% vs 33% for attendees).
We also have data on which speakers and MCs present talks, fireside chats, and workshops (referred to as “Onstage” below). These are the sessions that tend to be recorded and published on our YouTube channel, so will have further effects beyond the conference itself.
Speaker solicitation process
Starting in 2018, the Events Team began working with an “advisory board” of people with subject matter expertise across cause areas (currently 36 people). Over time we have consulted this group to varying degrees and also consulted experts outside of this list — including from the team, recent Forum posts, recent grantees, etc.
We start the speaker solicitation process by contacting a few groups: people from underrepresented groups and speakers that we want to approach early for various reasons (like those who are high profile or who we expect to have a lot of competition for their time). We use a spreadsheet that tracks racial and gender diversity and representativeness across cause areas. Along the way, we adjust our invites based on who has accepted so far to ensure a breadth of topics and expertise from a range of fields as well as racial and gender diversity across speakers. To be clear, we don't invite people to be speakers solely because of their race, gender, or cause area. We invite people we think will have interesting and useful things to say and have these systems to feature qualified people from underrepresented groups and subject matter experts from various fields.
Thanks to everyone who has given us input on these processes already. Please help us improve by providing feedback below or anonymously here. Please submit suggestions for content here (feel free to nominate yourself / your organization).
Here is a spreadsheet of the data underlying this post.
There are likely some inconsistencies or mistakes in our coding, but we opted to share while uncertain, rather than delay.
While this post looks only at racial and gender diversity, we recognize there are other forms of diversity e.g. socioeconomic, geographic, age, disability, etc.
Throughout this post, by the term “people of color” we intend to capture people of both non-white and Hispanic backgrounds (i.e. we include white Hispanic attendees as part of this metric). The race/ethnicity field in our application forms used to be a free-text field, so an events team contractor hand categorized this free-text field.
Breaking these figures down further: of registered attendees at 2022 EA Global events 67% self-reported as white, 24% self-reported as Asian, 5% self-reported as Hispanic only, 2% self-reported as Black, and 1% self-reported as multiracial. We note that these figures are more racially diverse than the 2020 EA Survey results, but not reflective of demographics of society generally.
Both the race/ethnicity and gender are fields in our feedback forms.
Speakers don’t consistently give us their gender and race / ethnicity data. When we didn’t have recorded demographic data on speakers, we hand-coded these based on our knowledge of the individual speakers.
It’s worth noting this data could be skewed systematically — for instance, we are unlikely to know if speakers are non-binary but not publicly ‘out’, and we could have mistaken the racial/ethnic backgrounds of some speakers.
For analytics relating to speakers and MCs in this post, if a speaker speaks at two sessions, we’ll count them twice. Unless otherwise specified, we count presenters at our core content sessions (such as talks, workshops, and meetups), but not some less structured or visible session types (such as office hours, guided meditations, private events, or community-initiated events).
For on-stage content at EA Globals in 2022 for speakers only (e.g. not including MCs) 34.5% of speakers were female or non-binary, and 27.3% were people of color.
Application evaluators do not see ethnicity data at the time of application review, but they do see names and country of residence.
We started using tracking spreadsheets in 2018. Unlike the 2022 data in this post, we did not ask Angelina to clean/hand code this data and just pulled what was listed, so some additional inconsistencies might exist. This includes MCs (counted once in general, possibly counted twice in some cases if they host a fireside chat in addition to owning a stage) and speakers (counted each time they speak):
EAG London 2018: 41.5% women/NB, 13% POC
EAG SF 2019: 38% women/NB, 25% POC
EAG London 2019: 51% women/NB, 30% POC
EAG SF 2020: 55% women/NB, 25% POC (ended up as a virtual event due to COVID, not all the speakers participated)
EAG London 2020 and SF 2021: didn't happen, COVID
EAG London 2021: 43% women/NB, 25% POC
2022: covered in this post 43% women/NB, 28% POC
EAG SF 2023: 47.27% women/NB, 29.09% POC
In the 2020 EA Survey, 29% of respondents were women or non-binary, and 22% were people of color (of respondents who provided any race data).
Roughly, EAGxSingapore was ~20% white and ~80% POC, EAGxLatAm was ~25% white/non-Hispanic, ~50% Latin American/Hispanic, 25% other, EAGxIndia was majority Asian (likely South Asian / Indian though many applicants didn’t specify and the category bunches many ethnic groups together). EAGxSingapore speakers were 44.45% women/NB, 53.33% POC; EAGxLatAm speakers were 31.9% women/NB, ~64% POC/Hispanic; EAGxIndia speakers were 31.25% women/NB, 55.55% POC.
For each comparison, we ran a two-tailed t-test assuming homoscedasticity at a 95% confidence interval. It’s worth noting a lot of people don’t note their gender and race / ethnicity in the feedback surveys, and a lack of statistical significance here doesn’t mean that there isn’t a difference in attendee experiences in reality.
Magnify Mentoring got started based on an EAG meetup years ago.
Code of conduct: “At EA Global, EAGx events and social events associated with EA Global or EAGx events, all attendees agree to:
- Respect the boundaries of other participants.
- Look out for one another and try to help if you can.
- Adhere to national and local health and safety regulations, as well as any additional policies we institute for EA Global.
This is a professional learning and networking event. These behaviors don't belong at EA Global or related events:
- Unwanted sexual attention, or sexual harassment of any kind.
- Using the event app to request meetings for romantic or sexual reasons.
- Offensive, disruptive, or discriminatory actions or communication.
We understand that human interaction is complex. If you feel able, please give each other the benefit of explaining behavior you find unwelcome or offensive.
If you’re asked to stop a behavior that’s causing a problem for someone, we expect you to stop immediately. By submitting this form, you confirm that you will adhere to this Code of Conduct, which applies at the conference and all related social events. You can contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions.”
These sessions tend to require some more preparation and often (although not always) are attended by more people.