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Chris Reed is taking on male-dominated industry conferences with ‘female rock-star speakers’

Opinion-splitting marketer Chris Reed has launched what he claims is the seventh brand in his “business empire”, with his company – All Black Ventures – now looking to branch out into the provision of female conference speakers for industry events.

Reed says he will tackle the gender imbalance at events

Reed – who bills himself as a global CEO and best-selling author – said he aimed to make 2019 the year of equality “on panels” and “keynotes” because conference organisers were often overlooking women when putting together event content.

“Females are not being featured because they’re not good enough or they’re not out there, they are and there are plenty of them,” he said.

“There is an imbalance because of the old boys network and comfy choices made by corporations, non-profits (like chamber of commerces) and conference/event organisers who all prefer male dominated panels and male keynote speakers.”

Outlining the ‘Rock Star Key Note Speaker’ offering to conference organisers, he added: “This brand will specialise in finding you female rock-star speakers for your panels and your keynotes as well as promote up and coming female and male speakers overlooked in preference for safe and easy choices.”

Reed claimed he had partnered with Asia Women Speakers and other organisations in order to build a portfolio of alternative speakers that would help create gender parity on the event circuit.

He will take a 20 per cent cut of speaker fees as part of any deal, he told Mumbrella.

Asked which specific conferences prompted him to act on the issue of gender imbalance, he said: “Every event.”

Reed’s other six brands include the LinkedIn-focused firm Black Marketing, Mohawk Marketing – a tool said to combine TripAdvisor with LinkedIn – and Spark, a fusion of Tinder and LinkedIn.

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