Ex-Chartbeat CEO: What data tells us about the world of platforms
New bloggers' code of conduct to combat eating disorders and unhealthy body image obsession

Female speakers you need at your next journalism event

Here are 10 female speakers that would be brilliant speakers for your next media event.

Recently I found my name on this amazing list of «103 speakers you need at your next journalism event to avoid all male panels», compiled by Journalism.co.uk’s Agbigail Edge.

I was very honoured to be included in such amazing company, I love the initiative «to relegate all-male panels to the Mad Men era where they belong» - and there are quite a few other names I would like to add to such a list.

Naturally, the list predominantly includes British and American speakers, but Abigail’s brilliant initiative had me thinking that we need such lists for Norway, Sweden and Denmark too, as: 1) Scandinavian, and especially Norwegian, media are at the forefront of online innovation, and 2) we have a lot of very competent female media leaders and speakers here.

I’ve started to make plans to create such a list for Norway with a collaborator or two, but in the meantime – here are  10 Norwegian female speakers who have impressed me while giving talks to an international audience on issues on or related to journalism and the changing media landscape.

I’ve had the privilege to hear a great many excellent Norwegian female speakers give inspiring talks on a wide range of issues, but for this purpose I’ve only included some who have impressed me while giving talks in English on, or related to, the media industry (I might easily have forgotten names here and hope to get back with a more thorough list later).

I must admit that when I started out as a journalist I often found myself in all-male newsrooms or other all-male settings and didn’t give this too much thought. But it became more and more apparent to me that there was a major issue to be addressed here when I was covering national and international media and tech conferences. Looking through my photos from these events they were almost exclusively photos of men in suits.

RichAndFamousMicIn other words, the speaker line-up of left a lot to be desired in terms of diversity, both in terms of the lack of women speakers but also in terms of more diverse speakers in general. It was also an issue I became increasingly more aware of when organising major media conferences myself when I was head of The Norwegian Online News Association (NONA).

Abigail’s list of «103 non-male speakers you need at your next journalism conference» includes two Norwegian women, Liv Håker-Ottesen, development editor of Sunnmørsposten, and myself. I was privileged enough to hear Liv give an impressive (and highly entertaining) talk during NONA16, just a day before this list was published, so it was great to see her high up on this list at no 16.

In addition, here are 10 other Norwegian women speakers who’ve impressed me while giving talks on the media industry or media related issues to an international audience:

  • Bente Kalsnes, PhD student researching social media and politics, long time blogger, media columnist for weekly newspaper Morgenbladet, former journalist and community editor, one of the founders of Girl Geek Dinners Oslo
  • Ida Jackson, advisor at Netlife Research, a content-driven digital design agency, author (including a book on social media), one of Norway’s best known bloggers, columnist for Dagbladet.
  • Ida Aalen, advisor and UX-expert at Netlife Research, columinst for Dagens Næringsliv’s media section, author of two books on social media, long time blogger, former board member of NONA
  • Hildegunn Soldal, digital development editor Dagbladet and Aller Media, former executive producer multimedia at The Guardian, former board member of NONA.
  • Jill Walker Rettberg, professor of Digital Culture, University of Bergen (UIB), author of several books on social media, long time blogger, worth following on Snapchat for news on social media research and how researchers can use Snapchat
  • Runa A. Sandvik, director of Information Security at The New York Times, Tor Advocate

Now this is to name but a few, just to get started. There are, as I mentioned, many more who should be on such a list – but I feel I need to get others involved in the project in order to make a more comprehensive list as we’re all shaped (and limited) by our experience, background and networks.

It must also be said that in a brilliant initiative, Women Speakers is continuously compiling an extensive list of Norwegian female speakers by way of crowdsourcing/self-reporting – and even though that list is more geared towards tech and marketing, that is absolutely an initiative to be inspired by.

Below, a shot from Ida Aalen (left) and Ida Jackson's (right) brilliant and inspiring talk during Webdagene 2014 on making a once doomed online encylopedia succeed online:

Webdagene2014: Ida & Ida om "Hvordan ta seg vann over hodet"


May I add Kristin Nymark, responsible for social media at Aftenposten and a keen observer of everything that moves in technology and social media? She certainly is an excellent emcee.

Thank you! Yes, all other names are much appreciated and I will put together a much more comprehensive list (with the help of collaborators) eventually. But are you sure you don't mean Kristin Grøntoft? Google doesn't give me any instantly relevant hits for that surname, Nymark (nor does Facebook). If it's Grøntoft I know her to be a very competent lady, just haven't heard her give talks as far as I can remember.

The comments to this entry are closed.