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.
In 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:
- Ingeborg Volan, current president of Norwegian Online News Association (NONA), Development editor at Adresseavisen, former Head of Social Media at The Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK).
- 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.
- Kjersti Løken Stavrum, Secretary general of the Norwegian Press Association (the organisation that administers the press complaints process in Norway), former editor of Aftenposten and KK
- 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
- Deehya Khan, Emmy and Peabody Award winning Documentary Filmmaker, #Banaz A Love Story. #JIHAD. CEO of production company @Fuuse. Founder of @sister_hood_mag
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.