Has CES Finally Fixed Its Diversity Problem?

January 7, 2019

As reported by Interesting Engineering, the most recent CES conference in 2018 only underlined this problem when, for the second straight year, every keynote speaker at the conference was a man—and most of them were white. The ensuing backlash was nearly universal and in response, the Consumer Technology Association promised that this year would be different; but have they followed through?

The issue of hiring and promoting women and minorities in tech is a well-documented problem. Everyone from Facebook to Google has struggled with the problem of underrepresentation, and many argue that the problem is a lack of qualified applicants from underrepresented groups or deploying outright offensiverhetoric to justify the disparity.

“To keynote at CES,” Karen Chupka, then the Senior Vice President of the CTA, saidin a blog post in December 2017, “the speaker must head (president/CEO level) a large entity who has name recognition in the industry. As upsetting as it is, there is a limited pool when it comes to women in these positions. We feel your pain. It bothers us, too. The tech industry and every industry must do better.”

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