In an effort to increase financial conference diversity, a California-based group, Choir, has used a proprietary algorithm to create a benchmark measuring how diverse an event’s speakers are.
The benchmark, known as the Choir certification, uses the data to “provide leadership teams and event organizers with actionable guidance to maintain diverse and increasingly representative speaker lineups year over year,” the group said in a release.
Choir’s core mission is “to lift the voices of women, people of color, and non-binary people who have often been historically excluded and ignored across all sectors of the financial industry,” according to the release.
The group’s algorithm determines the visibility of each speaker using seven visibility factors, including stage visibility (main stage versus breakout, for example), the number of concurrent sessions, and the number of panelists, among others.
“Visibility factors are cross-referenced with race and gender data for each speaker, with an additional metric accounting for the multiple levels of discrimination that women of color face, then aggregated to create the Choir score,” the release stated.
Choir was founded by Liz Gagnon, a media relations executive, and Sonya Dreizler, who speaks and writes about diversity issues in financial services and is the former CEO of a broker-dealer and RIA.
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