Captivated by this realization, I decided to dig deeper. I already knew that there was a long history of gender inequality at tech conferences around the world. From robot strippers to booth babes, the tech industry’s sexist reputation was painstakingly clear. But as discouraging as it was to read these headlines, we felt they didn’t paint the whole picture—so we took it upon ourselves to finish filling in the blanks.

Ensono conducted a study, “Speak Up: Bringing More Women’s Voices to Tech Conferences,” to take an objective look at the experiences and perceptions of women at tech conferences. We surveyed 500 women across the US and UK who have attended a tech conference, and audited 18 global tech conferences to uncover the ratio of male to female keynote speakers over the last three years. Some of the results were as we expected, and some were surprising, but they all reveal an issue that businesses in the tech industry can do more to solve.

Here’s a breakdown of our biggest takeaways:

Although it’s easy to use conference organizers as scapegoats for these gender-gap issues, the decision-makers at tech companies across the globe share the responsibility. By looking internally at their workforce and encouraging more of their female associates to attend and speak at industry events, business leaders can be part of the solution. Offering the right training and support are small initiatives that can make a big impact.

So let’s build a line out the door for women’s bathrooms at tech conferences—it’s a small price I’m more than willing to pay.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.