The Impact of Gender on Conference Authorship in Audio Engineering: Analysis Using a New Data Collection Method

Kat Young, Michael James Lovedee-Turner, Judith Sara Brereton, Helena Daffern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Contribution: This paper provides evidence of the lack of gender diversity at audio engineering conferences, using a novel and inclusive gender determination method to produce a new dataset of author gender.
Background: Audio engineering has historically been male-dominated; whilst the number of non-male audio engineers has increased recently, the industry mindset has changed very little. Studies into the gender diversity of this field are required to force a shift in mindset and create a more inclusive environment.
Research Questions: To what extent is there an imbalance in the representation of different genders at audio engineering conferences? Do conference topic, presentation type, or author position have an impact on the gender balance?
Methodology: A novel method was designed to obtain pronouns of authors where possible, avoiding removal of data or potential false positives. The main limitation of this methodology is the time required for gender determination. Gender composition was analyzed across 20 conferences, with gender balance further analyzed within four key categories: conference topic, presentation type, position in the author byline, and the number of authors listed.
Findings: This data-driven study demonstrates a clear lack of gender diversity in conference authorship in audio engineering. The results show low overall representation of non-male authors at audio engineering conferences, with significant differences across conference topics, and a notable lack of gender diversity within invited presentations.
Index Terms— Audio Engineering, Conferences, Gender, Underrepresentation, Bias, Discrimination, STEM, Engineering Pipeline
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Feb 2018

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