Are speaking gigs getting more female friendly?

There are calls for more women to put their hands up for key speaking gigs as pay gaps appear to narrow and men champion their cause.

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In a month where five of the country’s top male speakers took a stand against a lack of women on conference panels, we’ve taken a look at what such gigs actually may pay.

According to salary comparison website Payscale.com, regular Australian lecturers and speakers earn an average salary of $82,378 per year.

While it’s not clear what the difference in earnings is between Australian men and women, reports from the US suggest that some men still earn more, but not significantly though.

Recently a news report in the Australian said that former army chief David Mor­­rison is charging up to $15,000 for speaking engagements as Australian of the Year, while his predecessor Rosie Batty asked for $5000.

The report also added that former sex discrimination commissioner Elizabeth Broderick gets paid $10,000 per speaking event.

It may come as no surprise, or perhaps maybe it does, that US presidential hopeful Donald Trump is said to have been paid $US1.3 million for a handful of talks.

Hillary Clinton has also been offered up to $275,000 per event to speak, according to the Washington Post.

US personal finance guru Suze Orman recently told Financy that speaking bureaus pay her $US100,000 to give a 30-minute talk to corporates.

According to online news site Quartz, which cites the Washington Post, former US president and hubby to Hillary, Bill “earned more than $US16.3 million for 72 speeches” in 2012, which is around $US226,000 per speech.

CNN also reports he was once paid $US750,000 for a speech in Hong Kong.

In this news report, five Australian male speakers announced this month that they would boycott all-male panels from now on unless greater diversity and particularly women featured as guest speakers. They have urged more guest speakers to follow suit.

Among the reasons why there tends to be more male speakers are, women are less likely than men to put themselves forward, fears of trolling or negative press, and claims that there just aren’t enough available female speakers.


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