By Melody Garcia and Marian Bacol-Uba
THE DAWN OF SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND NEW
In 2016, Bloomberg reported that male speakers and male panels still dominate conferences in the US at a ratio of 2:1. That has not changed over the past two years with men still making up almost 70% of event speakers. In a time when diversity and inclusion is needed in our world more than ever, KeyNote Women Speakers is on a mission to change those numbers. Bringing women experts together enables KeyNote to reach out to event organizers with alternatives to the usual male sources. Its roster includes women from the Finance, Tech, Business, Marketing, Legal, and Health and Wellness industries with more currently being vetted.
WHAT IS KEYNOTE WOMEN SPEAKERS?
KeyNote Women Speakers is a purely volunteer-run, mission-driven initiative that was created to bring diversity to the speaking stages around the world. Founded in Singapore in 2017 as a special program of Singapore’s PrimeTime Business and Professional Women’s Association, KeyNote’s Women Speakers Directory quickly become the #1 women speakers directory in Asia.
USA STEPS UP TO HELP BRIDGE GAPS. INTRODUCING THE 9 CO-FOUNDERS.
Launched in June, 2019 with over 70 media outlets picking up the official press release, KeyNote officially went global and launched in the United States with 9 influential and powerful women co-founders who have each been recognized in their own industries. After intensive selection and interview process, the 9 women were named.
Spearheaded by Founding Member and Chapter Lead, Marian Bacol-Uba, a Filipina-American with family roots in Camiguin and Cebu, Philippines. Marian is a TEDx Speaker, International Bestselling Author, Conscious Business Coach and the Founder of Thriver Lifestyle. Despite the existence of other speaker bureaus in the country, she believes KeyNote can carve a place in the market. “USA KeyNote is different from other speaker bureaus because we are volunteer-run, mission-driven, inclusive, and diverse. We focus on collaboration, community and empowering ourselves and each other.”
Marian Bacol-Uba is joined by two other Filipina leaders in the global launch. Melody Garcia and Stacy Bernal are both Founding Speakers of KeyNote USA, who also share in the same vision and mission. Melody Garcia already known to the Manila Up Magazine family, is the Founder of UNICEF Unite Orlando, Luminary Coaching and Consulting and Life Unscripted LLC. She is a multimedia powerhouse with multiple media reaches ranging from her podcast Life Unscripted, multiple global magazines, International keynote speaker and many other platforms too long to list.
Stacy Bernal is a Writer, Speaker and Personal Development Coach at See Stacy Speak LLC. Bernal has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Now, Scary Mommy, Autism Parenting Magazine, and HER Magazine. She is a huge advocate for autism awareness and founded Awesome Autistic Ogden, northern Utah’s first autism awareness event.
Mette Johansson, Chair of KeyNote Women Speakers Directory says, “At KeyNote, we’re convinced that the time is right for accelerating women’s empowerment. I see this as a huge opportunity to give women the confidence to speak on stages and make it easy for conference organizers to find inspiring female speakers. Studies show that diversity increases group intelligence. Meaning that having more women on stages is good for all of us.”
The other founding speakers of the US Chapter mirror the diversity of its Asian Head Office. Casey Halliley is a financial literacy expert and owner of Wealthology who motivates and inspires young students and professionals to take control of their personal finances so they can live the lives they want and deserve. Ruchika Tulshyan is an award-winning author, journalist, and keynote speaker, who advises organizations on diversity and inclusion strategy and communications through her company Candour. Jenny Dorsey is a professional chef, author, Serious Eats columnist, and artist specializing in multi-platform storytelling fusing food with social good. She leads a non-profit culinary production studio, Studio ATAO, aside from being the co-host of Why Food? podcast on Heritage Radio Network. Meggie Palmer is the Founder of PepTalkHer. Rebecca Cafiero is the Founder of Elevate Your Life Project, Business and Branding and Shen Ming Lee, a graduate from Cornell University, is the Author of Hungry for Disruption and an AgriFood Tech & Innovation Specialist.
Give back and Growth, just another foundational piece of what makes KeyNote special.
All the speakers in the directory are expected to give back to the community, for example through its Training Program, now on its third cohort. The directory’s professional speakers train women pro-bono on the art and technique of public speaking, which had the positive effect of boosting their confidence in speaking up at home and in the workplace.
With diversity and inclusion at the forefront of its initiatives, KeyNote is well equipped to successfully disrupt and change the global speaking arena.