What do these Mobile World Congress speakers have in common?

Oct 10, 2011 | Barcelona Guide

Last week, 6 new Mobile World Congress speakers were added to the keynote lineup for 2012. But why is is that so little women are included in the speakers’ line-up?

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This latest announcement of Mobile World Congress speakers includes:

  • John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay. This year, eBay is sponsoring the mobile app Shazam which lets you walk into a shoe store (for example), hit the shazam button and instantly find out what that pumping house track playing is called. eBay’s Shazam sponsorship winds up in January 2012 and has been part of the company’s attempt to be in the forefront of consumer’s minds just as much when they are in retail stores as when they are shopping online. Perhaps Donahoe will report back on this mobile experiment. Last week in a video interview, Donahoe said that “we’re going to see more changes in the next three years than we saw in the last 15 years” so expect visionary predictions in his presentation, and get inspired for the year ahead.
  • Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO, of Interpublic Group. Interpublic is on target to spend $150 million this year buying up new ad agencies, like they did in March when they acquired Brazilian advertisers Cubo. We wonder if he will use his keynote to continue the train of thought he starts next week when he presents in San Francisco at the Web 2.0 Summit.

Other newly announced Mobile World Congress speakers include:

  • John Riccitiello, CEO, Electronic Arts
  • Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
  • Stephen Elop, President and CEO, Nokia, and
  • Vittorio Colao, Chief Executive, Vodafone.

There is a full list of current Mobile World Congress speakers on the GSMA event site.

While we are very excited to see that this will again be the industry conference for the mobile industry, having all top speakers, we couldn’t help but wonder why there are so few women in the Mobile World Congress speakers line-up at this stage?

With the industry group Women in Wireless currently undertaking a tour of US cities to raise the profile of women’s leadership in the sector, we don’t really understand why there is not a more balanced program, even at this early planning stage. Given how exciting and innovative the mobile sector is – often being propelled forward by those at the margin – we believe there is some great talent of BOTH genders that can contribute as Mobile World Congress speakers. Perhaps we will see this better represented in the next announcement?

In the meantime, this is all the more reason to book your Barcelona apartments accommodation and bring your team of up-and-coming bright stars (women and men!) to the Mobile World Congress in February 2012. Our apartments provide the ideal group accommodation for MWC. Email us with your enquiry while we still have vacancies of all sizes to offer you.

What do you think? Who would you like to see amongst the Mobile World Congress speakers at 2012?