CES gadget show steps towards more gender positive decisions
The annual gadget show of Los Angeles, the CES gadget show is taking positive steps forward towards focusing on women and minorities by changing its dress code, introducing more women focused sessions and creating a new gadget category called “sex tech” which includes adult sex toys.
The show had faced severe criticism this year after an innovation award for a personal robotic massager for women by the startup company Lora DiCarlo was cancelled. CES practiced its reserved right to void awards for devices which were “immoral, obscene, indecent, profane or not in keeping with CTA’s image.” Pointing to a sex doll for men launched a year earlier at CES itself, Lora DiCarlo criticised the decision as sexist. CES later apologised and reinforced the award.
The organizing committee of the event Consumer Technology Association revealed the change in its policies on Tuesday which sought to change the course of actions in the 52-year-old electronics show which is allegedly too male-dominated.
The show has also ensured proper gender representation by adding four female keynote speakers in a total lineup of nine speakers compared to no females in the same position in 2017.
A new “Innovation for All” programming track which will feature sessions with senior diversity officials is being organized by CES to promote diversity. CES is also working with The Female Quotient, a group that advocates gender equality, to host a lounge with discussions about gender equality.
CES will strictly enforce a specific dress code banning booth personnel from wearing garments that are “sexually revealing or that could be interpreted as undergarments,” irrespective of the gender. Penalties have been introduced for the violators of the dress code. Any booth if found violating the guidelines, will be docked “priority points,” which allow vendors access to the best show locations.
Karen Chupka, the executive vice president of CES, said organisers are “committed to evolving and continuing to create an experience at CES that is inclusive and welcoming for everyone.”
Founder and CEO of Lora DiCarlo, Lora Haddock expressed her joy at CES’s decision and said that her company supports the move and is planning to be at CES in 2020.