TED talks are one of the most popular outlets for social activism; recent statistics show that more women are giving talks, but less by ethnic minorities.
While in 2017, more than half of TED talks were given by females, research shows that representatives of ethnic minorities give only about twenty percent (20%) of all presentations.
These results are concerning, as such disparity between the number of ethnic talk-givers raises some questions about the underrepresentation of these groups. Not only that, but the lack of enough ethnic speakers undermines the validity of social issues brought up in TED talks overall.
TED talks and schools
TED and the presentations given via the platform are becoming an increasingly popular resource for teachers all over the world.
While schools are becoming increasingly aware of gender issues, a lack of good ethnic representation on social change platforms like TED might give students a wrong impression. It is essential that students see the variety of ethnicities in the world in order to grow and develop with a sense of inclusiveness and disregard the many racist moments they are going to have in their life after moving on from school.
In order to remain a trusted social change platform, TED has to work on promoting more ethnically diverse presentations. Speaker diversity is important not only for the integrity of the platform but also for the results it is seeking to achieve.
According to researchers, TED should expect a natural increase in the number of ethnic speakers; however, actively working on resolving this issue should be a priority for the platform.