Thank you for visiting our website! We’re glad you are interested in finding out about what we do.

What?  EVE stands for Equal Voices in ELT. It is an initiative that we originally created to recognise both gender and highly proficient speaker * parity in keynote and plenary line-ups* for ELT conferences and events worldwide. We began with a suite of three badges recognising gender parity, L1/L2 speaker parity and a combination of both, then in 2022, the badges were modified to recognise a greater degree of representation and inclusion.

Events can be face-to-face or online. Events with only one plenary speaker can also apply for recognition where parity or representation can be shown over consecutive years or where they run an active mentoring scheme and champion novice speakers.

As EVE actively encourages line-ups which are representative of the local teaching community and support local or national speakers, we also partner with Teachers’ Associations to run Mentoring Programmes for teachers – particularly women teachers – in underrepresented contexts wishing to become conference speakers.

Why?   The time is right. Good progress has already been made towards parity for women and highly proficient L1 / L2 speakers. Now is the time to continue to support and encourage that parity, while also taking a step further and recognising the great strides being made globally in terms of representation.

How?  EVE hosts an annual calendar of events that fit one of the following criteria: parity (even number of plenaries*) or near parity (odd number of plenaries**) of gender or of L1/L2 speakers; new voices supporting new or novice speakers; audience/theme representation or balance of both gender and L1/L2 speaker parity or near parity. Organisations are encouraged to contact us with the finalised line-ups for their forthcoming events, if they wish to be considered for inclusion in the calendar. Retrospective requests for events can also be taken, if the event was held in the same calendar year.

Events which achieve the criteria for one of our EVEs will then be recognised with a bespoke purple, green or platinum EVE badge, which can be displayed on the conference page. There will also be a link to the event page on the EVE Calendar.

When and who? We are a group of ELT professionals interested in the issue of equality and local representation at conferences and other ELT events. The idea was conceived by Fiona Mauchline and Sue Leather in 2017, and EVE (for ‘Equal Voices in ELT’) was born in early 2018. They are joined on the team by Aleksandra Popovski on our Facebook page. Maureen McGarvey and Christopher Graham join us on our Mentoring Steering Committee.

We are also on Twitter and Instagram.

Important note: EVE recognises that parity or representation is sometimes difficult to achieve. For this reason, we do not ‘frown upon’ line-ups where parity and representation have not been achieved, or condone criticism of such line-ups: quality of content is always above demographics. Furthermore, we trust that no teachers association would forego quality for a badge.

That said, in most cases, parity or representation is achievable if supported by all involved, and EVEs are awarded in recognition of the support given by events’ sponsors, as well as the efforts made by events’ organisers.

Who inspires us?  We’ve been inspired by Tessa Woodward and the Fair List , which encourages gender balance in plenaries in the UK, and by Marek Kiczkowiak and TEFL Equity Advocates, which advocates for the rights of proficient L2 speaker teachers in ELT.  Also by Silvana Richardson’s 2016 IATEFL plenary. The ‘native factor’, the haves and the have-nots. Last but not least, by the Facebook group Women in ELT, founded by Nicola Prentis, which has members from all over the world.

*Please see our Definitions page for key terms used by EVE.