Manels are enabled usually by insufficient efforts to look at the world outside of familiar circles, limited understanding of the importance of diversity for the quality of the conversation, and unconscious bias. Diversity broadens perspectives brought into a discussion, creating spaces for engagement and innovation among different viewpoints and experiences.
Homogeneity is a problem because similar voices can result in crowding out other expertise and alternative arguments. Manels perpetuate the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of women by completely ignoring them. The lack of inclusion of women on expert panels is also reflective of how few women are in leadership positions in various fields.
The “No-Manel Pledge” is not just about putting women on panels or as speakers. It is also about diversity across intersectionality1. It sets the stage for inclusivity that considers gender, race, sexual orientation, class, disability, geography, and language.