by Michael O'Neill
December 9th, 2013

Interesting study out of our US offices that looks at how the most powerful women in business are engaging with external audiences. Based on Fortune’s 50 Most Powerful Women (MPW) US list, the study examined speaking engagements, board memberships and honours of these successful women.

As you can see from this infographic, the majority of women (72%) on the list spoke at one or more conferences in 2012, and, on average, had 2.1 speaking engagements during the year. The leading speaking forums in 2012 for these most powerful women included Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit, The Wall Street Journal’s Women in the Economy, MIT Sloan Women in Management, Catalyst Awards Dinner, Fortune Brainstorm TECH and the World Economic Forum in Davos. By far, these women spoke at more industry-focused events than other event types.

Dr. Leslie Gaines Ross, chief reputation strategist at Weber Shandwick, wrote on her blog: “One of the ways to get to be a successful businessperson in the US is by proactively connecting with external audiences.  We are finding that speaking engagements are increasingly important and we are not the only ones who have noticed. If you read this article on the booming conference business, you will see that the podium is the new live media channel.”

Carrol Ballock, EVP at Weber Shandwick, added: “Conferences, rankings and awards are essential for company storytelling. Women business leaders are leveraging these tools to communicate their companies’ messages and reinforce their company brands.”

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