There has been no bigger business story in 2017 than the treatment of women in male-dominated industries. So it’s no surprise that the issue has come to the biggest technology show in the world, CES. A kerfuffle took off over the weekend in response to an “action alert” by the women’s organization GenderAvenger, which pointed out that no women will be delivering keynotes at CES 2018 in early January.

Karen Chupka, senior vice president for corporate business strategy at the Consumer Technology Association, which organizes CES, was quick to respond with a tweet on Sunday noting that women have given keynotes in the past, including in 2016, and that women speak at many other smaller events at the show and on panels. (About 275 women participated last year.) Chupka elaborated today in a blog post for the CTA, and expressed her own frustration.

“To keynote at CES, the speaker must head (president/CEO level) a large entity who has name recognition in the industry. As upsetting as it is, there is a limited pool when it comes to women in these positions,” she wrote. “We feel your pain. It bothers us, too. The tech industry and every industry must do better.”

Current and past lineups indicate the kinds of entities that CES is looking for in a keynote-speaker CEO: Intel, NVidia, Ford, Huawei, Hulu, Under Armour. The CEO of the Consumer Technology Association, Gary Shapiro, has a standard slot every year as well.

“The Criteria Is a Measure Of What They Value”

“The fact is that until women are seen and heard in public spaces and at public events, we cannot achieve equality, we cannot demonstrate to…

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