TED confirms 2 men kicked out of Vancouver conference after harassment complaints

The organization known for its short, powerful talks released a statement addressing allegations in a Washington Post story that five women were sexually harassed or groped during its main conference in Vancouver in April.

Statement comes after Washington Post story alleging 5 women were sexually harassed or groped

TED says two men have been banned from any future TED events after reports of sexual harassment and aggressive behaviour were made by five women at its 2017 conference in Vancouver. (Marla Aufmuth/TED)

Technology, Entertainment, and Design (TED) says two men were kicked out of its main conference in Vancouver in April after five women alleged they had experienced either sexual harassment or aggressive behaviour at the event.

TED — known for its conferences where speakers deliver short speeches on science, business or global issues — released a statement about the allegations after the Washington Post published a story on sexual harassment at its events.

The organization says at the TED17 conference, it was informed that four women attendees experienced sexual harassment, and another experienced aggressive behaviour from male attendees.

"We were alarmed by what we heard and immediately conducted full investigations to understand the context and impact of what had happened," it wrote in its release.

The organization says as a result one man was asked to leave the conference immediately, while another was barred.

"These two men were the source of the five complaints, and will not return to TED," said the statement.

Anti-harassment policies

TED says since the incidents it has made changes to make sure that all attendees know its code of conduct and that any violation could result in being removed from its events.

It also says it's doing more to make sure attendees know how to report problems.

TED says its ultimate goal is to have more women attend its conferences. It estimates that around 2,000 people go to the main conference, each year. 40 per cent of them are female.

"We are determined to continue to increase the number of women who come to TED and to ensure that the conference experience is one where all attendees feel safe and respected," it wrote.

TED says it has always investigated any complaints it has learned of in the past and hopes that new anti-harassment policies will prevent future incidences.

TED2018, with the title The Age of Amazement, will be held in Vancouver from April 10-14. It costs around $13,000 Cdn to attend the event.

Read the full statement here.