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October 19, 2019

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CES unveils policy changes to address gender complaints

CES Gadget Show

John Locher / AP

In this Jan. 9, 2019, file photo a woman dressed as a mermaid performs at the Sublue booth at CES International in Las Vegas. The group that organizes the annual CES gadget show is cracking down on its dress code, introducing more programming focused on women and minorities and creating a new sex tech category. The moves are aimed at addressing complaints that the 52-year-old electronics show is too male-dominated.

NEW YORK — The group that organizes the annual CES gadget show is cracking down on its dress code and introducing more programming focused on women and minorities. The moves are aimed at addressing complaints that the 52-year-old electronics show is too male-dominated.

Each January, thousands of tech exhibitors and attendees descend on Las Vegas for the annual gadget show. CES faced backlash this year after organizers rescinded an innovation award for a robotic personal massager for women. It then reversed the decision and apologized.

It has also been criticized for having all-male lineups of keynote speakers, though that has improved.

CES executive Karen Chupka says CES worked with external advisors and partners to update policies and is committed to inclusiveness. Among other things, a new "sex tech" category is being created.