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Six white men discuss "Common Sense from Uncommon Investors" at this year's Milken Global Conference. Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

One of the more dubious values in the experience economy is a $15,000 ticket to the Milken Global Conference in Beverly Hills. Milken went to great lengths this year to tout diversity at its 22nd annual conference, but it's still very male and white.

By the numbers: A Milken spokesperson tells Axios that 250 out of its 800 speakers were women, which the conference believes is an improvement over last year, but can't say for sure. They can't say how many speakers were people of color, as they don’t track ethnicity.

  • Only 20% of speakers on the main stage were women, not counting the moderators. Mike Milken himself moderated 10 panels, which between them featured 32 men and 7 women.
  • The lack of women was felt walking around the conference, as many others pointed out.
  • I went to 10 panels over the course of 3 days. Just 3 panelists were black, and more often than not, I was the only person of color in the room.
  • None of the main stage panels, and very few panels generally, were majority women.

One panel, "The Hedge-Fund Shakeout," had four men and one woman debating how to stand out in an environment that's shrinking and underperforming. Missing from the conversation was the lack of diversity at hedge funds, even though the few female-run hedge funds out there have outperformed the rest of the industry.

Why it matters: This is not a problem unique to Milken. This week's Sohn conference, for instance, has 4 women and 17 men speaking. The majority of speakers are white.

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with First Lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.

Republicans pledge to set aside differences and work with Biden

President Biden speaks to Sen. Mitch McConnell after being sworn in at the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

Several Republicans praised President Biden's calls for unity during his inaugural address on Wednesday and pledged to work together for the benefit of the American people.

Why it matters: The Democrats only have a slim majority in the Senate and Biden will likely need to work with the GOP to pass his legislative agenda.

The Biden protection plan

Joe Biden announces his first run for the presidency in June 1987. Photo: Howard L. Sachs/CNP/Getty Images

The Joe Biden who became the 46th president on Wednesday isn't the same blabbermouth who failed in 1988 and 2008.

Why it matters: Biden now heeds guidance about staying on task with speeches and no longer worries a gaffe or two will cost him an election. His staff also limits the places where he speaks freely and off the cuff. This Biden protective bubble will only tighten in the months ahead, aides tell Axios.