How To Create A Truly Inclusive Tech Conference
We've all seen it. An established conference opens up its registration, allowing attendees to buy passes, en masse, to a three day extravaganza filled with speeches by the industry's emerging thought leaders, networking, and parties. All seems good and well until you notice a couple of things. Number one? The speaker lineup is pretty homogenous. Secondly, the price to attend - far too much for someone in your tax bracket. So what can conferences do to make sure they include the attendees who need and want to attend their events? Ultimately, it comes down to three things: access, diversity, and specificity.
Make Your Conference Accessible
The price to register at a conference can often be in the thousands. And that registration fee doesn't include travel, food, or accommodations. All together, the costs can take a huge chunk out of your savings. There are a few ways to remedy this, however. Conferences like Tech Inclusion live stream their keynote speakers for attendees all over the world and upload them to YouTube. And the Grace Hopper Celebration uses sponsorship money from companies to support women to attend the conference. Another great way to make your conference accessible is to tier registration fees. In the case of Grade Hopper, students pay a reduced fee to attend.
Make Your Conference Diverse
Tech conferences that don't highlight diversity in both their speaker lineup and subject matter will be hard pressed to find a diverse audience. There are a wealth of thought leaders in tech on diversity alone. Take Ellen K. Pao, Leanne Pittsford, Y-Vonne Hutchinson, or Megan Smith -- the list goes on. The thing is, diversity and inclusion go hand in hand. So to create inclusive environments, you need to have diverse spaces that reflect the people you want to attract.
Make Your Conference Specific
Another crucial component of inclusivity is specificity. It's not enough to build it and hope they will come. People need to know their interests and identities are important to conference creators. That's why conferences like Grace Hopper and Lesbians Who Tech are so important and successful. They recognize the need for specificity and meet it.
So I know you're probably thinking, "These are great tips, but what conferences are doing this already?" Don't worry. I've got you covered.
Here are a list of tech conference who are getting diversity and inclusion right:
Are there any conferences you love? I'd love to hear from you! Let us know at email@example.com or on Twitter : @powertofly
Preparing for the Unexpected: How Maria Fava Found Her Confidence as a Bicultural, Bilingual Woman at T. Rowe Price
Born in Mexico City and raised in Guadalajara, Maria Fava never would have predicted that she'd have a career in financial services. And certainly not in Maryland.
Over two decades ago, when Maria moved to the U.S. to study psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington, she'd planned on moving back to Mexico to study law after graduation. Instead, she fell in love with an unassuming Italian-American her senior year. She married him and moved to Maryland, his home state.
When the pandemic began in spring and her friends (and fellow Carnegie Mellon master's students) started to find out that their offers for summer internships were canceled, Mai Sha held her breath.
A five-step framework for addressing systematic racism at work
The world has changed in the past few weeks.
We're watching corporations and organizations across the world come out in support of Black lives in droves. Many of those organizations are doing so for the first time in their history.