Hi, my name is Jill Binder, and I’m talking to you today about diverse public speakers in technology.
What would technology look like if it had more diverse leaders and organizers? Just like how “Talking Books” were created in 1918 for the visually impaired, and still today audiobooks are popular in the mainstream, more people’s needs would be included, and there’d be fresh ideas that would benefit everyone.
What’s the fastest way to create more diverse leaders and organizers? Public speaking. Once people are using their voices, some go on to do more. Easy right? Well…
When I was co-organizing a conference with WordPress – which is a type of website platform – we only had 7 out of 52 diverse speaker applicants from women and other underrepresented groups. And then we had only 14% speakers. Several folks in the audience were not happy about this, and talked to us privately or even wrote blog posts about it publicly.
Thing is, there’s a lot of reasons why this happens, but one of them is when we’d ask if they’d speak, their Impostor Syndrome stopped them. And then I felt defeated. Somebody suggested that I hold a brainstorming session, and from there I lead the creation of a new workshop. It’s only 4 hours, it’s hands-on and effective, and it busts through Impostor Syndrome.
In just one year, my conference had triple the number of diverse speaker applicants and we had fully 50% diverse speakers the next year.
I’ve been leading a team in WordPress to promote and train this workshop all over the world, and I’ve been doing this as a volunteer for a few years now. In 2018, the 6 countries who ran this workshop went from typically about 10% diverse speakers to in just a few months typically 50% or more. Can you imagine? This is incredible!
And there’s been changes in WordPress because of this. Having more diverse speakers has improved the brand and even the product itself.
And there’s been local community changes. Take Kirsten in Vancouver. She took our workshop, spoke for the first time at our conference, got spotted by a local agency, became their first female developer, and quickly became their senior developer and team lead.
It is my life purpose to take this work to the whole world in all areas, and technology is only the first step. If you like what I’m doing, please help me spread the word. Please speak with me after or get in touch at DiverseIn.tech.
Once more folks are speaking up, watch what happens next.
Thank you so much for watching this video. Please subscribe to my newsletter and receive the free eBook “How Attract and Develop Diverse Voices In Your Organization”. And also I would love it if you’d join the journey and follow me on social media, or let’s grab a 15 minute chat and see how we can help your organization.