The first time I was a co-organizer at WordCamp Vancouver for WordPress in 2013, not many women applied to speak. Then I learned that we had a high number of applicants in comparison to other WordCamps.
I formed a team to create a workshop that busted through the primary objections we’d hear when we asked women if they would apply to speak: “What would I talk about?” and “I don’t know enough about … to give a talk on it.”
The workshop was a success. The following year, three times as many women applied and fully half of selected speakers were women.
Other cities were inspired by our work to create their own versions.
At the request of WordCamp Central, we took the best material of all the cities who had run it and created a version that could be run for any underrepresented group.
When I spoke about the work at WordCamp Seattle in 2017, one of the people who had requested we make the big workshop sat down with me to brainstorm. “Many places have run it now, Jill. We know it works. Not enough cities around the world have heard of it though. What can we do about this?” By the end of the conversation I was running the new “Diversity Outreach Speaker Training” working group. It’s now 40 people around the world strong.
It is now one of the primary loves of my life!
My goal is to start with WordPress, then move on to other open source techs, and then the world.
Want to get involved?
Do you run a WordPress Meetup? More information and sign up form
Would you like to be part of the team? Join the WordPress Diversity Outreach Speaker Training group
Would you like to run it for your non-WordPress group? Contact me
Featured image taken by Jeremy Lim