Diversity in conference speaker line-up

Yesterday, WordCamp Europe (WCEU) — one of the biggest WordPress events in the world — announced its fifth round of speakers.

WordPress community member Michelle Frechette rightly so made the observation that there were only 25% women so far, and only 15% non-white people.

This was met with some fairly snarky remarks, including by an organiser. Here are some of the arguments that are captured in the comments, and why those aren’t valid.

🗒️ EDIT: Yesterday, organiser Sjoerd posted this tweet:

I’m interested to see the communications coming, but this is a great start. The apology is specific and it doesn’t use an “if” statement. I will leave the rest of this post as it is, but this should be an encouragement that opening a discussion about diversity is not a dead-end street.


Wrong “assumptions”

Organiser Sjoerd replied something in the line of “just wait”. The implication of this was that Michelle was making wrong assumptions. What he didn’t acknowledge was that she went with the data in front of her: women and people of colour were under-represented in the first five batches of speakers.

By now, diversity should be high enough on the agenda of organising a conference that the communication around this also captures this. While the organisers maybe still have a bunch of speakers lined up that will change the balance, there’s no communication at all as to why they would wait to change that balance until the end. If diversity as at the forefront of the thinking, we’d expect this to show throughout.

Here’s how Sjoerd could’ve reacted instead (if indeed the balance will be better in future announcements):

Thanks for pointing that out. You’ll see that this is more balanced after future announcement. We did have this in the forefront of our thinking in the selection process, but could’ve done a better job in the announcements.

Choosing for diversity “or” quality

Dmitry responded with a meme suggesting that this would be a choice between inclusion and quality. There are several assumptions in there that I would argue are not valid. To need to choose between quality and diversity, there would need to be such a scarcity of expertise that it rests entirely with a tiny group of people.

Maybe there are niche fields out there where that is the case, but that is definitely not the case in the WordPress community. I lead a team of roughly 120 people, and I think I would have no problem finding 18 speakers with more diversity than the current WCEU line-up who all would deliver a stellar talk on WooCommerce and WordPress related topics. Many of them have given tutorials and talks within our teams.

But even the scarcity argument is flawed in smaller communities, as it assumes that speakers need to be experts to give a talk on a certain topic. Especially when it comes to web development, I don’t think it matters what your level of expertise is to share a valuable perspective. I’m an educator by training (M.Sc., Ghent University), and have taught university professors on how to teach better; they were subject experts, but I think in most cases someone with less expertise could’ve done a better job at teaching their classes.

“Blind” selection process

Kurt mentioned that for some WordCamps, the selection is “blind” in that the selectors only see a title and a description. I want to add a caveat that it’s a bit ironic to use the word “blind” in a context of diversity, as I’m not confident how people with a visual impairment would feel about that.

Michelle rightly adds that having a more unbiased selection really doesn’t need to exclude a diverse line-up. I would even argue that looking purely at title and description will include some bias as well. For example, this would favour the people who have a stronger mastery of English.

A speaker line-up isn’t purely about the content of the submissions, the format of your conference matters as well. Part of that format is the diversity you have. If you do not have a diverse line-up, without saying this explicitly, you are still saying: our community looks to white, able-bodied men for leadership and guidance.

Representation of applicants

Katie asked how the balance of selected speakers compared to those who applied. If anything, this shows a very common problem: people who’ve experienced privilege their whole lives feel much more comfortable (and even sometimes entitled) to apply as a speaker.

For example, this Harvard study confirms that women are much less likely to self-promote than men, even if more qualified. Let’s be honest, public speaking is a form of self-promotion, even if its goal is to help your peers.

If making sure that your speaker selection represents your application submissions pool, then you’re focused on the wrong type of representation. That implies that, as an organiser, you can’t just shrug if the majority of your applications are white men.

Why does it matter?

There are many, many books, articles, posts, etc. on the topic of representation. It’s difficult for me to relate to a need for representation because I’m represented everywhere. What I hear from friends who don’t have this experience (next to reading those books), is how incredibly encouraging it is to see someone lead who looks like you.

Our goal is not for WordPress conferences to represent our current community, but for it to represent what our community should look like: a diverse hub of people working together. I’d argue that we do better than several other software solutions, but also that we’re definitely not there yet.

I’m still grateful that for WordCamp Cape Town, lead organiser Jonathan was conscious of the need for diversity during the last few editions. He set a target beforehand, and it resulted in us needing to actively find people to get that target. It was more work for us, but I think the conference was better for it. The quality wasn’t worse than previous editions. Moreover, I heard from several attendees how much they had appreciated someone “like them” speaking.

What can we do?

I’m part of a historically privileged group, or rather a bunch of historically privileged groups: white, male, straight, able-bodied. While the whole intent here is to reduce the power that lies with these groups, we can still use the power that is there to help make a change.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Listen to those in the other groups. My gut feeling is to always start acting, and I think one of the most powerful things we can do is make sure that the agency lies with those people from the other groups. I mentioned something similar in this post on witnessing inappropriate behaviour, and while the situation is different, the point of agency still stands. As a professional, this also means surrounding yourself by people who aren’t all like you.
  • Ask for diversity. If you get selected as a speaker, or you’re part of the organisers or sponsors, you can ask the lead organisers to ensure that there’s a diverse representation. My experience within the WordPress community so far is that the majority of people are very open to this type of feedback. (I unfortunately have seen a few situations where this wasn’t the case.)
  • Speak up. If you’re noticing that flagging your concerns to the organisers did not have an impact, then I think it’s worth having a public discussion about this. Hold the organisers accountable!
  • Retract your speaker spot or sponsorship. When you’ve tried the above, and you still notice that the speaker line up is not diverse, one of the most powerful things you can do as a speaker is retracting your submission. If the spots are limited, then your clearing one of those spots has a direct impact on the diversity aspect. A bigger impact would likely be via the money: as a sponsor, you have a lot of power over a conference. While I would not want sponsors who dictate the specific speaker line-up (and demand a quid pro quo for a specific speaker if they sponsor), I think that sponsors can definitely make their sponsorship conditional on the content being diverse enough. At the smallest level, as an individual, you can also choose not to attend the conference.
  • Book a session with Michelle. The biggest irony in this whole discussion is that Michelle is herself an expert in diversity. She and her partner offer sessions for people, organisations and companies who’d like to get better as this. She’s probably one of the people that should be bookmarked in the WordPress community as one to listen to (see the first bullet point). You can find her at Underrepresented in Tech.

Cover Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash


14 responses to “Diversity in conference speaker line-up”

  1. Job, thank you so much for this such a well written, thoughtful and helpful commentary on a “conversation” that still has many of us quite upset.

    Regarding the “blind” selection: the application form actually asked for an explanatory video (not compulsory) to make a stronger case for your pitch, so the selection can’t have been anonymous (a better word than “blind” perhaps). Moreover, as Michelle pointed out and you reiterated, perhaps the biggest WordCamp in the world should use a different system.

    I’m also hearing a lot the “We’re all volunteers” old chestnut. This is quite a complex one to dissect in a comment, but it definitely warrants a reflection: perhaps once again, the volunteering system may be a flawed one for a big conference with so much corporate sponsorship behind it.

    The “quality vs inclusion” argument is disgusting as well as offensive, and quite frankly ridiculous. Dmitry also asked whether we knew for a fact that someone had been rejected on basis of gender or race, which is so wrong in so many ways, I only have the strength to face-palm.

    Thank you for debunking the “does the selection reflect the applicants” myth, too. Wrong question, in all the ways you point out.

    Thank you for taking the time to speak up, show up, and be an ally. Personally, after the past 24 hours on Twitter (there’s been quite a lot more on top of what you analyse here), I’ve been seriously considering whether I still want to be part of this community – or perhaps we should just fork! Posts like this give me back some hope. Once more, thank you.

  2. This – unironically – is truly a passionate, thoughtful blog post about the importance of inclusion.
    Presented in a meager font weight of 300 on a faint background, which makes it hard as hell to read for someone with less then ideal eye sight.

    1. Thanks for the feedback, Xia. The colour contrast on this page gets a pass on WebAIM’s contrast checker. I’ve changed the font weight back to the default of this theme.

      1. Way better 👍
        Seems like WCAG 3.0 finally will be addressing contrast as not a matter of color alone but also font weight and size.

  3. Mike Bal avatar
    Mike Bal

    I think that leaders and organizers also need to stop assuming diversity will play out naturally. It might be time to invest in recruiting a more diverse lineup instead of parsing applications that come in.

    At the same time, I’m waiting for humans to think about diversity as something deeper than gender, race, orientation, or attributes.

    Being half white doesn’t mean half of my life has been more privileged.

  4. Dave Loodts avatar
    Dave Loodts

    (yes, i used google translate)
    As a 2-time WordCamp Antwerp Lead organizer (2016/2018), I mainly note the following: the role of a WordCamp organizer and their “responsible” tasks is the most difficult task in the WP ecosystem. An organizer can’t hide behind code, plugin, documentation, forum,… You’re on a deadline, and with #wpdrama it can go very quickly that your personal reputation becomes a shooting target.

    Could Sjoerd’s reaction be better? Yes, for sure. Was it meant that way? No. By the way, you haven’t spoken to Sjoerd right. But as a WC organizer I also immediately understood his – perhaps a little too fast / fierce – reaction. Don’t you think Sjoerd was waiting for such a question? He expected it, I expected it myself, but I also realize that there are too many diversity eyes on WCEU. It will be alright. I trust on that. Of course, they could have handle it better, spread the announcements, so on. By the way: Michelle asked it very polite, as she always is. Nothing but praise for Michelle’s work.

    But everyones assumption is also that a WordCamp event is so professionally managed. Certainly a flagship event, right. Just imagine that it isn’t, for example not handing well this communication of WCEU. Should we bombard them immediatlely as an anti-women organization, or perhaps: yes, it’s maybe not so professional as we might think it is. And that is okay. If you’re not okay with it as can happen in open source: help them work out next WCEU. By the way: during WordCamp The Netherlands 2022, Sjoerd ask me if i knew some (Belgian) females willing to help in his WCEU team. He is 100% aware on diversity and actively executing on it. Again, could he replied better: yes. But maybe in your post you could also highlight and interview them about the stuff they in fact did on diversity.
    Don’t expect them to have fully documentation on communication. I could reverse that to your own work as head of WooCommerce support: why doesnt’ WooCommerce do better communication around their changelog? Well that is pure chaos, all links to github. (sorry, that is now out of my system). Anyway: communication is hard. Not everyone is professional, don’t expect it be. The professionals aren’t even professional.

    I myself also experienced in 2018 to have some negative PR on diversity as organizer. No matter how proactive we had searched, up to stalking. :-). And yes, the commotion with us was because we didn’t choose 1 particular female speaker because she sent it the same topic as another female speaker. A “VIP” WordPress person in the ecosystem spoke to us fiercely openly about it. Could we approach it differently by asking that female person about a different topic. Yes, certainly afterwards. That was a missed opportunity. Nobody is perfect. But that kind of commotion came with a cost for me personally and mentally.

    So if a WP VIP person (like Michelle in this case) makes a comment on this; then you see 2 interesting phenomena: most people stay silent or have no opinion because they don’t want to burn their own bridges. They protect themselves. It is such a sensitive subject. Then there are the diversity knights coming up and profiling themselves, which is absolutely beautiful in itself. Don’t get me wrong, that’s necessary. But if you go through those people, which company they work for or which company they have, and you look at their team page… mmm.. diversity…. well, sometimes my gray hairs get a little brighter. You work for Automattic. You know I’ve been in the business for a long time, I’ve been building sites for almost 20 years. Not very long ago, Automattic was also mainly a men’s club. And I encourage you to also look around other team pages (or company linkedin pages) of WP companies. Especially in European countries. So the problem goes way deeper than “speakers”.

    Yes, there is still a lot of work to be done, for companies and organizers. But it’s not easy for companies, nor for organizers.

    But WordCamp organizers are lately under enormous pressure, have to be political correct 24/7, bombarded as world improvers. It’s even become fiercer with #woke and the “longer toes after corona”-mentality. Probably no other WordPress contributor task has this level of intensity and “external” monitoring.

    So, going back to 2018. I couldn’t enjoy my last WordCamp as an organizer. Mainly because of the commotion and not everything in the team was running smoothly. I was up and it was just too much. A week after the WordCamp my grandmother passed away; and that was the start of my (half) burnout. And as a one-person company I don’t have the Automattic luxury to take a year’s paid holiday, right 😉

    To clarify, I am 100% for diversity. This is important. WP VIP people like Michelle are always right. Moreover, it is very difficult to debate this matter in a textual way. Words can be read wrong, not everyone is native EN. The question is also: is it actually a debate, but a normal thing without us having to ask these questions. Ab-so-lu-te. But there is always a but: in reality it really isn’t that simple, depending on country or city. From the sidelines yes, not from the organizers point of view.

    And by the way: WordPress Foundation won’t make it any easier for organizers, does it? Have you read the recent proposal of subject-based wordcamps? I know: it shouldn’t matter if it’s “subject-based” in terms of diversity. But in reality: it’s definitely not easier and before you know it you’re a shooting target and you’re asking yourself: am I really that type of woman hater they think I am? Or that old-white-privileged man I also realize all too well? How far have I come with myself after all my community contributions? And that’s how you end up in a burnout as an organizer.

    With this recent “drama” a lot comes back to the surface of 2018. I haven’t been an WordCamp organizer since then, never will again, and will never ever recommend it. I have tremendous respect for every old and certainly new WordCamp (lead) organizer.

    And some people who reads this and don’t know me will probably think: that’s good he won’t be a organizer anymore. He just a boomer or some sort of it. WP people that really know me will be surprised i am saying this for the first time. Few days ago i was at Yoastcon; i got 8 times the question: are you gonna organize a new WC Antwerp cause i always enjoyed it? By the way: mostly all asked by women. So, i’m really not such of a bad guy, after all. As Sjoerd isn’t either. In fact, he is an awesome guy.

    Anyway, I want you to look at it from an organizer’s perspective as well. At Automattic they have a slogan: always expect good intentions. Apply this for a moment. You could have chatted with Sjoerd or with #WCEU. WCEU has an internal agreement not to respond to Twitter storms. Especially on such a sensitive topic.

    It’s fantastic to see you and Michelle keep reminding everyone on the importancy of diversity. It matters. We all know that. But diversity is not AGAINST or OR or ANTI, it’s always AND.
    And we can all agree that the WordPress community is probably one of the most welcomed tech community is on this planet. So, don’t split parties: choose for the AND.

    And the organizers I know personally really do their freaking best and it’s always sad to see them publicly attacked while they can’t respond back.

    I hope everyone is having a great time in WCEU.

    1. No one has been saying organizing is easy! It truly is hard, especially for flagships that have higher expectations from sponsors, speakers, attendees, etc. I know this from experience as well. 🙂 (As does Michelle, who is no stranger to event organizing as I’m sure you know!) And I totally get what you’re saying about it being emotionally difficult, but I disagree about the comments you made about not needing professionalism and “political correctness.”

      If we want a healthy community, we need to have members who can take constructive criticism and not see it as a personal attack. As you said yourself, diversity is a topic that’s been talked about before and is expected from organizers, so there really shouldn’t have been this angry knee-jerk reaction to this discussion.

      And it’s important to remember that reacting aggressively to criticism will likely make it even harder in the future to welcome a more diverse group. Every day as a woman in tech is trying, from the unsolicited comments on our appearance, to the lack of representation, feeling unsafe at events, impostor syndrome, making less money than our male coworkers, to the angry reactions when we ask for a little more. It’s not about expecting perfection from the organizers, but expecting them to be able to take and respond to feedback without lashing out.

      This isn’t some random “woke mob,” these are community members trying to help other community members make better events.

    2. Thanks for taking the time to reply here, Dave. There’s quite a bit to unwrap here, so I’d like to focus on a few things.

      • Did I ask Sjoerd? I got involved in the same way that he communicated to Michelle: in a public channel. I am a big fan of the idea of assuming good intentions, but he didn’t just once communicate in an unfortunate way. He told Michelle several times to “just wait”. I don’t assume this means that Sjoerd doesn’t have diversity on the forefront of his thinking because of that. I noticed that he’s not even part of the content selection team at WCEU. What happened is that I noticed that in a public channel, after a very polity question, he was dismissive. You mention later that the WCEU team decided not to respond to storms, but that’s precisely what he did here, and there is still no retraction of how he commented to Michelle. It’s not that hard to say “you’re right, that was poor”.
      • Do I think Sjoerd is a bad guy? No, not at all. I nowhere said this in the post. It’s amazing how involved he is in the WordPress community and how hard he works there. I just think he responded poorly to a fair question. I’m sure there are many examples to find where I responded poorly to a fair question. That doesn’t make me a bad guy either, but it does make me someone who made several mistakes. I know that you pull in not being a native English speaker as a reason, but even after people pointed out that “Just wait” is dismissive, he still repeated it and didn’t retract it, nor would this statement read any better in Dutch (which both you and I speak natively).
      • Do I think organising a WordCamp or any other conference is easy? I do not, I’ve been a speaker and co-organiser at several conferences, including being the lead content organiser for WooConf 2016. Yes, I was working on the latter while in my role at Automattic, and it was still hard. I’m sorry to hear about the stress it put on your health. I think the same about making sure that your line-up is diverse: it’s super difficult to do, and that is telling for the state we’re in: we should only be content with our situation when organising a diverse conference is no longer a lot of effort because that means we’ve finally arrived.
      • Do I think WordCamp organisers need to be politically correct 24/7? I don’t believe that’s possible. I make mistakes all the time, but I would like organisers to communicate about that, rather than just telling someone who asks a question about it off.
      • Do I think it’s easy to communicate well? No, I don’t think so. You point towards how we communicate WooCommerce updates; it’s so difficult to do well. When we communicate a response after flack in the community, we go through many internal processes as well. I did reach out to the speaker selection team about another item that was in my opinion poorly communicated, and they handled it marvellously. But this post was not about that. But I do think that the team made a mistake on this as well. There was a question about the lack of diversity after the previous edition, and if they failed to find a balanced gender line-up, I don’t think silence is a good approach. I would like to see them communicate how they’ve approached it and what they plan to do different next time.
      • Do I think Automattic is diverse enough? No, I don’t think it is. I don’t think this is a matter of the WordPress community only needing growth/change in conference line-ups. This post is about that, but this isn’t an either/or story. I do try to play my part in that, of the 5 people reporting directly to me (the WooHappy leadership team), 3 are women. That is a part I get to influence most actively. I agree with you: the problem goes much deeper. But I don’t expect WCEU to fix that, I expect them to consciously play a role in improving the representation on stage, as I expect from any conference organiser.

      I want to end by pointing out that I’m not singling out WCEU organisers in this post. I’m using the Twitter discussion as a prompt for debunking some of the myths I’ve heard several times when it comes to diversity (all of which came up somehow in the thread), all of which I’ve also either made mistakes against or dealt with before, and then offered some suggestions as to how to play a role. Diversity is not some afterthought in organising conferences. I have followed my suggestions (well, apart from the last one, I haven’t booked a session), even to the degree where at one conference I retracted my speaker slot because of the lack of diversity in the speaker line-up.

  5. Great post! I really appreciate it.

    Also I just want to point out the blatant misogyny and hypocrisy with people’s reactions to the 5.6 release team being all women/non-binary folks vs reactions to the mostly male WCEU speaker lineup. With 5.6 they were basically saying “there’s no way that many women are qualified” when those same people wouldn’t look at a group of all white men in tech and say “there’s no way that many men are qualified.”

    Their assumption is that women are selected based on gender alone because they can’t fathom a world where women are qualified. (They only believe in exceptions to their gender assumptions. There can’t POSSIBLY be more than 11 qualified women in WP, after all, right?) They don’t conspiracy-theorize that men are selected based on gender, because men’s qualifications are assumed.

  6. […] the lack of women and underrepresented people in the speaker lineup of WordCamp EU 2023. Job Thomas added further with a few suggestions. While Rob Howard wrote, “If WordPress wants to be a vibrant community […]

  7. Deb S avatar

    Being an organizer is extremely challenging. Our lead organizer took all the submissions and removed all the names and we ranked the topics we felt would be the best experience for our attendees. This prevented the team from picking favorite speakers, so that local speakers, that may not be as well know, had a fair chance against the “big names” in WP. Next, we did actually look at diversity and tried to create a good balance of speakers. Once we had our final list of top picks, we started sending out invites to speak.

    All our our great planning went out the window because many of our top picks had submitted to talk at multiple events, and as we were a small camp we were often told they’d taken another speaking engagement. So, now back to the drawing board.. and the dilemma. We needed to go back and pick our second round of talks and sound invites. Do we prioritize the talks we thought had the highest interest.. or the speakers we though created better diversity (unfortunately, these picks were often at odds). We had some great speakers with talks that were duplicates of other submissions that had already accepted. In some cases, we asked, hey, can you do a talk on “names topic” and are you still available to speak.
    .. and then on to round 3.. and on to round 4… and diversity becomes harder and harder as you’re running out of submitted talks/speakers and you’d prefer not to have the same person talking 3 times 😀

    We’ll never have as much diversity as we’d like. We’re limited by who submits talks, and then who is available to actually attend. it was a very stressful process, and I’m thankful no one yelled at us for not being diverse enough. I can only imagine how much harder this whole process it is for such a large WordCamp.

    Please don’t yell at the organizers. This is all volunteer. Organizers meet regularly, on their own time, to get everything done while juggling jobs and family. We want EVERYONE to have a great time and learn something. We want everyone to feel welcome and included.

    1. Hi Deb, thanks for taking the time to comment. Organising a conference is so difficult, and speaker selection is probably one of the most tricky things to do.

      There’s been a lot of mention about how to select speakers here and on Twitter, and this approach has popped up a few times. I’m not an expert in this so I’d ask Michelle and Allie to review this. I’m not sure if removing speaker names (the so called blind selection) is doing what we think it is doing. I would expect that the “bigger names” by default have more experience with talking and as a result will have higher quality submissions. So there would be bias included already.

      My gut feeling would be that beforehand deciding what a good balance looks like and using that as the guideline will probably serve you better in that sense (max. 25% external people, min. 60% locals, min. 40% women or non-binary, max 60% white people, max. 50% developers, etc.). Of course, this list can be endless, so it probably makes sense to start with the areas where you struggle. At WordCamp Cape Town we rarely have an overkill in “big names” because it’s too far to travel to.

      The one part that is missing is that I don’t think speaker submissions are the only method to attract speakers. As I mentioned in the post, the people that are over-represented are often those who are the most confident in speaker submissions. The people you want more of, likely need an extra nudge. At least two POC I know have spoken at a WordPress event after I asked them to make a submission and helped them review the submission. I was more confident that they would do a good job than they were at the time. Both of them got rated very high in the speaker feedback afterwards. If we would’ve waited for them to submit, we would have not seen them at these events. Beyond delivering a great sessions, I can also not begin to describe the impact it has to have a WordPress event in Cape Town where some of the most technical but well-given talks are done by non-white people.

      I agree with you; yelling at organisers is a bad idea. But I don’t think the form of the message (yelling) takes away from the content of the message (this line-up is not diverse enough).

  8. michelleames9bfbe57700 avatar

    Organizing events is hard. It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of energy, focus, stress, work…etc. It’s a labor of love, for sure. And appreciated so much.

    I, too, have organized many events (including WordCamps). Recruiting organizers, volunteers, speakers, and attendees can be very difficult. Trying to ensure a balanced lineup can be challenging, for sure.

    It’s not enough to simply put the word out that your call for speakers is open and then expect to have a diverse lineup. And the obligation for a balanced speaker lineup should not be solely the responsibility of the speaker’s team. It’s an all-hands-on-deck challenge that includes event leads and the marketing team for sure – but the whole team should be involved in helping spread the word and inviting people to apply.

    Inviting people to apply isn’t a guarantee to them that they will be selected. But inviting them because they have a unique voice/perspective and are knowledgeable is extremely important. When you invite someone to apply to speak, it should not be about tokenizing them for diversity’s sake. It should be about leaning into their knowledge and experience. Diversity and inclusion needs to be intentional. It won’t happen serendipitously. And it does require more work than just publishing a call for speakers.

    From the moment we assemble a team of organizers, we start to put together a strategy for an event. That strategy MUST include inclusion/diversity from the start and as a core tenet to the event.

    I completely acknowledge that volunteers run these events. And volunteers have varying amounts of availability to get things done. And a deadline by which to make things happen. It’s challenging. But it’s easier when the strategy is clear and the intentions are, too.

    Last year I wrote about the challenges I had as a disabled person at WCUS. It wasn’t scathing. It wasn’t merely a wish. It was a record of the experiences that worked (and didn’t) and how I thought we could do better.

    That message was heard by so many. Simply put – most fully able-bodied people couldn’t imagine what challenges someone with mobility issues might experience and therefore couldn’t plan for them all. My suggestion was to put someone on the team (or hire an expert) who knows the questions to ask of a facility, and the accommodations required to ensure all are able to fully attend an event.

    I’m suggesting that we do something similar with intentional diversity. Let’s get people on the team (or hire experts) to help develop the strategy for intentional diversity at WordCamps. Let’s not assume that a team of volunteers just knows how to do it.

  9. […] weeks ago, I wrote a post on diversity in speaker line-up. Since then, two WordPress community members,Michelle and Allie, have hosted a podcast on this very […]

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: