So you want more women at your tech event? Don’t have the porn industry sponsor your event.

This is part of an ongoing series called So you want more women at your tech event?

If you are going to run a tech conference with fewer than 5% women speakers, you probably want to avoid additional criticism about your lack of inclusivity. But if you also have the adult entertainment industry sponsor your event, maybe you’re not really worried about being inclusive.

ConFoo 2012 (careful, that link is occasionally redirecting to porn sites in Russia*), which began yesterday, was already under criticism for it’s very low number of women speakers. Out of 109 speakers only 5 are women. That’s 4.6% to be exact. It’s also the third year that the proportion of women speakers has hovered around 5%. Continue reading “So you want more women at your tech event? Don’t have the porn industry sponsor your event.”

So you want more women at your tech event? Say it out loud.

This is Part 3 of an ongoing series called So you want more women at your tech event?

One of the biggest mistakes I see conference organizers make is not making a public statement on gender equality. It’s a very small thing to do, but the effect can be huge.

I had been meaning to write this post earlier, but in August it’s easy to get sidelined by the summer weather. And I was looking for a good example. Luckily, yesterday I was sent a link to the Diversity Statement for PyCon 2012, the largest annual conference for the Python programming language.

Continue reading “So you want more women at your tech event? Say it out loud.”

So you want more women at your tech event? Make it cheap.

This is Part 2 of an ongoing series called So you want more women at your tech event?

One of the easiest things you can do to get more women at your event is to make it cheap to attend.

Women have lower salaries and less disposable income than men. They are more often single parents. And this income gap is even larger for older women.

You will also have the advantage of an event that is more diverse in other ways, by removing a very real barrier to participation.  Continue reading “So you want more women at your tech event? Make it cheap.”