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.

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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? Put a woman in charge

This is Part 1 of an ongoing series called So you want more women at your tech event?

One of the first things you should do if you want more women at your tech event, is put a woman in charge. Tech events usually have an organizing committee and there should be at least one woman on that committee. You could even try two or more!

But what does “in charge” mean? It means having a woman organizer who will have some authority, who will have the power to say no and to implement positive measures that appeal to women. Yes, I’m telling male event organizers that they have to actually cede some power to women. Continue reading

So you want more women at your tech event?

This is what a tech event looks like when women are welcome.

Baby at PodCamp Montreal

This is a photo of me, taken by the talented Eva Blue at PodCamp Montreal 2010. I also brought my baby to WordCamp 2010 about two weeks before this photo was taken. There were at least two other babes in arms at that event. Their dads brought them. Continue reading