BrisTech / Diversity

(Note from Kris: This is a bit of a rant, but I think it’s important!)

This morning I noticed a tweet about BrisTech’s response to feedback about diversity at their latest event:

Fair enough I thought. I click to read the article, which doesn’t fill me with confidence. Then I look at twitter.

How does a bigger city, with a bigger event than ours, manage to do so badly with diversity and inclusivity?

I check out twitter some more:

^ is this a joke?!

Wow. How did it all go so wrong. I particularly fumed at this reply:

So, they *can* find female contributors? Why didn’t they do this earlier?!
And the writing response – putting on workshops? I don’t think that’s going to help.

A few pro-tips

  • Have a diverse leadership team
  • Be pro-active
  • Do the hard work
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help

For our 2019 conference (which was security/cyber related, a particularly male-dominated tech sector) we didn’t have an equal number of female speakers, only getting 8 out of 27 despite pro-actively contacting under-represented individuals and groups, and offering coaching to encourage new and first-time speakers. I dread to think what the number would’ve been if we didn’t do that!

So we looked at other ways to promote a diverse and inclusive event – all of our track hosts were female – most of whom have spoken at our previous events, plus we made sure that all images and marketing texts were as gender balanced as possible.

Find out more about our work on diversity and inclusivity . Also check our our #diversity channel on slack.