If You See Something, Say Something
This week I posted an observation. I observed that with 20 speakers announced for WCEU (at that point) that there were only about 25% women and even fewer non-white people. I hoped for more in the rest of the announcements.
I came under attack quickly from some people. And praise from others.
The truth is that in some ways – both “sides” of this issue are correct.
On the one hand:
- Not all of the speakers had been announced yet.
- You can’t “tell” everyone’s gender/ethnicity/underrepresented status by name and sight.
- I might be delighted by the rest of the announcements.
I acknowledge all of those things. I was simply going by what was observable and hoping for better at the end of things.
On the other hand:
Others praised me for making this observation because even after WCEU being called out last year for the same issues, we don’t appear to have made much of a difference (yet) for 2023.
I’ve also been told “diversity looks different in Europe.”
But here’s the thing: WCEU isn’t a local WordCamp. It’s a global one that takes place in Europe. It’s one of three flagship events every year (WordCamp Asia and WordCamp US being the others). Each of these camps needs to be welcoming and inclusive of the global community. In short – people need to feel welcomed by seeing others that are like them.
We are not a community that typically “others” people. We are usually warm, helpful, embracing, and inclusive. But not all have experienced that in all places. And to be fair, we are a community of individuals who hold different values. Sometimes those are hard barriers to break down
But for our flagship events, those individual values need to take a back seat to what is good and right for the WHOLE GLOBAL community and understand why a balance of speakers and their diverse perspectives at an event like this is important.
I’ll spend some time this weekend healing from some of the horrible things that were said to me and about me simply for pointing out what I saw. I know that there are plenty of folks that disagree with me. But I know that there are even more people that have my back, believe in inclusion, and understand why a balance of speakers at an event like this is important.
I hope that if you see inequalities and things that feel imbalanced in areas that matter (and more areas do matter), that you’ll say something, too.
In the Spotlight
Post Status professional member Laura Coronado is in the spotlight this week. With a love for all things marketing and communications, Laura Coronado manages the marketing strategies, initiatives, and efforts for WebDevStudios and Pluginize.
Join Us on Meetup
Join us for our May Meetup where we’re celebrating WordPress’ 20th year! More details will be added soon on our Meetup page!
- MasterWP Blog: How I started a WordPress meetup group knowing no one in town
- WP Tavern Blog: WordPress Community Team Evolves WordCamp Format to Promote Adoption, Training, and Networking for Professionals
- Podcast: Happy Anniversary, WordPress!
- Podcast: Let’s Get Ready for Pride
- WordCamp Europe June 8-10
- WP Campus July 23-14
Check out more WordPress events on WP.Events, a site I curate through StellarWP.
Photo of the Week
Today’s photo of the week comes from Roberto Vázquez on WordPress Photos.