20% of #testbash Brighton applicants were women. Come on ladies, you should all be submitting more if you want a better balance.— Rosie Sherry (@rosiesherry) September 23, 2016
- Less women are encouraged to speak for their companies in public.
- To get to be considered the one at your office who gets to go (or even submit), you need often years of work against the corporate cultures in IT favoring men. To get to a speaking position, you might need to keep all your focus on keeping that position instead of donating time for free for conferences that are businesses.
- Women tend to carry a bigger load of the emotional labor (organizing family life) than their partners and thus have less time available to use.
- It can be harder to find time to be away from other duties, it can require direct financial investments and include a mental load from judgement on the choices you've made on leaving family behind.
- When speaking, you're continuously facing "chosen for gender" allegations.
- When speaking, you need to exert extra effort in presenting yourself in acceptable tone.
- You feel you need to be good, not average to justify your existence.
- You need to work against the stream, with lack of role models.
- You need to accept that your feedback can be more harsh and personal just because of your gender.
- It's common to ask (unpaid) diversity work from minority groups over offering to pay them for the work they do.
- It can be harder to find the extra money to even loan for the conference on expenses if it comes out of your own pocket even if expensed later. You will know you chose a conference over something for your family and there's a gendered expectation on how the choice must go.
- Coming back from a conference, it still feels women report on the harder treatment of the "stupid ideas" they pick up.
- Pay for the work. All the work. Including submission work. When you stop thinking of submissions as your right to free labor, you start finding better ways of investing your conference budget than call for proposals. Good proposal is hard work. My talks tend to take me a week of work before 1st proposal.
- Pay on time or early. Yes, I know it is hard because you don't have the money yet. Stop treating speakers of the world as a loan office. The underprivileged are less likely to submit when they know they have to admit to being challenged in this.
Why would you? Because you believe that diversity means learning from people different to you makes the world a better place. Being representative would be important as different backgrounds bring different lessons. I do, do you?