Today the 2016 Oscar Nominates was announced and from a diversity stand point it was actually worse than last year. Not a single Black/African-American actress, actor or director was nominated. The nominations seemed more of a slap in the face or we don’t care by the nomination committee or just plain ignorance bias especially when 2015 had numerous diverse actors and actresses to choose from. This outrage created another series of press articles and just like last year #oscarssowhite has been trending on Twitter with many calling it #oscarssowhite 2.0.
Like the Oscars the “can’t find or don’t know of any good candidates” insult reminds me of tech conferences from New York to Silicon Valley and San Francisco. In 2015 like previous years there were conferences with very little or ne women speakers, or black speakers or Latino speakers and so on. Except of course our conference Tech Inclusion and others such as Lesbians Who Tech, Alterconf, events during Black Tech Week and various conference that focuses on intersectionality that worked hard to be not just inclusive but great tech conferences.
With high hopes for 2016 and working with various startups around diversity and inclusion, I’m hoping that in 2016 there will be more inclusive tech conference. I mean… if you’re looking for speakers, Tech Inclusion 2015 had 137 awesome diverse speakers with majority in tech. There’s literally no excuses not for any tech conference to have a tech speakers from all backgrounds, races and genders because they’re out there. In tech products are being used by a diverse world. “They do exist” . If you’re a conference organizer and looking for diverse speakers, please contact me.
I dare to say, if 2015 repeats in terms of non-inclusive and diverse conferences #oscarssowhite won’t be the only trending hashtag bringing awareness to the lack of diversity an event.
What do you think? Will 2016 Be The Year Of More Inclusive Tech Conferences?
Post photo Speak Your Mind by Ben Grey on flickr