50/50 Pledge

Getting 50% women speakers at tech industry conferences

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hey Product Hunt! very excited to be sharing a new project i'm working on, focused on increasing the number of women speakers at tech industry events and conferences. i put together a quick Google Form and tweeted it out a few weeks ago (https://twitter.com/sandimac/sta...), and so far 1100 accomplished women professionals from companies like Square, Google, Uber, and Facebook have added their details. i've partnered with @nireyal for the upcoming Habit Summit in 2016 as the first event to officially take the 50/50 Pledge. so, how does it work? i partner with select tech industry events who take the 50/50 Pledge. in taking the pledge, i then connect them with accomplished women professionals from the directory that have the professional background and knowledge that they're looking for in speakers. if you're a woman tech professional, add yourself to the directory (http://www.5050pledge.com/join-t...)! if you're not a woman tech professional, encourage those that you know to join the 50/50 Pledge! excited to share this with all of you, really looking forward to talking with everyone about it and answering any of your questions. i know @rrhoover and the rest of the PH team care a lot about women in tech initiatives, so it's great to promote this project here.
@sandimac great initiative
@sandimac Hi Sandi, great to see this happening and to see the results of the survey you sent out. One minor question - how do women know if they made it into the directory, since it's private?
@amritachandra @sandimac Good question, I'll be sure to make that more clear :) There is no 'making it', any woman can add their name to the directory. However, I can't guarantee that everyone will be requested or a good match to an event partner. I can't guarantee speaking gigs for everyone! The purpose of being private is more so popular women don't get overwhelmed with requests, organizers and other (*ahem, recruiters) don't abuse the directory, etc.
Love that you're doing this, @sandimac. I know several event hosts that actively look for women speakers but have difficulty in finding and booking enough to even the ratio (@Jason's talked about this on his show, This Week in Startups, for the LAUNCH Festival). But clearly you've shown there's significant interest from many women.
@rrhoover Exactly. I kept hearing it again, and again, and again. Yet I know those women are out there. This seems like a simple, direct way to work on exactly that problem that event organizers have. The event organizers I've spoken with are trying really hard - but sometimes it's difficult for them to get outside their existing networks, or the networks of the other speakers.
Awesome idea. @sandimac I'll take the pledge for Blab Con 2015 (coming soon to PH ;) Question for you: If having an open database of accomplished women professionals was the solution to pain point 1, what would be 'pain point 2' in terms of getting the industry to 50/50? -shaan
@shaanvp That is a tough question... I really liked the suggestions that @math_rachel mentioned in a recent post on Medium: https://medium.com/@racheltho/if... She speaks to a lot of the current problems, and shares some potential solutions too.
How awesome is this!!! Thank you, Sandi. Adding myself to the directory :) Somewhat relevant, with a similar appreciation & intention for diversity in tech: http://www.producthunt.com/tech/... Over the past few years, I've been fortunate to learn so much at conferences like SXSW, CES, Oculus Connect & Google IO - I certainly felt like a unicorn (at some way more than others ^^;;). Hopefully event organizers will take notice of your efforts, and I would love to help!
This is a really helpful tool and hope will help to increase the number of female speakers at the tech events around the globe.