Yes, this is another one of those posts. Only different.
Conference organizers and publishers, I do not think you are racist. And I do not think you are woman-haters. I think you are probably very nice people. I think you are good to your friends, your girlfriends, your wives, your children. I think you hire and treat your employees fairly and well.
I think you are lazy and irresponsible.
It is your personal prerogative to hold a conference or publish a book or magazine featuring whomever you choose. It is your professional duty to reach outside your existing circle of friends and colleagues, outside of your snug familiar comfort zone to find new voices and new perspectives.
That pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. I’m gonna tell you a secret: I’ve been writing a post on the topic of diversity at tech conferences for the past four weeks. I haven’t published it because I’ve been frustrated with it. I don’t want to sound like I am whining (I’m not!), nor do I want to sound like I don’t have any solutions (I do!), and I don’t want to seem like I’m calling anybody racist (they’re not). Everyone is just…lazy. Conference organizers and potential speakers (myself included).
I do my part here and there, but I could be doing more. We all could be doing more. So, you know what? I am going to work on something to help us all out. E-mail me if you want in. Otherwise, stay tuned.
*walks off in a huff*