Welcome to Frontend United’s official statement, optimistic pledge, ambitious promise, or whatever goodsounding synonym for good intention you can think of.
Diversity hasn’t been the easiest of subjects for tech conferences, and in our case it hasn’t been any different. It’s easy to say we are committed to tolerance and diversity, it’s quite a bit harder to write out what this commitment means for us as organisers. So bear with us as we try to verbalise what we learnt so far, and what tryouts we are willing to undertake to improve and set a good example for other conferences.
We want to be welcoming to all people. That means any gender, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, religion or culture. For the conference in Greece, we created a new legal entity as a non-profit, and in it’s rules we made sure that just like the Drupal community is inspired by the ideas of free circulation of ideas, equality and solidarity. People that embrace and express publicly racist or sexist beliefs and views, or promote intolerance in any way, can not become members of the association. Or to quote our legal piece of paper:
Μέλη του Σωματείου μπορούν να είναι ελεύθερα όλοι όσοι, αδιακρίτως φύλου, είναι χρήστες και ενδιαφέρονται για το Σύστημα Διαχείρισης Περιεχομένου Ανοιχτού Κώδικα Drupal. Καθώς η κοινότητα του Drupal διαπνέεται από τις ιδέες της ελεύθερης διακίνησης των ιδεών, της ισότητας και της αλληλεγγύης, μέλη του Σωματείου δεν μπορούν να γίνουν άτομα που ασπάζονται και εκφράζουν δημόσια ρατσιστικές ή σεξιστικές αντιλήψεις και θέσεις, ή προάγουν με οποιοδήποτε τρόπο τη μισαλλοδοξία.
We will uphold the same standards for our attendees and speakers.
Last year our edition in Ghent (Belgium) had 15% female speakers and 13% female attendees. Also only 1 out of the 6 organisers was female. We had some changes in organisers and due to plain luck we now have a nice 50/50 split in the team. We are aiming to have this same diversity in attendees and speakers, but looking at the percentage of last year, we are realising that won’t be an easy task to complete.
We also realise that diversity is not something that only extends to gender, but to every underrepresented group. Thats why after some reading online, we think we can improve on last year by more pro-actively motivating people that identify themselves as part of an underrepresented group to give a talk at Frontend United 2017.
We added an extra option on our Call For Papers people can optionally fill in if you identify yourself as part of a underrepresented group. We will then do our best to supply an extra effort in any form you might need. The extra effort could be financial (travel expenses, speaker fees), legal (letter of invitation, help with a visa), social (change how we have our social events around the conf), logistical (accessibility in any form).
If your submission for a talk doesn’t get picked afterwards, we would still love the bigger diversity of attendees by offering you a free ticket to the conference. This way we hope to have a more multicultural and inclusive range of speakers and attendees.
We will be adding the possibility for social and logistical requests from our attendees too, through our ticketing process. But this being our first tryout on actively acting on the issue of diversity and tolerance in tech-conferences, we are not sure how well we will be able to accommodate every request. As a non-profit we depend heavily on sponsorship and have quite limited resources.
Any suggestions or recommendations are more then welcome. Let us know through email@example.com or shout at us on @frontendunited
The Frontend United Team 2017