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How Companies Can Take a Stand for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) to Help Fight Unconscious Bias and Discrimination at Tech Conferences

Ensono‘s second annual “Speak Up” research report, “Speak Up 2020: Redesigning Tech Conferences with Women in Mind,” once again examines the representation of women at tech conferences and the systemic challenges that keep women from coming back. As in the 2019 report, they asked women about their tech conference experiences and audited keynote lineups to determine the ratio of male to female speakers.

However, this year, Ensono took the report a step further. They examined how unconscious bias in conference design affects women’s experiences, for example A/V equipment that is more difficult to secure to women’s apparel. They also looked at diversity beyond gender, asking women of color about their specific conference experiences, and evaluating disparities in keynote lineups between all women and women of color.

When this research was conducted in late 2019, Ensono couldn’t have predicted the onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic, but the importance and relevance of these issues still exists. Even in an era of virtual events, it’s important for companies to do their part as allies by pushing tech conferences toward real change. This report offers four actionable strategies for companies to drive diversity and inclusion efforts through their presence and sponsorships at conferences, promoting more opportunities for women, and creating a more equitable industry environment.


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