#DataWeekender & Diversity

#DataWeekender started as a conversation between two people and a single tweet about it. Six people signed up to help to organize an event. #DataWeekender was born. If you were to ask us then and now, we wanted to organise something quick and simple to help the SQL and Data community to continue meeting (online) and learning. 

However, diversity and safety is something that needs to be considered when running events. We are completely aware that we are not a diverse organising team. It wasn't planned that way, it just happened. We are a bit stuck on how to resolve this, as six is a good number to organise an event. Big enough to share the load, but small enough to make quick decisions. Six feels like the right number for what #DataWeekender currently is. We are all still happy to continue working on #DW for now. This may change in the future, we might run more events in the future, we might run bigger events, we might run in different time zones. Right now we are running one event at a time on a non-profit, almost zero budget basis. At some point, we will need to relook at our organising structure, and when we do so, diversity will be included in that structure. 

As organisers, we are aware of our responsibility with regard to diversity and safety. We have a code of conduct in place, but beyond that, we will take action to make our event as diverse and safe as we can. Some specific examples of this are;

Speaker Selection

It is a simple fact that there are many speakers now willing to offer up their time and knowledge within the SQL/Data Community. This is amazing and something to be welcomed. However, a significant number of these speakers are male and white. In an effort to balance things, #DataWeekender will take necessary actions in the spirit of diversity. Examples of such actions are specific call-outs on Twitter/LinkedIn, direct invitations to people, and other actions that we believe are appropriate. We also want to ensure that there is representation from less experienced speakers and we will take similar actions to encourage this. 

Put another way, we want to achieve a balance of experience and diversity across all of the talented speakers who participate. This can mean, that some amazing technical speakers will not get a chance to speak, because that slot is filled by another amazing speaker in the name of diversity, opportunity, and promotion of work-life balance and mental health.

Safety & Inclusivity

We want to run a safe conference. Beyond our code of conduct, we will provide attendees with a method to report any behavior that they believe to be inappropriate. Abusive behavior before, during, and after sessions will not be welcomed and will be responded to in an appropriate manner.

We ask that our speakers proactively use inclusive terminology within their sessions. IEFT guidelines are here. We also ask that our speakers use Teams closed captioning functionality during their talks.

Help us get better

We are not experts in this, we also have limited financial resources, and we do this in our spare time. However, we want to improve, and we welcome any suggestions to do so. We can't promise to implement all suggestions, but we will review and discuss all of them.

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