Dan Davies{ Front-end Developer }

Conference equality

26th August 2014

I told myself to not get involved.

He did you know

But here I am, about to embark on a writing journey about sexes and web. On a tuesday.

I’ve not kept up with the latest talking point (maybe I should before I start blogging about it) but I kind of got the jist about what has been going on. It’s a topic that’s been ongoing for a good 2-3 years on Twitter and that argument is lineups at conferences not being a fair split between men and women.

I’m trying to remember now how many conferences I’ve been to in the past 2 years, I think it’s 8. I have to say from memory (which is pretty good), there was a fair split between men and women infact I’m safe in saying 2 conferences featured more women than men and these were pretty big headlining conferences.

Now I can’t really argue for some sides as a) I’m not a woman who feels like it’s one sided or b) a conference organiser who has to make calls on who gets to speak.

I am however a conference goer and I can tell you now. I couldn’t give two shits if the speaker is male or female. I care if the topic is of interest and if I am going to learn something, that’s why I spend hard earned cash to go. The concern I have is that we might end up harming events if the remit is to fill speaking slots 50/50 rather than present a great set of talks.

Holy shit Dan, are you saying females can’t give great talks?

Far from it. I’ve seen some great talks and I’m happy to say that some of the ones that stood out for me over time have been presented by females such as Sarah Parmenter and Laura Kalbag. I also know a couple of fairly newish female speakers in Rachel Shillcock and Katherine Cory.

Would I hire them to speak because it looks good for me to hire women in this time of equality? Of course not, I’d hire them because they are fucking good.

That should be what conferences base their set on, not gender.

Back to top