Encouraging inclusiveness at technology events

Encouraging Inclusiveness at Technology Events

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Linux Foundation and NCWIT offer inclusiveness training

Technology events are often in the firing line for not being inclusive. There are discussions on social media and news articles highlighting the issues that events have in being seen as inclusive in both their speaker line-ups and their audience.

The Linux Foundation, a non-profit organization that is advancing professional open source management for mass collaboration, along with the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) has announced the availability of a free Inclusive Speaker Orientation course that aims to prepare event presenters and public speakers with knowledge and skills to enable them to promote inclusivity in their presentations, messaging, and other communications.

Self-paced, modular training

The course is offered in three 20-minute, self-paced modules. Topics covered include crafting presentation messages, scripting discussions, presenting media and subconscious communications. The course is based on NCWIT’s “Unconscious Bias” messaging, encompassing the ideas of “Realize, Recognize, and Respond.”

The Inclusive Speaker Orientation Course is available for free, online. It is offered openly, so any event can use it to prepare their speakers, or individuals who are interested may enrol independently. The Linux Foundation also continues to offer Ally Skills Workshops, which teach simple ways to support women in their workplaces and communities, as well as onsite at events.

Addressing barriers

NCWIT is a research and data-driven organization that is structured as a “change leader network” of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists who work to narrow the gap by addressing barriers to participation.

“Increasing diversity in open source is important work that has widespread benefits for individuals, projects, organizations, the tech industry, and society as a whole,” said Terry Morreale, CTO and Associate Director at NCWIT. “We are excited to work with The Linux Foundation to make tools for change more accessible to everyone in the community.”

A primary goal of The Linux Foundation is to make the open source community more inclusive and welcoming to all individuals who wish to participate and contribute. This course will support that goal by strengthening diversity and inclusiveness within the open source ecosystem. Other initiatives to increase diversity at Linux Foundation events include a strict code of conduct for speakers and attendees, onsite child care and nursing rooms, diversity scholarships, non-binary bathrooms, barring all-male panel discussions and partnering with community groups to encourage more women to apply to speak. The Linux Foundation has also partnered with Girls in Tech to host ‘Hacking for Humanity’ hackathons later this year at Open Networking Summit and Open Source Summit North America.

Tools for success

“Open source is for everyone, but everyone does not always feel completely welcome in the community,” said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. “Speakers have a major role to play in making events feel safe and welcoming, and while they almost always have the best of intentions, they need the tools to be successful. By leveraging the expertise of NCWIT for this course, we will help speakers ensure their presentations are more inclusive, which in turn will help event attendees of all backgrounds feel more accepted in the open source community.”

Anyone wishing to take LFC101 – Inclusive Speaker Orientation may enrol now at http://bit.ly/2kSRCVe.

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William Goddard

William Goddard is the founder and Chief Motivator at IT Chronicles. His passion for anything remotely associated with IT and the value it delivers to the business through people and technology is almost like a sickness. He gets it! And wants the world to understand the value of being a technology focused business in a technological world.

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