It started with a tweet in mid-April, where tech writer Melanie Ehrenkranz asked the wide world of Twitter for recommendations of women who can and do speak at tech conferences. All-male conference slates and panel participants are unfortunately frequent in many industries, but they particularly plague tech events. Ehrenkranz's tweet received more than 1,500 replies, many with dense little lists of awesome women in tech, all of whom are qualified to speak about subjects other than just diversity and inclusion, important though that is.
Ehrenkranz released her list yesterday, accompanied by stats about speaking time by gender at major conferences and advice about not tokenizing non-male speakers, speakers of color, and other underrepresented groups. It's worth a read as both a call to action and as a state of the union for attempts at gender parity in tech talks (to say nothing of the list of 1,000-plus smart, accomplished women in tech embedded at the end of the article).
At Truss, we strongly believe that diverse groups are smarter groups (and are far from the only ones to feel that way), but the article had one more bit of delight for us: our own Jen Leech, VP of Engineering and Truss co-founder, was included on the list. Jen is indeed a strong technical speaker and welcomes opportunities to bring her expertise to your panel or conference. Just drop us a line.