Update: Gender Diversity @ Web Summit

Five days ago, we published a blog and a survey to gather the perspectives of women around their experience at Web Summit 2016. The point of this exercise is to understand how can we better promote diversity at tech events and moreover make events more tangibly inclusive for all participants.

Note that this is not specific to Web Summit; given that their initiative to give 10,000 free tickets to Women in Tech was meant to provide (and likely did) a greater percentage of women attendees than an average tech conference, and given the size of the conference itself, we hoped to get a large response pool from which to draw feedback and ideas on the broader issue that interests us.

We’ve been thrilled with the response to date and based on some of this outreach and feedback, we’ve created a Version 2.0 of the Survey with the help of Luis Calado, a SurveyMonkey employee who had also created a survey on gender diversity at Web Summit after his own experiences there.

The support we’ve had from Luis and other men in the tech community who shared our survey illustrates the need for men to engage with us in this and broader gender diversity and equality conversations in order to truly fix the imbalance.

As Luis explained when reaching out to us:

Right now, when decisions that affect millions are being made there’s not enough women sitting at the table. Women do not have that voice. This needs to change. The world has not been built by men. Why should the tech world be?

It’s important that both men, women and others join forces to change it, together. Some women might be meeting in silos trying to solve for this. All stakeholders need to be aware and take action. This is not a “women” only issue. The Web Summit created the momentum. The aim of this survey initiative is to raise awareness and help align all parties to tackle and solve this issue.”

We are designing this initiative to be as inclusive and transparent as possible, hence this update to the survey. We’ve also adjusted one or two questions for brevity and to address any potentially leading questions based on one or two comments — again, we are not here to shame or judge, we are here to help uncover ways to do better.

To date, we have had great momentum on social media and are grateful for the support of various initiatives, including Ada’s List, Angel Academe, Timber Foundation, Blooming Founders, and the Tech London Advocates Women in Tech working group.

We’ve gathered nearly 100 responses but would love to hear more voices. Please continue to share with your networks and encourage anyone you know who attended Web Summit 2016 in Lisbon to share their feedback.

The comments and responses to date have been very informative and we hope will stimulate further dialogue. We’ll run the survey for another week, until the end of November, at which point we will share both a summary as well as (anonymously) all responses and comments.

Again, that new survey is here.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to learn more, join forces, or ask any questions.

Diana & Rebecca