Inclusion rider was brought to a broader public by Frances McDormand during her best actress Oscar acceptance speech for a leading role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”.

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Stacy Smith talking about Inclusion Rider at TEDWoman (2016). Credit:

However, the concept isn’t new — it was originally proposed by Stacy L. Smith, associate professor of communication at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, in an op-ed for Hollywood Reporter back in 2014. With the help of Kalpana Kotagal of Cohen Milstein, and Fanshen Cox DiGiovanni of Pearl Street Films the full content of an inclusion rider template is public.

The purpose is to counter bias as well as combat a largely homogenous industry, exclusionary towards women (more importantly women of colour), LGBTQI community, people with disabilities and any other underrepresented group. …

CSSConf and JSConf Australia are a part of a global family of high-quality events on design, front-end development, JavaScript, culture and the tech industry. With the final edition in 2018, we continue our commitment to transparency on the diversity of our events, hopefully motivating other organisers to gather data and hold themselves accountable for inclusion goals.

In our 2016 report, we were only able to publish approximate details on gender diversity. Retrospectively, we wish we had more solid data points.

Unfortunately, gathering event attendee information versus employee profiles is a different kind of beast. We care deeply about privacy and collecting minimum details to provide an excellent experience for everyone involved. That means that we’re not able to obtain full information on race, ethnicity, disability, age and gender, as usually expected in diversity reports published by commercial organisations. …

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Photo by Eye for Ebony on Unsplash

This is a transcript of a 10-minute talk delivered at Tech Inclusion Melbourne.

The tech industry has no culture stewards. Often, we glorify our leaders, trusting they’re the only agents of change. This profoundly patriarchal agenda limits our capacity for improvement. The accountability for the future starts with every one of us.

The community won’t improve without a continuous commitment of its members. No more being complicit. Change begins here. That’s why we need to talk about allyship.

Being an ally is an ongoing process of unlearning and re-evaluating. As Mia McKenzie, the founder of Black Girl Dangerous and a prolific writer on race, puts it: a way of living life without reinforcing oppressive behaviours we’re claiming to be against. …

Thanks to Cate Huston’s and Ellen Pao’s writing, I’ve stumbled upon a wonderful idea of instead of starting the year with setting numerous goals, focusing on what we’ll be letting go instead.

I feel like this is especially crucial for underrepresented groups, who are always forced to prove themselves over and over, set unattainable goals and push themselves ten times harder to achieve a status resembling your average white male.

It’s us who rise to the laborious task of building safer, more inclusive communities. …

Many times I’ve seen event organisers, publishers, employers and various initiative leaders being genuinely surprised that the diversity outcome of their efforts was less than ideal. “But our Call for Proposals was open” or “anyone can participate!” they tend to say. Unfortunately, these excuses are not good enough and let me tell you why.

We can’t expect underrepresented individuals to show up when their daily lives are filled with harassment, fear and unequal treatment.

It’s an unfair assumption to make. We don’t want to partake in events, communities or be employed by organisations furthering exclusion and toxic culture and the only way to tell the difference is though visible commitment, actions, programs or proactive outreach. …

Over the last few years having a Code of Conduct has become more or less a standard for tech events of all sorts. Unfortunately, as much as overall it’s a significant development it can be possibly very harmful, if not implemented correctly.

Often, Code of Conduct is a bare minimum for determining whether conference organizers have thought about safety and inclusion at all. There are excellent resources out there, such as Geek Feminism anti-harassment policy, Conference Code of Conduct or Contributor Covenant, which empower organizers across the globe to adopt one without hours of research or legal counsel.

What makes a Code of Conduct enforceable?

Sadly, the byproduct of the widespread availability of these resources resulted in many instances of copy-pasting, without a thorough understanding of implementation as well as enforcement. It’d be hard to expect a response when there’s no way of reporting an incident or contacting individuals responsible for the event. But how do I know a Code of Conduct is enforceable, you might ask. There’s no certainty (unless you know the organizers) but there are a few pointers to pay attention to. …

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I’m not a massive fan of listicles, and I feel like they could become exclusionary very easily, but I wanted to talk about a few individuals and organisations I look up to on a daily basis in the space of diversity and inclusion. The content they share can often be challenging, which is why it’s so important to expose yourself to different viewpoints promoting our growth.

This list isn’t by any means exhaustive — it’s a curated selection acting as a guidepost for seeking more knowledge, viewpoints, and individuals to follow and support.

Here we go!


Erica Joy

Erica, now Senior Engineering Manager at Patreon, is an incredibly active diversity and inclusion advocate. A Project Include founding member; she’s also an advisor and mentor for such great initiatives as Girl Develop It, Hack the Hood and Black Girls Code. …

Enabling future speakers by debunking false requirements

Now and then I have a conversation with someone who’s interested in pursuing public speaking but too afraid of endless requirements and pressure correlating to doing so. My goal is to enable those individuals to try it nonetheless by debunking some of the common myths relating to the fundamentals for becoming a presenter. I base this on my own experience as a seasoned speaker and event curator.

Industry prominence and visibility

Conferences vastly differ in the way speakers are selected. Some directly invite presenters, others deploy anonymous Call for Speakers processes to aid with bias. …

Challenging the status quo through allyship

⚠️ Trigger warning: this article includes mentions of harassment and depiction or discussion of discriminatory attitudes or actions. If at any point you feel uncomfortable with the content, please feel free to stop reading and take care of yourself ❤️

This is a transcript for a talk given at Nordic.js.

I remember the day my parents bought the first stationary PC machine quite profoundly. I can still recall the sounds, beeps and bops of a dial up modem connecting me to this magical, unlimited platform we call the Internet.

I found a place where I belong, amongst countless other individuals constantly expressing themselves, learning, creating and sharing. …

A guide to impactful performance improvements

The Internet is growing exponentially, and so is the Web platform we create. Often though we fail to reflect on the greater picture of connectivity and contexts the audience of our work might find themselves in. Even a short glance at the state of the World Wide Web shows that we haven’t been building with empathy, situation variability awareness, let alone performance in mind.

So, what is the state of the Web today?

Only 46% of 7.4 billion people on this planet have access to the Internet. The average network speed caps at unimpressive 7Mb/s. More importantly, 93% of Internet users are going online through mobile devices — it becomes inexcusable to not cater to handhelds. Often data is more expensive than we’d assume — it could take anywhere from an hour to 13 hours to purchase 500MB packet (Germany versus Brazil; for more intriguing stats on connectivity head to Ben Schwarz’s Beyond the Bubble: The Real World Performance). …


Karolina Szczur

Design Lead @calibreapp ✻ Past curator @jsconfau, @cssconfau & @jsconfeu ✻ Here to challenge status quo.

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