Historically, our attendee diversity did not reflect the community we want to serve, and we’re taking action. We realize this is our problem to fix and are committed to reaching out to under-represented populations and working to support them. As php[architect] and One for All Events are minority and women-owned respectively, this is extremely important to us.
Our efforts are working, for example, we increased our ratio of female attendees from 10% at our first conference of 2018, to 26% at our last one. But that’s still not where we want to be. In 2019, we’re stepping up our efforts to make sure our message of welcome and inclusion is reaching the people we want to serve and that we’re delivering that message through the experiences at our events. This includes the following efforts for php[tek] this year:
To help developers from under-represented groups who may not have the financial resources available to them to attend our conference, we have pledged to provide at least 5% of our available conference tickets free to those groups. We will be offering these via diversitytickets.org, a program supported by the non-profit Travis Foundation.
These tickets will be available soon, and a link will be posted here to allow you to apply for them.
We apply a strict code of conduct on our event to make sure we create a safe space for everyone. It includes clear language, clear consequences, and multiple reporting options in terms of method and to people of different genders.
We are ensuring that every venue we use is accessible to all attendees, regardless of any restrictions they may have, and that we have single-use bathrooms available. We will be posting a map of the venue here soon that shows the space we will be using with accurate measurements, so attendees can understand where to go in advance and the distances involved. Please reach out if you have any specific concerns or needs.
We plan, through the help of one of our sponsors, to provide a number of special activities for people from under-represented groups, such as dedicated time to mingle over a meal. More details will be posted once those are finalized.
We also will be donating a portion of our proceeds to non-profit organizations that help support these groups. Also, we are happy to work with groups such as these to provide free or discounted sponsorship tables so that they can connect with the attendees and share their mission. If you are affiliated with one of these non-profit organizations, please contact us to see how we can work together!
We recognize how important it is to have our speaker lineup also reflect the audience that we want to serve. To that end, we’ve put a lot of emphasis on inviting speakers from a diverse background to bring their knowledge to our audience. For 2019, our speaking staff is 45% female and 25% people of color, up from 26% and 10% last year.
We also cover all costs for our speakers such as hotel and flight, including a small stipend to cover expenses that we might miss, to make sure that no-one is financially hurt in their efforts to provide excellent quality education for our attendees.
One of the organizers has a gluten allergy herself and so we understand the stress that can be caused by not knowing if there will be food available you can eat. We strive to ensure that all dietary needs are met, no matter if it’s because of an allergy, preference, or religious reasons.
Are you feeling stress about heading to this event? Do you have troubles with crowds? Is it your first conference? Whatever the concern we want everyone to feel comfortable at our conference. We therefore always provide a lounge space to relax in comfy chairs, and a monitored quiet room where you can go to get away for a bit, whether you just need some downtime or need to get some work done.
Also, don’t worry if you are new to the conference, we will provide you with lots of information up front, and are also happy to introduce you to experienced conference attendees who can help guide you throughout the event.