Some casual thoughts about language. I recently received an invitation to a tech talk where all the speakers were blokes. As is normal for these sorts of things, I dropped the organisers an email saying I wouldn’t be attending because of the lack of diversity.
I received a very polite email back protesting that the speakers were diverse. There were speakers from India, Africa, and South America – no mean feat for an East-European conference. It just so happens that they were all men.
Diversity is multi-faceted. Some of those men may have been gay, or disabled, or poor, or old, or of a minority religion, or… or… or…
Not all diversity is visible. Not all of it is one-dimensional.
So, I’m thinking about changing my language. I’ve started asking all male conferences to be more representative.
That’s not a perfect solution. Some industries are close to 100% male – so their manels would be perfectly representative.
But it shifts the conversation. Events should represent their potential community.
And, for the hard of thinking, I’m not asking you to change your language. Nor do I think you’re a bad person for a language choice. But I want to change the way I think and speak about diversity.