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Topic Tuesday: D&I at Events

Mary Ramirez Community Leader Sep 25, 2018

The technical industry is widely known for hosting events, meetups, and conferences throughout the year. This is a great time to meet other people, learn and collect cool swag. Throughout the years, conference hosts have intentionally created these events with diversity and inclusivity in mind.


What are some D&I initiatives you've seen at events? 


Here are a few I've seen:

  • childcare available on site
  • scholarships for travel, room, and entrance to the conference 
  • male and female bathroom open to either gender


Monique vdB Community Manager Sep 26, 2018

At Summit this year, we had pronoun buttons, which I thought were great. I also like signs encouraging people to use the bathroom of their choice, regardless of their gender presentation. 

On the opposite side, I've seen women's rooms changed into men's rooms because the conference is only like 5% women. (Good luck finding a bathroom, ladies.) And of course, my pet peeve, the "unisex" T-shirts that really are just men's T-shirts. 

Mary Ramirez Community Leader Sep 26, 2018

Hi @Monique vdB,

I'm so with you on the unisex shirts. I have loads of XL tees I have no choice then to use for sleeping. 

Kat Marketplace Partner Oct 02, 2018

@Mary Ramirez - you can turn those t-shirts into carry bags. All you need is scissors and some time - no sewing required.

I posted the instructions here. :)

Linette Atlassian Team Oct 02, 2018

What a great idea!!! I love it. Thanks for sharing!

Love that idea Kat! Reduce, reuse, recycle :) Thanks for sharing! 

Linette Atlassian Team Sep 26, 2018

I've liked events that have had chillout spaces. Sometimes all the exciting hustle and bustle of events can become overwhelming, so it's great to have quiet breakout spaces.

Mary Ramirez Community Leader Sep 26, 2018

Hi @Linette,

I totally appreciate there being breakout spaces. Sometimes, I don't want to necessarily talk all night long.  

I think the unisex washrooms are important, and hope to see it more frequently. I also liked that at the Atlassian summit they had your choice of our pronouns that you could display on your name badge. I wasn't there but saw the photos on another discussion.

I saw a few people wearing these; he's, she's, and they's! It was so refreshing to have this, along with the 'gender neutral' (not 'unisex', that is) bathrooms, so boldly and readily available at summit, I was so proud to be involved in the event - even just as an attendee!

Thanks for the correction on the gender neutral. I was just thinking of the show Ally McBeal and how it was absolutely fine for colleagues to have the same washroom regardless of gender. But yes gender neutral is a better term for that. I have noticed that many of the gender neutral bathrooms are actually the single use washrooms, which used to have the disabled signs or family friendly signs.  I have a trans gender colleague that was going through the gender reassignment surgery, and every time he went to the gender neutral (single use) bathroom someone was in it. He shared with us at a positive space session, that some days he just didn't get to go to the washroom. More work needs to be done on this. 


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