One of the reasons why this organization was created was to try to work towards a culture that had more women represented and involved in the community and overall inclusion. Here are some brief points to consider when planning a conference.
While we as women do not want special rights, it’s hard to ignore all the conferences and events that have sometimes no female speakers at all out of 30+ speakers, and 2-3 is generally the highest number you will see. A “Women In Bitcoin” panel does not solve that issue. We are people in crypto. We have leadership roles, valuable skill sets, and unique viewpoints and do not need to be sequestered to the women’s only section. Diversity will improve the space and widen mass appeal and adoption. Click this link below to be taken to a list of speakers we suggest. Also, consider new subjects to talk about. The same old topics over and over are dull. Ask your speakers for suggested panels and talks.
Suggested Female Speakers List
Consider reaching out to local women’s groups. http://www.cryptowomen.org/ has several chapters worldwide and may be able to assist with outreach, though you shouldn’t limit your promotion to strictly crypto centric groups. Bitcoin has something for everyone! Offer a discount on tickets and be creative with your promotion. Be sure to scope out the local meetups for volunteers, attendees, and even speakers.
If we want to appeal to the masses, we need to remember that not all people are techies! Bitcoin is for everyone, and there are many ways to pique people’s interests. Include music, art, charity, and entrepreneurship as ways to inspire people! Make sure you include some beginners panels or events as well, and contact the local meetups to see what has worked for them. The area enthusiasts will be happy to give you guidance on what has been successful in their community. Consider offering them discounts and encourage them to share those with friends and family with an affiliate program.
Not everyone who is in Bitcoin is a millionaire or works at a company with a hefty marketing budget. It’s very difficult for some speakers to attend the events if they are not being compensated, or if they have to cover their own transportation and lodging. This “pay to play” attitude doesn’t facilitate inclusion or create a positive outlook, it makes people think that the conference holders are greedy and Bitcoin appears elitist. Women are also aware that there is a great disparity in women’s vs. men’s compensation in these cases. While it is expensive to do a conference, and we appreciate the risk the holders take, there should be a budget for some speakers factored in especially when tickets are expensive. The speakers are the program and the draw, so at least their travel expenses should be covered if they are unable to cover them. This will also improve the event by offering new perspectives! Another idea is to give nonprofits an incentive to participate, perhaps by providing them with a portion of the proceeds or again, some sort of affiliate bonus for referrals. This is not simply a matter of being charitable. This is a way to be more inclusive and also a PR move! Caring for others and showing our best faces will attract the attention of local media and help facilitate growth of the space.
Sexual harassment is not a joke. It can be very damaging to a woman’s morale and desire to be involved and will destroy the community. Below is an example of an anti-harassment policy. This policy should apply to all sexes (yes, men can be harassed too). We are adults in a modern professional world, and there is no place for bad behavior. It’s okay to have a fun time, but it’s still a business environment. Consider refraining from over indulging in alcohol. Naked or inappropriately dressed people are out of place and create an unhealthy dynamic. Should anyone feel that they have been harassed, there should be a designated person(s) at the event they can turn to that will take them seriously and respect confidentiality. Also, when women are applying for jobs in Bitcoin, there have been countless times where a business dinner unknowingly turns out to be a date. Women can come to this organization if there are any issues, or if they need advice. Repeat offenders will be called out. Furthermore, men should also focus on putting pressure on their peers to act in a professional and respectful manner. The talk linked below the Anti-Harassment policy outlines how this is not just a women’s issue (though it admittedly focuses on violence, which hopefully would be a more obvious urgent problem). Keep an eye out for people who are acting inappropriately, and make sure your friends get home safely.
Conference Anti-harassment Policy
Violence against women, it’s a men’s issue