Drupalcon Portland - Programming Diversity

Portland, OR, USA
05/20/2013 to 05/24/2013

It's been scientifically proven that more diverse communities and workplaces create better products and the solutions to difficult problems are more complete and diverse themselves. Companies are struggling to find adequate talent. So why do we see so few women, people of color, and LGBTQ people at our events and on the about pages of our websites? Even more curiously, why do 60% of women leave the tech industry within 10 years? Why are fewer women choosing to pursue computer science and related degrees than ever before? Why have stories of active discouragement, dismissal, harassment, or worse become regular news?

In this talk we’ll examine the causes behind the lack of diversity in our communities, events, and workplaces. We’ll discuss what we can do as community members, event organizers, and co-workers to not only combat this problem, but to encourage positive change by contributing to an atmosphere of inclusivity.


  • Educate about the lack of diversity and why it is a problem
  • Examine what is contributing to both the pipeline issue as well as attrition
  • Isolate what is and isn't working
  • Inspire direct action by examining our own behavior and learning more about the people around us so we can empathize better

"My favorite part of DrupalCon was probably Ashe Dryden's "Programming Diversity" session. I'm sure I wasn't the only audience member hoping Ashe would give us a silver bullet for diversity problems in our industry. Instead, she explained the complexity of the problem and gave us some practical approaches to helping solve it." - Drupalcon Portland Favorite Moments

"This session exceeded my expectations. Ashe touched on every facet of diversity, not just gender, as I was expecting. She covered both the visible and invisible layers that make up an individual's perspective and experience. As a gay female front-end developer with a fiancee who has an invisible chronic illness, I was extremely happy to see all those areas acknowledged. Ashe is definitely well-versed in the issues that come with diversity, or lack thereof."

"This was an extremely valuable session. I'm motivated to get involved."

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