Outspoken Women is a resource for women and non-binary individuals in the open source tech industry by providing them with support, mentorship programs and financial scholarships to speak at events seeking underrepresented speakers and attendees.
Outspoken Women originated from a single tweet. I was constantly seeing event organizers requesting more women speaker applicants. There are diversity initiatives for so many areas like this that I assumed there was already a solution out there. I googled and googled and googled some more. Nope. I couldn’t find a thing. (PS: Since then I did find another initiative like us). Sure, there are plenty of organizations for women speakers, but none that focus on open source technology. The next day I did some brainstorming and decided to register outspokenwomen.io.
Someone needs to build a network of women that enjoy public speaking. I hear so often that conferences or camps are seeking women speakers.
— Tessa Kriesel (@tessak22) May 23, 2017
Our core mission is to help create a more diverse audience at open source tech conferences and events. Our goal is to create offerings that contribute to that mission. At our roots, we are a directory of awesome, women speakers, but we are also so much more than that.
What We Offer
Our community contains three core audiences; speakers, event organizers & our supporters.
Most of what we strive to do caters towards speakers. As a speaker, you can create an account, complete your profile and be showcased in our speaker directory. There is no approval process or requirements to join. There is two other core programs that we offer to speakers, a mentorship program for aspiring speakers and a scholarship offering for speakers needing travel assistance. Our mentorship program is just kicking off and we hope it can help increase the number of women speakers we see at tech events. Scholarships are available as there are funds available – we definitely depend on awesome people like you to help contribute to these funds.
We provide a place for event organizers to join our community, share their events & post their call for papers. By sharing their events on our website, it allows our speakers to be notified of their events and submitted to their call for papers, as they are available. Organizers can also search our speaker directory and reach out to those they may want to speak at their events. And if they are looking for representation at their events, we have an awesome crew of Outspoken Ambassadors that attend events and share the Outspoken Women mission with attendees.
We would not be able to offer our scholarships, purchase swag and be a successful community without our supporters. We have been blessed with a great group of supporters thus far that have helped us along the way. We have been able to pay travel for one speaker to date and purchase stickers to hand out at events. We hope that number grows exponentially as we grow. We rely on our supporters to be able to continue those efforts. We encourage supporters to join our site and share their encouragement for our mission. It helps our speakers and event organizers see that their is a strong community behind our efforts.
Bringing It All Together
We bring our different audiences together through our website, social media networks, slack team and our newsletters. If you are interested in joining out great community, there is a number of ways you can get involved. And if you love our mission so much that you want to be a part of it, we are always looking for awesome volunteers.
Thank you for reading about our mission, I hope that I have inspired you in some way or another to get involved in Outspoken Women!
Tessa Kriesel, Founder & Executive Director