May 23 - 25 | 2022 Antwerp | Belgium

Diversity @Techorama

Platitudes are cheap. We've all heard conferences say they're committed to "diversity" and "tolerance" without ever getting specific, so here's our stance on it:

We welcome you.

We welcome people of any gender identity or expression, race, ethnicity, size, nationality, sexual orientation, ability level, neurotype, religion, elder status, family structure, culture, subculture, political opinion, identity, and self-identification.

We welcome you. You may wear a baby sling, hijab, a kippah, leather, piercings, a pentacle, a political badge, a rainbow, a rosary, tattoos, or something we can only dream of as long as it is not provocative to others so everyone can feel welcome and appreciated. We believe it's possible for people of all viewpoints and persuasions to come together and learn from each other. We believe in the broad spectrum of individual and collective experience and in the inherent dignity of all people. We believe that amazing things come when people from different worlds and world-views approach each other to create a conversation.

We think accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority, not an afterthought. We think neurodiversity is a feature, not a bug. We believe in being inclusive, welcoming, and supportive of anyone who comes to us with good faith and the desire to build a community and share learnings with others.

At Techorama, we want to make our conference a conference where everyone feels welcome. We try to improve each year to make sure we have everything in place so you feel at home. Of course, this takes time and we have to make trade-offs.

 Currently, at Techorama, we offer the following facilities (Applicability differs for virtual events):

  • Code of Conduct: please see our Code of Conduct page on our website. This Code of Conduct applies to all participants, partners, and staff. Failing to obey the Code of Conduct can result in being denied access to the conference. Techorama reserves the right to deny access to individuals or companies that have violated the Code of Conduct. Details can be found in the Code of Conduct how we treat violations and who to contact in case you encounter behavior that violates our Code of Conduct.
  • Language: all conference sessions are in English. Attendees are encouraged to speak English or their own language to engage in conversation.
  • Speaker line-up: we strive to create a diverse group of speakers. Techorama has an open call-for-papers where we encourage speakers from underrepresented groups to submit. We are however not committing to a certain quota at this point. Our selection process is described in more detail below.
  • Prayer room: for our in-person events we ensure we have a room in place where attendees can retreat for prayer
  • Sign language access: if you require a sign language assistant, they get free access to the conference. Techorama does not provide sign language interpreters.
  • Accessibility: All our venues are fully equipped (rooms and partner expo) for wheelchair access
  • Dietary requirements: our caterer has several options available if you have dietary needs. Please let us know before the conference via board@techorama.be

 

 Our speaker selection process

  • Techorama is a premium conference where we select experienced speakers. We have a premium brand and this is what our attendees expect from our conference when they buy a ticket. Our conference is not for first speaker experiences. Please ensure you have spoken at other user groups, community events, or meetups and provide us with online content that shows how capable you are to convey a story and teach others.
  • Techorama has an open call-for-papers where we encourage speakers from underrepresented groups to submit. Per CFP we receive between 600 and 1000 submissions we can choose from. Per conference, we can only book between 100-130 sessions. So most sessions get rejected and this is never a personal rejection!
  • Our CFP is open to everyone. Always include some video link where we can verify you can provide a good presentation and can speak the English language so anyone who is a non-native English speaker can follow along. Speakers with a very strong accent might not get selected because we have experienced this might be extremely hard for participants to follow along.
  • Our selection committee is a broad group of volunteers that helped organize our conference over the years. All of them also participate in other communities and work for companies that train and support diversity and inclusion at their workplace.
  • We ask this group to nominate sessions they like so we have our first selection.
  • We have one or more days where we go through the full list of nominated sessions and go through a voting process.
  • Based on the maximum number of sessions in total and maximum number of sessions per track we determine the final selected session. This is by vote in the selection meeting.
  • After this initial selection, we do our additional due diligence. We validate if we have enough diversity, where we strive to be better than the industry benchmark. This means we strive to have more diversity than you find in our specific industry.

 

We have enough experience to know that we won't get any of this perfect. But we have enough hope, energy, and idealism to want to learn things we don't know now. We may not be able to satisfy everyone, but we can certainly work to avoid offending anyone. And we promise that if we get it wrong, we'll listen carefully and respectfully to you when you point it out to us, and we'll do our best to make good on our mistakes.

Improving ourselves is what we aim for. If you feel we’re not doing a good job or you think we should prioritize a certain aspect, let us know.