The Azure Data Community Team is dedicated to working with the community to identify opportunities for improvement and work toward solutions. One of the topics that we would like to address is the lack of diversity in the data platform community. Specifically, diversity amongst speakers, organizers, and attendees. Over the last year, there has been a lot of discussion about a lack of diversity on conference schedules. While most concede it's a concern that should be addressed, not enough has been done to correct the balance. To get a step closer to achieving this goal, we’ve teamed up with Data Platform MVP Ben Weissman (@bweissman) who has, together with William Durkin (@sql_williamd), successfully run events like DataGrillen, New Stars of Data and Dativerse, all of which were an example of the great things that can happen when you embrace and support diverse speakers.
We’re convinced, that the path to a more diverse speaker community is to enable new speakers from diverse and underrepresented peer groups.
As part of our joint initiative, there we’ve taken two first steps:
New Stars of Data Speaker Improvement Library
Under the brand of New Stars of Data, we’re building a content library where seasoned speakers share their experiences on how become a speaker or improve their current skillset. While the library is targeting new speakers from underrepresented groups, there are also valueable tips and tricks for even the most experienced presenters! The library is currently being built up and we will have topics like the following:
Having the right tools is one thing – but especially in the beginning, we can all use a little help. To support new speakers on their path, we want to help them by finding them a mentor. Those mentors will not do the work for you – but they will provide you with valuable guidance on how to get where you want to land!
Are you interested in becoming a speaker and are looking for a mentor? Let us know at aka.ms/SpeakerMentorMe, we will find you a mentor and make sure, you get the support you need!
We do appreciate that there is always more, that we could do – any ideas and suggestions are more than welcome!
Some existing resources we think you should know about: