Netlify's Head of Community Perry Eising on Creating Accessible and Inclusive Tech Events

Episode 508 · September 17th, 2019 · 21 mins 9 secs

About this Episode

When applying for an open award for people that did activism in the Portland tech community, Netlify's Head of Community Perry Eising found himself having to identify outside of his gender identity as a result of the form not having an option for nonbinary people to be recipients of the award. After realising he was getting mixed signals, he decided to ask the company about it directly, "That moment of bravery was just, I didn't know how they were going to respond. I didn't know how clued in they were to having people who were nonbinary as part of their organization, whether they knew what that was, whether they were going to treat me well, whether they were going to laugh at me. Us as underrepresented people in tech, I think there's always that nervousness if we're going to bring up a concern to people who were organizing something, whether they're going to have the knowledge to take that in,  or whether they're going to reject us, or whether they're going to laugh at us," Eising said.

Eising's experience addressing the issue of exclusion with the event organizer in question turned out positive, as they didn't realize their form had been excluding those that were nonbinary. This interaction began a collaboration between Eising and the organization where he volunteered and collaborated with them to make their events more inclusive.

"It's not always like that, you don't always have those experiences where you're welcome when you bring something forward and so I decided that I wanted to respond to this personal event of mine by creating a guide that kind of laid out that experience, of this sort of mismatch of signals you can experience, and give opportunities for people to understand why that was the case but also provide really hands-on solutions for people that are planning, promoting organizing, orchestrating events to be more gender inclusive."

Thus, the Gender Inclusive Events Guide was created.