Recap of the Diversity Outreach Speaker Training meeting on May 16th, 2018

https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1526489997000731

Attendees:

@jillbinder @cguntur @meher @angelajin @simo70 @caroleo @sheilagomes @kelliwise @laryswan @zoonini

 

TL;DR: @jillbinder reiterated that our goal is to have 27 WordPress meetups run the workshop in 2018 (so far, we are at 10). We discussed promoting #WPWomenSpeak and that the new focus is having members of the team start running the workshop themselves in their cities/towns or online. We discussed their roadblocks, particularly increasing financial support for workshops (as related to booking venues and printing materials) and getting trained to run it.

@jillbinder

So in the last meeting we were going over the giant list of priorities, looking at how people voted, discussing the order, and starting to talk about how we can move forward. Most importantly looking at how we can empower people on the team to do more.

I had a huge shift in thinking in the last 2 days that I’m excited to share with you.

In doing this I have cut the list in half, figured out how to empower us, and figured out a game plan.

I realized that we were doing too many things. No wonder people were feeling lost, and some of those who were actively helping were feeling overwhelmed.

So I have narrowed our goal to a laser focus and removed anything that didn’t immediately serve that goal.

Our goal was always, and now it is *only*:

27 WordPress meetups have run the workshop in 2018

I still want to do a little bit of work on the workshop materials themselves, but mostly we are focusing entirely on promoting and training. I will come back in a bit to what I see next for members of the group.

First I wanted to answer something that came up last time, which was “as a new person, or a person who stepped out and has stepped back in” people were feeling lost and they wanted a summary of what has been done.

So I have written out a road map of what has been done and where we are going. {See summary here}

[Start summary]:

Speaker Training [and Diversity Outreach] workshops were created in the past. They have been extremely successful and this team was formed to promote the work and train folks globally to run it.

THUS FAR/TO DATE WE HAVE:

  • Gotten volunteers for this team
  • Created a core message that we can send out about our workshop and what our team offers
  • Created a form that interested Meetups can fill out
  • Started promoting our message and form (http://tiny.cc/wpwomenspeak)
  • Started training the Meetups who request it on how to run our workshops
  • Recorded a “train the trainers” training so that it is easy to keep running (edited)

CURRENTLY WE ARE FOCUSED ON:

  • Improving the “train the trainers” workshop
  • Continuing to run “train the trainers” training for Meetups

NEXT WE ARE GOING TO START:

  • Encouraging more people on our team run the workshop, in person or online
  • Encouraging more people on our team to train others to run the workshop

FUTURE GOALS:

  • The cycle of promotions and training becomes a self-perpetuating system that continuously expands to reach more and more Meetups.
  • Our team decides how the material changes over time. When people make suggestions, because we’ve run it, we know what would work and what would not.

[/end summary]

An immediate main focus has been:

  • Larry and I have been running online trainings for the meetups who would like to be trained in the workshop

@meher

Seems good to me

@larryswanson

I’ll just point out that it is super-fun to run the train-the-trainer trainings

@jillbinder

The workshop is working and also can use a lot of improvement. We have decided that we’re going to continue using it as it is for now as it is working and folks are inspired to start running the workshop, and we are also going to be working with the WordPress Training team to improve it over time.

But! With the laser focus goal in mind, we are not stopping running it. We had paused for a bit and I decided there is no need to pause.

So this year myself or others have trained 17 Meetups!

9 of which were done by Larry and I in the last 2 weeks.

There are only 12 in our queue who haven’t been trained. (Of course a handful of those were ones who signed up for training and missed it… as to be expected.)

And when I say queue, I mean folks who have filled out our form and are in our HelpScout system. Chandrika answers HelpScout, puts them in a spreadsheet, and Larry and I have been tagging and moving them around in HelpScout.

That also doesn’t count those who said they didn’t need training, or are being trained by others.

Of special note, @simo70 is starting to train folks in Italy in Italian on how to run the workshops.

@jillbinder

As far as I know, so far it’s been run 10 times this year. We’re pretty on track for our goal of 27.

I will come back in a moment to what I see next for our members to get involved. I want to diverge for a sec and talk about promotions.

In the last 2 meetings we haven’t talked about promotions because we were busy with the Giant Priority list so this is a summary of promotions done in approximately a month…

  • It is in the monthly newsletter that is going out to the Meetups. This is our highest performing promotion item. We can an influx of new signups every time it is in the newsletter.

Of note, we list each time which places have run it since the last newsletter. As a motivator for more Meetups to want to sign up.

@tinat talked about it at WC Detroit on the Women in WordPress panel and it sounds like she got some good traction from that!

@caroleo talked about the workshop at WCLDN and at WCRetreat

I really like to see this. Please keep talking about it at WordCamps and telling our group when you do.

@laryswan

Random question: Do we have a Twitter hashtag we use when we promote the workshops?

@jillbinder

Lovely question. In fact we do.

#wpwomenspeak

Same tag as we are using on the posts on the make wordpress blogs.

We started off mostly promoting it as a thing for women, and we’ve veered into “all diversity”, but for now it’s still our hashtag.

I would love to see more Tweets!

@caroleo

Yes I was wondering about the “women” and diversity in general, again.

@laryswan

Maybe shift to a more all-encompassing hashtag at some point? Just in my trainings folks have mentioned pretty much every kind of diversity, including religious, youth, etc.

@jillbinder

Whenever I talk about what we do, I say, “Women and other underrepresented groups.” People have asked me to add in other specific groups to that, and I’ve made the call that it gets unwieldy. I like to keep women in there because it’s the first and most pressing diversity issue.

We had also talked at one point about “women” vs “people who identify as women” and I have been informed that the latter is not respectful. If someone identifies as a woman then they are a woman, plain and simple.

If we have time today, and if people want to, I’m willing to circle back to the the hashtag.

And other wording issues.

@laryswan

Worth mulling over and discussing. Many overlapping issues and labels.

@jillbinder

So this is what I see next:

I would like to see our members running our workshop.

I think that this will do many things:

  • Obviously it spreads the work out farther
  • Many of us joined the group specifically to be doing this very thing, so it meets needs of why many joined
  • Gets people intimately familiar with what we’re doing

I think that more of us will be able to become decision-makers, suggest new ideas, feel more comfortable taking more action if we have actually done the main thing that it is that our group is here to do.

  • Even easier to promote it when you’ve done it
  • Once you’ve run it, it’s easier to train others how to run it

And so this is what I want to talk about now. How we can support people to run it in their cities.

(towns, communities)

and by people I mean specifically our group

What we have available right now:

  • All the workshop material is up online and available to just take and start running
  • We also have a training!

@meher

@jillbinder what kind of support are the people looking for ? Financial or course material

@jillbinder

Good question, @meher. My thought was course material.

But if there are other things like financial, we can talk about that too.

@cguntur

The course material we have now is pretty good I think.

I have plans to run the workshop, but I am having trouble with finding a location and it is in part a financial issue

@jillbinder

Quick background for others:  @cguntur has received training already to run it, so you’re ready other than location and finances.

@cguntur

So, I think people might need support on various issues based on their city/town etc

@meher

Why not discuss the other issues and how we can help to resolve them ?

Is there any kind of financial support from the foundation? Just asking

@jillbinder

I think venue is the biggest cost, and you may need to find a sponsor for that.

We are in discussion with a sponsor but if that comes through, it may not be until the end of the year.

@caroleo

For me, time is the main issue. But I have hopes that it’s getting better once WCEU is over. And I would really like to think about how we can include our project into next year’s WCEU edition. But first of all, we have to make this year’s edition happen.

@jillbinder

(@caroleo has also been trained.)

@caroleo

There should be a possibility to get financial support from the Community support, right? It’s part of the Meetup program after all.

@jillbinder

I would love to see it as part of WCEU next year! In North America we have a system where we encourage it to be run at Meetups first, and I gather the system may be different in Europe?

I have talked with Community about support and it is not possible at this time. It needs to come from outside of WordPress.

@sheilagomes

I want to be trained, and later do online training for others too, but I missed the one I enrolled in. Is there another date set?

@jillbinder

In Vancouver we get a venue sponsorship. Our venue is free and we just need to mention and thank the venue for the space……. Might that be a possibility in other cities as well……?

@sheilagomes We haven’t set the next dates yet. I thought we might create a training or two specifically for our working group.

@sheilagomes

Well, regarding meetups, in my experience here in Brazil, once there are regular meetups running it’s easier to get venues for free, especially from coworking spaces that want to spread the word about their spaces

@jillbinder

@sheilagomes That is interesting!

@caroleo

Yes, same here in Europe @sheilagomes

@jillbinder

In Vancouver we hold it at a college that teaches WordPress.

So that is a possible avenue to look at as well.

@caroleo

Universities might be able to sponsor a room?

@angelajin

@cguntur, how many people are you expecting?

@sheilagomes

Yes, same here, universities are always open for that, especially the ones with IT courses

@jillbinder

The other “big” cost is printing the handouts… and in Vancouver we were expecting a huge group and the printing was going to cost $800 Canadian (approx $700 American), so I added the material into the slides instead and saved that cost.

@cguntur

I used to run meetups in the local library in Redmond. Here in Cupertino, the local library does not have a big enough room to fit people

@angelajin There is a meetup group here where there are about 30 members

@angelajin

Gotcha. Yeah, 30 people is too big for a coffee shop. What about some public space through the city chamber?

@jillbinder

Oh no. That’s too bad, @cguntur. I know that finding a venue for your meetups in general has been really challenging. Is it because of how many people are coming out?

@sheilagomes

Other possibility are the city’s public venues, like libraries, agency offices and larger rooms, and the like. Our city has a site just for booking those.

@jillbinder

Nice, @sheilagomes

@cguntur

Yeah unfortunately in Cupertino, everything is expensive

@sheilagomes

Maybe there’s something similar in your cities?

@cguntur

I am still on the lookout though. I am positive that I will find something

@angelajin

Where does your local meetup group usually meet?

@cguntur

There is no local meetup in Cupertino. I did everything to get it started and realized all the troubles with the space

@jillbinder

This is a great discussion. I had been so focused on getting people comfortable with the material, I forgot about the other factors.

And of course whatever we are facing will be the same for the Meetups out there that we are supporting. So it’s great for us to talk about these and be able to offer them thoughts when it comes up.

@caroleo

Also it’s not inclusive when people have to buy drinks/food at the location if they wanna eat/drink sth.

@jillbinder

I’ve seen groups hold it in the back rooms of restaurants / bars / cafes

(I think there is a preference or even rule about it being somewhere where there is no age restriction to keep it inclusive. Not positive about that.)

@jillbinder

I have seen it be run at WordCamps. They have the space and there isn’t the venue cost. Of course that doesn’t help for developing speakers for that particular year, but it helps for the following year…

@sheilagomes

So our meetups here have been held in public spaces, universities, other kinds of schools (with WP courses), coworking spaces and companies that offered a room

We have had other kinds of meetings (translators’) in parks too, we even had picnics. But then there weren’t  presentations, only talks (a group conversation)

@jillbinder

I definitely want to keep talking about these logistics issues, but with 10 min left we need to shift the focus to the other issue that I still think may be wanted: training you.

So as a reminder, all the material is here:

http://diversespeakers.info/ 

@caroleo

I wonder if we could ask for financial support at other projects which similar goals. I think there are a lot of great initiatives and it would be awesome to work together?

@jillbinder

You can run it without training, but also we can hold trainings just for us and/or you can join in when we train Meetups…

@caroleo That is a wonderful idea.

I also know that diversity is a hot topic right now that sponsors want to see being involved in….. so I think the road to finding a third party sponsor for your workshop is going to be somewhat easier.

If it’s needed! If there are venue costs.

@caroleo

I am thinking of Yoast for example. They have the Diversity Fund and they sent us an awesome female speaker to WordCamp Retreat!

@sheilagomes

Maybe the Tech Ladies group could be worth a try? Here in Brazil they’re quite active.

@caroleo

I wonder if we could ask for financial support at other projects which similar goals. I think there are a lot of great initiatives and it would be awesome to work together?

@jillbinder

Ah yes, so we are talking about the same thing. Yes, Yoast has that great travel sponsorship for diverse speakers. (I will quite likely use this at some point myself!)

@cguntur

@caroleo that’s a great idea

@caroleo

There are a lot of initiatives inside and outside the WP space. Even local ones. I would really like to encourage everybody to check this out.

@jillbinder

Yes, absolutely @caroleo

Part of me wants to suggest we write a blog post for Community with all these ideas, but I’m reigning myself in because this meeting recap is going up and has the ideas, and I want to keep laser focused on the most necessary items for our goal.

Ok, it doesn’t sound like there’s too much interest here in receiving the training on the workshop….. In part because half of you who are here today have already been trained…

But there might be with other members who couldn’t be at the meeting today. I still really like the idea of holding a training or two just for us, so I’ll send out a doodle poll to get a feeler for if it’s wanted and when.

We can also keep discussing these logistics issues that people need.

For the logistics, let’s continue the conversation in the comments of this recap.

@caroleo

I actually would like to do the complete workshop training (partly again). I wasn’t available in the first half of May unfortunately. I’m sorry but I have to leave, next meeting’s waiting for me. It was a pleasure to be here again and I’m trying to be present more often now and getting more involved in summer.

(wrote you an email, @jillbinder)

@jillbinder

Perfect, @caroleo. We’ll make that happen!

Thanks everyone for being here today, for this great discussion, and for the renewed motivation in our focused goal!

 

https://wordpress.slack.com/archives/C037W5S7X/p1526493732000030

#WPWomenSpeak