Action Alert | Help Us Call Out Microsoft, Because 9 Women Out of 56 Speakers Is Not Enough

Heads-up: action needed! Although this conference doesn’t take place until September, we are calling attention to it because the speaker list is just… so… bad.

 Frances Valintine at Microsoft's "Women In Business" event in 2014. Photo credit: Ignite New Zealand [ CC BY-SA 2.0 ],  via Flickr .

Frances Valintine at Microsoft's "Women In Business" event in 2014. Photo credit: Ignite New Zealand [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Flickr.

The Microsoft Ignite conference speaker lineup currently consists of 84% men and a meager 16% women. While women of color represent 33% of those women, when the starting number is 9 women total out of 57 speakers, the number still doesn’t sit well.

But wait! If you want to pay extra, you can attend a pre-conference session on diversity and tech, and they “warmly welcome both men and women passionate about diversity and inclusion in tech to participate!” Isn’t it so kind that they’re going to let women attend a session primarily about them, just as long as they don’t expect to then get up on the mainstage at the rest of the conference.

There is still plenty of time for them to make improvements, so let’s demand that they do:

16% women speaking at @MS_Ignite is not enough. Take them out of the costs-extra, pre-conference diversity session and move them to the mainstage, @Microsoft. It's the least you could do. #GenderAvenger https://www.genderavenger.com/blog/action-alert-help-us-call-out-microsoft