Boston Data Festival’s Slow Climb to September

Part of what makes the GenderAvenger community so powerful is our persistence. We are not content just to call out gender disparity. We want results. As often as we can, we name Hall of Shame entries in advance of their corresponding events or publications so they have time to make a change. We know a single call out can be ignored, so we use our newsletter to reach all of you and make even more noise. But when further action is called for we’re not ones to shy away.


We brought you information about the Boston Data Festival earlier this month to highlight its appalling numbers.

Boston Data Festival had 9.7% women speakers, only 3 out of 31. As a conference that seeks to “highlight the diversity of people, start-ups, and companies dedicated to this domain” in a major urban hub, their speaker gender ratio is simply not acceptable. The conference isn’t until September 22, though, and we’re not giving up on them.

We’re coming back to Boston Data Festival again to let them know there is still time and urge them to do something about it.

As of right now, they’ve added more speakers to their lineup, some of them women, to achieve an inclusion rate of 16% (7 women out of 44 total speakers). While this is progress — you can’t really get much worse than 9.7% — we think they can still do better before the conference.

There is nearly a month left before Boston Data Festival. With just nine more women speakers, they could get up to 30% and out of the Hall of Shame. It’s not perfect, but it’s achievable, and it matters. So how can you help? Make noise. Tweet at them, write to them, and, if you’re a woman in the field, let them know that your opinions and input matter in conferences and on panels! If you’re a man in data, add your voice to the mix as well.

Change will not happen unless everyone demands it.

Being GenderAvengers means holding firm and continuing to ask for change even when it seems like no one is listening, because together we will be heard. So listen up Boston Data Festival, because we’re watching, we’re counting, and we’re not going anywhere.

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16% women speakers at #ODSC is not enough. You have time to do better, @BostonDataFest. Will you? #GenderAvenger