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While the lack of diversity in tech has become a growing focus for many organizations and individual employees in recent years, that focus has unfortunately yet to translate into substantive or significant results. 

Recent reports show that prominent tech companies have made little progress in their stated goal of hiring more employees from traditionally underrepresented groups, and the number of Black employees in tech specifically has continued to grow at a staggeringly slow rate. 

As WP Engine looks to build on its company-led social responsibility initiatives aimed at improving parity in the tech industry, we’re proud to announce the Speak Up! Black Speakers in WordPress Workshop, which will kick off June 5th, with the goal of supporting Black voices in the WordPress community and elevating community members to leadership roles. Register here today!

Because speaking—at WordCamps, at industry events, and other forums—is one of the primary conduits for leadership development within the WordPress community, the course will focus on equipping attendees with the skills they need to speak up and make their voices heard in front of a variety of audiences.   

Designed in partnership with Diverse in Tech, a company dedicated to training people from traditionally underrepresented communities for speaking and leadership roles in tech, the course will tackle everything from selecting and submitting speaking topics to conquering hurdles such as imposter syndrome. 

The workshop will be hosted by WP Engine VP of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Culture, and Engagement Tarsha McCormick and Diversity in Tech CEO Jill Binder.

Speak Up! was also inspired by last August’s rebooted edition of the Genesis Community Livecast titled “The Contributions and Challenges of the Black Community in WordPress”, which featured an interview with WordPress Co-creator Mike Little and Genesis community leaders Anita Carter and Sandee Jackson.

That discussion revolved around both the contributions members of the Black community have made to WordPress and Genesis, as well as the significant challenges they continue to face within the larger tech world and the WordPress and Genesis communities specifically.

In response to the clear call for action that was made in that interview by Mike, Sandee, and Anita, Speak Up! was designed to create greater opportunity for Black voices and leaders to connect with other members of the WordPress community, and build a pathway for more inclusion at WordPress events and within the larger WordPress community. 

How to apply for the workshop

  • Sign up for the workshop here. The first 45 people who identify as Black or African American and are based in North America or Europe will be selected to take part in the workshop.
  • The workshop is free of charge for all attendees and will be 100% virtual
  • The workshop will occur in 2 parts held on June 5th & 12th 2021 from 1:30 PM – 4:00 PM EDT (17:30-21:00 UTC)

As we continue to examine and identify initiatives that foster greater diversity and inclusion both within our organization and beyond, we’re excited about the Speak Up! workshop and the impact it will have going forward.

Find out more about WP Engine’s corporate social responsibility program Engine for Good and the ways we’re giving back to the community, increasing opportunity for all, and advancing the future of technology through multiple employee-led efforts.