Why a fund for diversity?

We believe that encouraging diversity within any community or gathering is incredibly important. For example, conferences are types of events we go to learn, get inspired, meet life-long friends, and make significant career or life decisions. The people on the stage influence those outcomes, and the people around us shape that experience. Our Diversity fund aims to take away financial hurdles for underrepresented groups, so that they are able to work on WordPress-related projects or being facilitated to speak at conferences. How? And can you apply? Read all about it!

The Diversity fund for WordPress projects

Our 2021 Diversity fund offered financial sponsorship to people that work on a project that benefits WordPress. The applications have closed, and the sponsorship recipients have been selected. Click on the button below to read all about the projects our awardees are working on!

Read all about the projects!

The Diversity fund for conferences

For a long time, especially in tech, conferences have not done a good job of representing underrepresented and/or disadvantaged groups. We want to change that. If we want to broaden our horizons, we need to remove the barriers that prevent everybody to be able to share their experiences. That’s why we’re working to give everybody a chance, and to make these conferences fair, safe, and a level playing field.

At Yoast, we’ve been thinking about what we can do to improve the inclusivity of conferences. One of the things we can do is remove hurdles, and specifically, the hurdle of costs. Costs for speakers from diverse backgrounds to come and speak.

There are WordPress Meetups and WordCamps throughout the world; these are conferences about, by and for the WordPress Community. While we already sponsor a lot of them, they tend not to have the budget to pay for speakers’ travel and accommodation costs. The same applies to other conferences about open source, certainly those that are not commercially run. We want to take away that particular reason for not having a diverse conference.

To that end, we’ve introduced the Yoast Diversity fund to reimburse travel and accommodation costs for speakers, up to €1,000 per event.

What’s next?

We wish all the Yoast Diversity fund 2021 recipients the best of success. Stay tuned, because we hope to continue with the next round of the Yoast Diversity fund in 2022!