Yoast Diversity fund
At Yoast, we care about diversity. That’s why we started the Yoast Diversity fund. This fund aims to increase the diversity of the WordPress community by taking away financial barriers for people from typically underrepresented groups in tech.
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
Due to the pandemic, there are no live conferences to attend and there’s less need for financial support. That’s why our Diversity fund will now only be used to sponsor people that work on a project that benefits WordPress.
Projects could range from teaching a group of people how to work with WordPress to writing patches for Core. Everyone can apply, as long as the project benefits WordPress and in some way adds diversity to the WordPress project. Check out our blog post to find out everything you need to know.
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. As we mentioned before, the Diversity fund will temporarily only focus on sponsoring people who work on a project that benefits WordPress.