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The State of Demographics for Call for Speakers in Tech in 2019

Just before the new year the JSConf EU Call for Speakers ended, and we’re overwhelmed by the sheer number and quality of the submissions! We’re currently sifting through a record 928 talk proposals and want to thank all of you who have participated!

Our review process starts with an anonymized stage in which our review panel grades every submission based on the title and description of the talk only. While we have evolved the process since 2012, you can read about it in more detail here.

However, we collect some additional demographic information and thought it may be helpful to share the data with the rest of the community to give insights into the population of potential speakers for tech conferences in 2019.

Please note, that all this data is self reported and is based on free form text fields rather than a fixed set of options. For better comprehensibility we have manually edited some of the data (Such as aligning case “women” -> “Women” or singular/plural “Woman” -> “Women”).

Please note, that these data points represented the unreviewed submission data. Our observation from previous years is that proposals from underrepresented people in tech tend to skew higher in review score, so the distribution for speakers will likely look quite different.

Unless otherwise noted the “Percent” data represents the percent of unique submitters (as measured by unique email addresses) while the count represents the raw count of submissions (one person may submit multiple talks).

Gender Distribution

GenderPercentCount
Male73.22%643
Female19.21%177
Not stated8.77%85
Male/Female (2 speakers)1.06%8
Non-binary0.76%6
Non-binary woman0.30%3
Gender-nonconforming male0.30%2
They/Them0.15%1
Female and Male panelists0.15%1
Female / Transgender Woman0.15%1
Demiboy0.15%1
Grand Total100.00%928

Table data from above as pie chart.

While we are clearly far away from a gender representation in our talk submission pool that would reflect the world outside of tech, we are beyond excited about the absolute numbers — with the count of non-male speaker candidates widely exceeding the total number of submissions we had just a few years ago.

Underrepresented Groups in Tech

I’m a member of this underrepresented group in techPercentCount
62.78%572
No7.87%75
Women in Tech7.41%66
Yes3.48%31
Person of Color3.48%35
Hispanic or Latino2.42%20
Women of Color1.51%15
LGBTQ+0.91%12
Latinx Women0.76%6
Gay0.45%5
Asian0.45%4
South Asian0.30%6
Youth/Pupils0.15%5
Young academic, Israeli0.15%2
YES. Beautifully black community!0.15%1
Yes, I’m transgender.0.15%1
yes (see gender above)0.15%1
Yes (African American)0.15%1
Yes - Latina woman0.15%1
Yes - I’m trans0.15%1
Working in a non-profit organisation for children with learning disabilities0.15%1
Women, people with disabilities0.15%1
women, mothers, Jews0.15%1
Women, latino, LGBT0.15%1
Women Who Code, Women in Tech0.15%1
women over 500.15%1
Women of Colour, Bisexual0.15%1
Woman. 50 (shhhhhh)0.15%1
Woman, Transgender Woman, Jewish0.15%1
Woman, non-white, Gen-X0.15%1
Woman, Hispanic, LGBTQ0.15%3
Woman of color, Bisexual0.15%1
Visually impaired0.15%1
trans woman, nonbinary, queer, pansexual0.15%1
Queer, Southeast Asian, mentally ill0.15%1
queer, nonbinary, invisible disabilities0.15%1
Queer, gay, Bengali0.15%1
Person of color and African origin0.15%1
Old people over 400.15%1
nonbinary, queer, invisible disability0.15%1
non-binary, woman0.15%1
non-binary, queer, transmasculine0.15%1
Native American/latino0.15%1
mother, Jewish, woman0.15%1
mother, Jew, woman0.15%1
Minority (biracial - latino/middle eastern)0.15%1
lgbtqia0.15%1
LGBTQA0.15%1
lgbtq, latinx, ESL, not-men0.15%1
LGBTQ, Latinx0.15%1
LGBTIAQ, disabled, non-binary0.15%1
LGBT+ and Women in Tech0.15%1
LGBT, Queer, South Asian0.15%1
LGBT by being gay? But not sure this response fit the question.0.15%1
LGBT0.15%1
Lesbian, Black (African-American), Cis-Female0.15%1
Lesbian0.15%1
ladies? moms? over-40s?0.15%1
is south american, living in south america an underrepresented group? not sure0.15%1
International brown student0.15%1
In the country I’m living in, I am a racial and gender minority in tech0.15%1
I’m over 40 so… kinda! ;P0.15%1
I’m in a racial minority in the country I am living in, also a gender minority0.15%1
I’m gay, but I don’t know if that counts as underrepresented0.15%1
I’m from Low income country and less amount to tech events to participate0.15%1
I identify as queer0.15%1
I am a parent of two African American children so this is important to me, but I am personally not a member of an underrepresented group.0.15%1
I am a musician by training, having a degree in classical composition. As a self-taught learner, I believe I bring a unique perspective as a speaker.0.15%1
Financially underrepresented0.15%1
Female, LGBT0.15%1
Female, LBGT0.15%1
Female, disabled0.15%1
Female tech entrepeneurs0.15%1
Female over 600.15%1
Female + LGBT0.15%1
Female & LGBTQ+0.15%1
Eastern Europe (not sure if underrepresented)0.15%1
East Asian woman0.15%1
Demiboys0.15%1
Deaf0.15%1
Caribbean Developer0.15%1
Black, queer (lesbian)0.15%1
bi-sexual woman0.15%1
Asian/Filipino0.15%1
Asian; Women0.15%1
Armenian0.15%1
Grand Total100.00%928

Country of Origin

CountryPercentCount
United States29.65%291
Germany11.50%107
India7.26%58
United Kingdom6.51%47
Australia3.78%41
Canada2.72%40
Spain2.12%31
Netherlands3.33%31
Israel3.03%26
France2.87%23
Norway1.82%19
Poland1.66%18
Brazil1.82%16
Nigeria1.82%15
Argentina1.36%13
Sweden1.36%10
Czech Republic0.61%10
Austria0.91%10
Ukraine1.36%9
Colombia0.91%9
Ireland1.06%7
Russia0.91%6
Belgium0.76%6
México0.76%5
Italy0.45%5
Serbia0.61%4
Romania0.61%4
Portugal0.45%4
Finland0.61%4
Bulgaria0.45%4
Quebec, Canada0.15%3
Perú0.45%3
Japan0.45%3
Hungary0.30%3
Greece0.30%3
England0.45%3
Denmark0.45%3
Croatia0.15%3
Switzerland0.15%2
South Africa0.30%2
Lithuania0.30%2
Italy / Belgium0.15%2
China0.30%2
Tunisia0.15%1
Trinidad and Tobago0.15%1
Tanzania0.15%1
Taiwan0.15%1
Sri Lanka0.15%1
Slovenia0.15%1
Singapore0.15%1
Scotland0.15%1
Polska0.15%1
Philippines0.15%1
Nepal0.15%1
Malaysia0.15%1
Japan/Taiwan0.15%1
Italia0.15%1
Hong Kong0.15%1
Egypt0.15%1
Britain0.15%1
Brasil0.15%1
Belarus0.15%1
Bangladesh0.15%1
0.15%1
Grand Total100.00%928

The plurality of submissions for a conference in Berlin, Germany is coming from the USA — clearly showing the uneven distribution of tech between Europe and the US. India coming out on top of all European countries except Germany represents a new trend for our event.

We are proud however, of the overall number of different countries represented, as we’re hoping to provide as good of a global perspective on JavaScript as we possibly can.

Employer (Top 25)

EmployerPercentCount
n/a10.89%99
IBM2.72%30
Google1.82%14
Microsoft1.21%12
Wix1.06%9
Facebook0.91%8
Auth00.76%10
Slack0.61%5
Mozilla0.61%4
Freelance0.61%5
Confrere0.61%6
Atlassian0.61%5
Zenika0.45%3
ThoughtWorks0.45%7
Readify0.45%7
Rangle.io0.45%6
Progress0.45%3
PayPal0.45%4
Netflix0.45%5
NearForm0.45%3
Mapbox0.45%3
GitHub0.45%6
Eventbrite0.45%9
American Express0.45%5
Zillow0.30%2

After years of Google coming out on top of the company representation in our submission pool, IBM made a surprise appearance with more than twice as many submissions as Google.

Summary

We hope this data is helpful in setting a baseline as to what can be expected in terms of distribution of speakers along various axes. Especially we want to note that the scale of the JavaScript community is now such that absolute numbers easily allow for equal representation of underrepresented groups in tech within smaller groups such as the “selected speakers at an event”.

Excuses such as “There are no women speakers” are now proven to be invalid (they never were valid in the first place). However, events shouldn’t expect similar numbers if they don’t invest in encouraging speakers from underrepresented groups to submit talks to their events. We realize this is extra work beyond just opening a call for speakers with open submissions, but we believe it is absolutely essential for running a technology event today.