By Audra Montenegro
This year, eight regions around the globe have hosted a Kubernetes Community Day (KCD), and the Cloud Native Computing Foundation is excited to have welcomed new regions to the roster. These community run events are essential for our ecosystem. They provide education, collaboration, networking, and an opportunity to empower the community with event planning skills. But we know that there’s room for improvement. This blog post shares some updates to the program aimed at improving our diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Diversity standards are a cornerstone of CNCF values. In 2022, KCDs have an average of 19% non-male speakers across the program’s overall line-up. It’s a start, but ‘a start’ isn’t good enough for us. Some KCDs have reached far lower numbers which are not representative of the diversity in the community and signal the need for program changes to meet those goals.
What does diversity mean to us? Education and collaboration are vital to the future of the CNCF ecosystem and it is imperative to us that everyone in the community that wants to participate feels welcome to do so regardless of gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, dis/ability, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or economic status. We are working to collect different demographics within the KCD program to better track our progress in improving diversity, but we always give people the option to “decline to state”.
This year, we have implemented additional measures to better support our KCD communities and organizers during their programming process. Below are the changes we made thus far:
- Our organizers have terms to abide by and a checklist in the KCD GitHub repository. Pre-existing terms require organizers to take the Inclusive Open Source Community Orientation, as well as agree to offer a minimum of three complimentary tickets to increase diversity for the event. We updated and included the following terms:
- Updated term: “Agree to ensure the final program schedule is diverse (e.g., not all speakers of one gender, one culture, or age)
- New to process: “To assure you have a diverse lineup, you are required to send a copy of your program to firstname.lastname@example.org for review and approval before you publish it.”
- Additionally, we require program committees to ensure their speaker line-up is diverse in terms of companies represented. It is required that not all speakers are from the same one or two companies. We also encourage KCD organizers to consider and include talks that are not purely technical in their line-up.
- As of mid-July, we now have a one-hour monthly organizer working group. Each meeting is topic-based to help guide organizers during their planning process. August’s topic was “How to Curate a Diverse Line-up”. This meeting featured resources and recommendations for organizers on how to build and recruit diversity within their schedules. We provide the slides as well as the meeting recording to all organizers.
- We are also working to reinstate the speaker bureau. Reinstating the bureau will assist organizers in their curation of a diverse lineup. The purpose of the bureau is to allow community members to post their interest in being contacted to speak at events and the topics they can speak on. A new feature we are working with CNCF Ambassador Bart Farrell on launching is the inclusion of a tool for new or first-time speakers to receive coaching on how to submit to a CFP, write a great submission, and how to present successfully. The goal is to recruit and support new voices to be heard first at their local KCDs and from there funnel new voices to the CNCF flagship KubeCon + CloudNativeCon events.
Moving forward we will continuously work on new processes and solutions as the program grows, so we appreciate any feedback to be shared directly to email@example.com. We thank you in advance for supporting a solution-oriented mindset to allow the continued growth of the new Kubernetes Community Day program in regions around the world. Let’s go far together.