What is the Support Inclusion in Tech initiative?

The Support Inclusion in Tech initiative pays the travel expenses of underrepresented individuals accepted to speak at WordCamps. 

Are you affiliated with WordPress or WordCamps?

We are recognized by the WordPress Open Source Project as a third party diversity & inclusion initiative and listed in the WordCamp Organizer Handbook.

Support Inclusion in Tech’s founder is Winstina Hughes. Winstina is a community and core contributor and speaker.

Why are speakers not paid?

Great question. The first WordCamps did not feature speakers. Many were social gatherings of local WordPress community members. Over time, to attract attendees and speakers, WordCamps took shape to become flagship events with an organizing team, sponsors, a dedicated venue, catered lunch, and an after party or networking event. Ticket prices range from $10 to $50 to make conferences accessible to anyone. Historically, most WordCamp speakers worked for companies in the WordPress ecosystem and had their trips paid for by their employers. That is still the case today. Speaking at a WordCamp can be a fun, relaxing, out of the office day.

Support Inclusion in Tech wants to shift this paradigm to include any underrepresented speaker who wants this resume-enhancing experience, networking opportunities, and mentorship.

The WordPress community wants speaker support. Our goal is to assist in creating a playing field where all voices have an opportunity to share their unique experiences at WordCamps. Together, we can realize a Fifth Freedom.

What is the purpose of Support Inclusion in Tech?

This initiative assists with promoting greater diversity and inclusion in the WordPress community by supporting speakers who want to participate in WordPress programming but have financial barriers.

Who is the audience for this initiative?

Support Inclusion in Tech’s audience is underrepresented speakers.

What are the components of this initiative?

This initiative pairs speakers with participating companies that will pay for their transportation, hotel, or both through a scholarship, grant, or reimbursement of their expenses. Money is transferred from companies to speakers directly using an agreed upon payment method. Speakers may attend networking events, seek mentorship and guidance from industry professionals, and gain an opportunity to enhance resumes.

What is the eligibility criteria for applicants?

The eligibility criteria are that applicants must be members of underrepresented groups and must be accepted to speak at a WordCamp.

What is the application and selection process?

The application process has two steps. The first step is the completion of the speaker application form. The second step is filling out the anonymous directory listing form. 

What are the benefits for a speaker participating in Support Inclusion in Tech?

Benefits include reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses up to a pre-determined amount, networking opportunities, mentorship and guidance, and resume-enhancing experiences.

What are the benefits for a company participating in Support Inclusion in Tech?

Zero funds are paid by companies to join or participate in Support Inclusion in Tech.

Company leaders in the WordPress ecosystem will receive testimonials of their impact reflecting their direct investment in diversity and inclusion world wide, an annual report of their impact, social media mention, opportunities to meet speakers who do not request privacy, and approval to use the Support Inclusion in Tech logo.

Additionally, companies are participating alongside well known names and, by partnering with an external program, they avoid the costs related to a full-time in-house project manager that manages diversity and inclusion programming. Support Inclusion in Tech program management expertise includes demonstrated examples of speaker support through this initiative, experience leading and co-organizing WordCamps, local and national WordCamp speaker selection experience, and first hand experience as an underrepresented WordCamp speaker. 

How can I donate to Support Inclusion in Tech?

Thank you for believing in this work. You can donate to Support Inclusion in Tech on the Open Collective (OC) Foundation’s platform here.

SiNC believes in radical financial transparency and joined OC to collect and disburse money transparently. The Open Collective (OC) Foundation platform enables over 300 groups to raise and spend over $13 million dollars a year in full transparency. The OC fee structure is here.

How much in fees does Support Inclusion in Tech pay to Open Collective?

Support Inclusion in Tech (SiNC) pays no fees because it has no revenue.

Is it costly to run Support Inclusion in Tech? 

Costs are minimized. Remote work allows for asynchronous collaboration and saves money on office space and related costs. In kind donations including hosting, plugins, and marketing from partners removes a significant amount of overhead. 

What are the scholarship, grant, or reimbursement expectations and responsibilities for speakers?

Recipients are expected to use the funding for travel expenses. If seeking reimbursements, recipients must provide receipts. Additionally, recipients must adhere to the WordPress Community Code of Conduct, create at least one anonymous testimonial, complete post-event survey(s), and participate in post-event activities (optional).

I am an underrepresented speaker. How do I apply for support?
Our company wants to join Support Inclusion in Tech. How do we become a partner or sponsor?

Thank you for believing in this work! Register here: https://supportinclusionintech.com/companyregistrationform/

How many speakers received support in 2023?

We support as many speaker applicants as funding allows. 60% of speakers got funding. Read SiNC’s 2023 in Review.