Early in the year, my WordCamp Seattle 2017 speaker team co-lead and I planned out our responsibilities for the six months leading up to the conference. Among the early decisions was to start with a blind reviewing step as part of our speaker selection process. This post dives into what we did, the advantages of that approach, and some transparent details about our selection criteria. Before I go any further, a huge thanks to my speaker team co-lead Nichole Betterley from N Powered Websites who did tons of work alongside me and also reviewed this post before publication. Important Influences & the Folks Before Us As part of this process, I leaned heavily on the past work and experiences of other people—notably all women to the best of my recollection—who shared these goals. Courtney Stanton’s article “How I Got 50% Women Speakers at My Tech Conference” has stuck with me in the years since I first read it, and Jill Binder, Morgan Kay, and others’ work on the WordCamp Speaker Training Workshops was fabulous. A lot of these things seem obvious once you’ve read them, but plenty (most?) of technology conferences don’t use these types of
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