Elevating Underrepresented Leaders
Women and non-binary individuals are significantly underrepresented in conversations about tech and venture capital — both at conferences and in media coverage. This perpetuates a cycle where they don’t have the same access as men to opportunities and networks to build social and financial capital. It shouldn’t be this way.
Introducing the All Raise Visionary Voices speakers bureau
We aim to increase diverse representation at events and in media coverage by making speakers and sources readily available to event organizers and reporters, complete with self-identified demographic information to make sure it’s radically inclusive. Today, our bureau features nearly 1,000 extraordinary female or non-binary founders, investors, and operators from across the venture-backed tech ecosystem who are visionary leaders and domain experts. And we’re just getting started.
Partners committed to equitable events and reporting
We’re proud that many reputable partners are publicly committing to this important mission. In particular, we are thrilled that the world's leading progressive business media publication Fast Company is supporting the program. Additionally, early partners include new media startup Protocol and some of the largest tech industry conferences including SaaStr and Startup Grind. We look forward to announcing more media and conference partners committed to a diversity of voices in the coming months.
1 in 4
tech event speakers are women
of keynote speakers at tech conferences are women of color
of keynote speakers at tech conferences are white men
3 to 1
Men outnumber women in media coverage
Principles for Equitable Events and Reporting
Do not host manels (all-male panels). All-male panels with a female moderator are still manels.
Strive for Balance
Balance your speaker lineup by striving for a 50/50 split of men and women. Be mindful about including non-binary individuals as well.
Elevate the Underrepresented
Avoid hosting panels where all the speakers are white. Make sure a large percentage of your event’s speakers are from groups that are particularly underrepresented in tech and VC (e.g. Black, Latinx, Indigenous, LGBTQIA+).
Know your demographics
Track demographic categories of your speakers by asking them to voluntarily self-identify. Be upfront that their personal information will be kept strictly confidential while the aggregated data will be used to help you improve your future events.
Share your numbers
Publish percentage breakdowns of gender, race/ethnicity, and other demographic categories for your events. You can’t change what you don’t measure.
Create a code of conduct
Require all event speakers and attendees to sign a code of conduct and anti-harassment policy to ensure you’re creating a safe, welcoming space for everyone. Here’s an example.
Balance your sources
Balance your sources and quotes by striving for a 50/50 split of men and women. Be mindful about including non-binary individuals as well.
Diversify your commentary
Aim to interview, source, and quote people from underrepresented groups.
Steer clear of tokenism
Bring female voices into stories across industries and topics, without relegating those voices to stories about diversity or women’s issues.
Do not pose questions or use descriptors for one gender that are not equally applicable to another.
Evaluate your efforts
Commit to surveying editorial content regularly for distribution of subjects, voices, and sources between men, women, and other groups.
Know speakers' pronouns
Make sure you’re using the correct pronouns for your speakers.
Use gender-neutral terms
When addressing the audience, use gender-neutral terms (“Welcome, friends” or “Welcome, everyone” instead of “Ladies and gentlemen.”).
Don't single out or tokenize speakers
Ask similar questions of your speakers. Don’t relegate female speakers to answering questions on “women’s issues” or single out Black, Latinx, or other speakers from underrepresented groups by only asking them about diversity and inclusion.
Inquire about diversity
Ask event organizers about the diversity of their speakers before committing to be a speaker.
Just say no to manels
Create opportunities for others
If you are an experienced, sought after speaker, leverage your influence to ask event organizers to invite women and other underrepresented people to be speakers as a condition of your participation.
Share your mic
Regularly recommend and forward speaking and media opportunities to women and other underrepresented people.
Proactively answer DEI questions
If you're not from an underrepresented group, on panels, proactively answer questions about diversity and inclusion instead of leaving them for women and other people from underrepresented groups, as diversity is a shared goal.
Check out events from our partners
Explore the Speakers Bureau
Find your next amazing speaker or interview subject!
What is your criteria for choosing speakers?
We are looking for speakers with at least 3 previously published interviews or speaking engagements, including VC investors who are generally at the Senior Associate level and above, and tech startup founders and operators with leadership experience in a wide range of industries. We make our acceptance decisions based on speakers’ industry expertise as well as demonstrated speaking and media experience. We also consider the overall representation of sectors, industries, and various demographics (e.g. race/ethnicity, LGBTQIA+, disability).
How do I apply?
All Raise evaluates all submissions to ensure that applicants are qualified and adhere to our values. Accepted applicants will be displayed in the database. Click below to apply.
How do I use the speakers bureau?
Visionary Voices is an ongoing resource for you! As you are planning your event or working on a story, please refer to the Visionary Voices page here, where you can search for experts by criteria like founder/funder/operator, sector, industry, company, title, etc. Please reach out directly to any of the individuals on the Visionary Voices page via the contact information provided.
Can my organization be a media partner?
We look forward to announcing more media and conference partners committed to a diversity of voices in the coming months. If your organization would like to be a media partner, we invite you to click below for more information.