- We need to understand why more women aren’t winning the feeder contests and making it to the big stage. I think Anya (in 2014?) was the last woman to be on the big stage.
- We need to increase the number of women participating. More women participating means more opportunity to be selected.
So it could be the judging or it could be that because only 26% of the entries are from women, there’s just not enough opportunity to be selected (though the “due” theory would hopefully show up soon). So why aren’t women entering? From some twitter threads I’ve seen it’s fear of the big stage, not enough time, and being introverted. It’s hard to determine how significant these factors are. I think I saw from a tweet from Ken Flerage that about one-third of Tableau Public authors are women. So we would expect a similar percentage of women participants in feeder contests.
So why aren’t women participating in the Iron Viz feeders…if you’re not of the male persuasion, complete this survey. I’ll aggregate the results. I will be open and honest with you all. I do not enter for two major reasons:
- My vizzes aren’t complex or compelling.
For example, if the data shows that they haven’t participated in Iron Viz because of time, then we can make a suggestion to increase the amount of time to do the visualization.
Or, if the data shows that women are afraid to make it to the big stage, then maybe there’s an opportunity to do some confidence coaching/cheerleading and practice in highly visible situations.
And that’s where some everyday leadership comes in.
There’s an opportunity to mentor, to coach, or lead the way for change. I am more than happy to play the role of someone’s cheerleader or to organize some #vizheats for practice.
While this post has been about women in iron viz, it’s because it’s easier to slice off one piece of the bigger topic of diversity and inclusion. There is so much work that’s being done and that needs to be done in this space and not just in Iron Viz of Tableau Public. Diversity in the workplace is a significant issue. So here are my questions to you:
What are you going to do about it? Are you willing to be a lone nut?
Show up. Whether it’s in feeder contests or applying to speak, go for it. I almost didn’t speak at conference if it hadn’t been for two things, 1) the support of Matt Francis who told me to apply anyway (after I told him that I reviewed the criteria and I didn’t think I met the qualifications) and 2) (with respect to the data plus women panel), I thought: the worst they can do is say no. This is a hard mindset to adopt…I still struggle with it, but I’m getting better (and if you need someone to help you say yes to the opportunity, let me know).
Go up. Having the skills and showing up provides the basis for promotions. If you’re in a decision-making position, make sure that you know your biases and adjust accordingly, so that any person who has the skills and who shows up, can go up. In this case, goes up on the big stage and has the time of their life creating a compelling visualization for thousands of people to enjoy.
So, my challenge to me and to you is:
How are you going to demonstrate leadership and make a difference in diversity?