AnnaMarie Houlis
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Journalist & travel blogger

Diversity and inclusion conferences are cropping up around the world, as ever more companies and organizations make greater strides toward safer and equal workspaces for everyone.

Here are 10 of the most influential D & I conferences of which you should know.

These 10 diversity and inclusion conferences are changing the world.

1. 1vyG (the First-Gen Conference)

The 1vyG (the First-Gen Conference) is one of the most impactful D & I conferences out there. That's because 1vyG is the single largest conference for first-generation, low-income students in the world, which has historically served as a space for first-generation, low-income students to connect with and empower one another. 

This conference is so important, it's been hosted at Harvard, Brown, Yale, the University of Pennslyvania and Princeton in 2019.

2. The Human Capital Insititute's Inclusive Diversity Conference

The Human Capital Institute's (HCI) delivers both live and virtual educational content to human resource teams, talent management leaders and business executives all across the globe in order to help them plan, build and develop the workforce. And its Inclusive Diversity Conference is a reflection of just that. 

HCI’s Inclusive Diversity Conference exists to help these teams, leaders and executives to learn how to leverage neuroscience, data and simple behavioral design to make diversity and inclusion part of their everyday organizational culture. The conference touches on tools and best practices for both small and large organizations, and it shares strategies, touch points for difficult conversations and change management techniques to help them achieve diversity and inclusion.

3. HUE Tech Summit

The HUE Tech Summit is a tech summit for women of color, promoting diversity in tech. The summit is designed to "educate, elevate and empower women of color technologists and techpreneurs." After all, its mantra is “No More Hidden Figures,” because it's working to identify women who work hard and make major contributions in their fields behind the scenes, as well as women who are breaking barriers in the tech industry.

4. Tech Inclusion Career Fair

Change Catalyst’s Tech Inclusion Career Fair is for companies both big and small, though there are several events throughout the year with all different purposes. Tech Inclusion events intend to be safe and innovative spaces for people across every gender, race, ethnicity, religion, country of origin, sexual orientation, visible and invisible ability and age, as well as veterans and people formerly incarcerated.

The fair is a "place for tech companies to build quality connections with diverse candidates." The goal is to provide "a harassment-free experience for all."

5. The Conference Board's Annual Diversity and Inclusion Conference

The Conference Board's Annual Diversity and Inclusion Conference has been ongoing for more than two decades, and it prides itself on being one of North America's longest-running and best-attended D & I events out there. The conference boasts a number of interactive sessions, in-depth cases and inspiring presentations from a number of acknowledged thought leaders.

The conference holds to that, "in order to succeed, organizations must build bridges constructively and respectfully, creating cultures where everyone feels they can contribute and belong."

6. Diversity Abroad Conference

The Annual Diversity Abroad Conference got its start in 2013 with the Global Student Leadership Summit & the MSI Global Education Summit. And it has since touted itself as the most comprehensive national forum on issues of access, diversity, equity, and inclusion in global education. 

The conference's intentions are to "support student academic success, interpersonal growth and career readiness through equitable access to global educational opportunities." Its goal is that "the next generation of young people from diverse and underrepresented backgrounds are equipped with the knowledge, skills and experience to be academically, personally and professionally successful in the 21st-century interconnected world."

7. /Dev/color IN MOTION

The /Dev/color IN MOTION was founded by a former Pinterest Engineer whose mission was to create a supportive network of Black software engineers. As such, the organization hosts a number of events all year, including a major conference for Black software engineers and other members of diversity teams, senior managers and engineering managers.

"/dev/color IN MOTION brings together hundreds of Black software engineers from near and far to connect, learn, share and support one another's growth within the tech industry," according to the site, which describes the two-day experience as fireside chats and lightning talks from laudable industry leaders. On top of that, /dev/color IN MOTION features a designated hack day, professional development sessions and community building exercises.

8. Grace Hopper Celebration

The Grace Hopper Celebration is, simply put, the world's largest gathering of women technologists. After all, Grace Hopper herself lead the team that created the first computer language compiler, which led to COBOL language — and she's not the last woman in tech to make an impact. The celebration in her name brings people together to "envision a future where the people who imagine and build technology mirror the people and societies for which they build it."

Most of the attendees at the Grace Hopper Celebration are women, many of whom are recent graduates or early in their careers, as tons of STEM employers send staff to engage with (and hopefully recruit) many of these women.

9. Annual Global Equality & Diversity Conference & Awards

The annual Global Equality & Diversity Conference & Awards is the largest video and podcast platform for updating research and managerial knowledge in the field. It was among the first programs to identify the power of transparency and new data, tracking, publishing, cataloging and celebrating insight, innovation and successes.

10. Lesbians Who Tech

Lesbians Who Tech is a conference for, you guessed it, lesbians who tech. It brings together thousands of lesbians, queer women and allies across the technology industry, who all hear from various acclaimed women in tech — from Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook to the former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, Megan Smith.

The conference intends to help lesbians in tech connect with one another (and be more visible to each other) and be more visible to others. It also intends to attract more lesbians and queer women to the technology industry. In short, Lesbians Who Tech raises awareness of queer women's work, connects organizations and queer women in the tech community and fights for their visibility and respect in the workplace.

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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.

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