If I have to tell what this WordCamp Barcelona has been for me, and the work I have done to make diversity more visible, I could summarize it in the following words: I have no words.
How did it all start?
I have been meeting with Isotta Peira, from the community team, for a few months now.
We meet every month to talk about things we can do for the community, for diversity, and bring down to earth the crazy ideas I come up with.
I have to say that I owe all this to her, because she has encouraged me more than anyone else to achieve what we have done at WordCamp Barcelona: we have made history!
Isotta introduced me to Angela Jin, a very important person in the WordPress community. I have to say that when I met her I didn’t know exactly who she was and what she did.
I was asking Angela a lot of questions to see if she knew what could and could not be done, because I still had a lot of doubts about the limits of the community.
Angela told me that in the WorrdPress global community, there was a channel on diversity. I didn’t know that existed!
She also told me about two of the people in charge of this team: Julia Golomb and Jill Binder.
Julia put me in touch with Jill, the leader of #WPDiversity. It was a real eye opener for me, it felt great to be able to talk to her about my thoughts in private, about what I would like to do in the Spanish community. She supported me from minute 1.
WordCamp Barcelona 2023 and diversity
To tell you the truth, nobody got me involved in doing everything I did at WordCamp Barcelona, I had been planning it for a long time so that I could give a few hints of what it was going to be like.
The first diversity table at a local WordCamp in the world!
I don’t really like labels, and “the best, the first in the world” doesn’t really do it for me, but I learned a long time ago that I had to celebrate everything I achieve, no matter how small.
When Isotta told me about doing a diversity table… I thought: “And who am I to lead a diversity roundtable? Isotta told me that I was the person who most deserved to do this in Spain and honestly, at first I was very scared, but after a while, I was so excited that I said: “And why not?
The first thing we thought of was to have a workshop for speakers from under-represented groups. But it didn’t seem like a good idea, being singled out as an underrepresented group in an environment like a WordCamp didn’t seem like the right setting for it. So I soon thought of something else: As it was the first table to be held, we didn’t have anyone to compare with and I could do a bit of what I wanted.
Weeks later, it occurred to me to make everything simpler. As it was going to be the first table, I thought the cool thing would be to explain what the #WPDiversity group was, what it did, and how it can help.
We had two turns for this, and it filled up both times. I was very happy to see organisers of meetups and WordCamps.
Also, there was a discussion afterwards about what we could do for diversity in Spain and what we thought. What things were being done wrong and what was everyone’s opinion. It was very enriching!
Afterwards, Ana Gavilán (lead of WordCamp Barcelona) told me that we had another shift and we had a classroom with professional cameras.
I decided to use that shift to make some videos with the help of Francesc Barbero, who did everything with a lot of love.
I had been thinking about this presentation for a few months. But I felt so much responsibility that, for a while, I was under a lot of stress, anxiety and thinking about how I had to do it.
Everyone who knows me in the WordPress community knows that I’m a real nerve. No one is surprised when I say a swear word, or say a word that is out of place.
Surely, many of the people who have seen the lecture or people who know me do not know what this lecture has meant to me. It was undoubtedly the lecture I worked the hardest on, because it was a delicate and very important subject.
I wanted to address it to people who were not very convinced that diversity is necessary.
As I have stage fright, I also did a little “show woman” to add a bit of fun to the theme, as it was a very bad time, after lunch.
I wanted my presentation to be remembered, not for nothing, but because there are not many diversity presentations, and I wanted to try to get closer to the audience so that they could see that it is not always necessary to point out the things they do wrong.
I worked on the tone of the presentation to make it fun and emotional. Some people told me after the presentation that they were moved.
I talked about my references, both personal and professional. It was very nice because three of my professional references were there watching the presentation (Ana Cirujano, Nora Ferreirós and Celi Garoe) and the truth is that I almost started to cry xD
Then I talked about diversity projects in WordPress and what it has been like for me to be part of the #WPDiversity team.
I acknowledged all the people who have helped me in everything, in being part of the Diversity team and the people who helped me to pull data with graphs to see the gender diversity data.
I hope you enjoy the presentation as much as I enjoyed preparing and delivering it.
Also, I wanted to thank all the people who approached me and thanked me for recognising the work I am doing for the WordPress community ❤️.
I left for the first time after a WordCamp with the feeling that I had done things right.
Many thanks to all the people who make this possible: Organisers, sponsors (those who pay for the party), attendees and speakers.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
All the photographs I have chosen for this article are by Nilo Vélez.