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Diversity in Testing

Reading Time: 2 minutes

In the company of Anne Marie Charrett and Fiona Charles this webinar takes a look at the opportunities for women presenting at testing conferences.

Look at just about any testing conference program and you will see far fewer women speaking than men. Are women under-represented or are the small numbers speaking a simple reflection of the community? Or is it, as some might say, a reflection of relative merit?

Fiona Charles and Anne-Marie Charrett will examine facts and perceptions around women speakers at conferences. We’ll ask why more women don’t apply to speak at conferences, and we’ll also ask if gender imbalance really matters. We’ll ask what we can do to help get more smart women to share their good ideas with conference audiences, and we’ll offer our own ideas in answer to all of these questions.

Join us for what we hope will be a lively discussion around gender diversity at software testing conferences.

Key Points for Discussion:

  • Are women under-represented or are the small numbers speaking a simple reflection of the community?
  • If so, Is it a reflection of relative merit?
  • Why don’t more women apply to speak at conferences?
  • Does the gender imbalance really matter? 


As well as discussing these questions, both Fiona and Ann-Marie will examine what the community do to to help a achieve a greater diversity of speakers at conference sessions while offering their own ideas in answer to all of these questions.

Speak Easy came about when Fiona Charles and Anne-Marie Charrett decided to walk the talk about creating diversity at technical conferences. As conference organisers, they’ve seen the challenges in sourcing diverse speakers for their programs. As experienced speakers they’ve understood and seen the difficulty in getting experience and confidence to speak at a professional level.

This initiative is designed to bridge that gap.

Our particular focus is to improve the number of female speakers at conferences.

Anne Marie Charrett & Fiona Charles

Anne-Marie Charrett is a software tester, trainer and coach with a reputation of excellence and passion for the craft of software testing.
 An electronic engineer by trade, software testing chose her when she started testing protocols against European standards. Anne-Marie has learned to be skeptical of traditional software testing practices that focus on external artefacts such as scripted test cases or a manic devotion to ‘green’ builds yet overlook the quality of the testing performed. Instead she advocates testing as a skilled activity, training & coaching teams to develop testing skills and to develop approaches best suited to context. Current work is in assisting teams in their transition to agile or continuous deployment environments. Anne-Marie currently lectures at the University of Technology, Sydney on software testing. She blogs at Maverick Tester and offers tweets @charrett

Fiona Charles teaches organizations to manage their software testing risk, and IT practitioners project skills “beyond process”—hands-on practical skills essential to thrive and excel on any kind of software project. Fiona’s articles and blog posts appear frequently, and she conducts experiential workshops at international conferences, and in-house for clients. She is the co-founder (with Anne-Marie Charrett), of Speak Easy, a volunteer organization whose goal is to increase gender diversity at tech conferences and help new speakers find their voices. Contact Fiona via her website www.quality-intelligence.com, and follow her on twitter @FionaCCharles.

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