For the last three and a half years, Yoast has offered a “diversity fund”, which funded WordCamp attendance for underrepresented people in tech. The goal was to increase the diversity at WordCamps. It worked very well. According to a recent blog post:
During 2018, 2019, and 2020:
- We were able to sponsor 70 people,
- To join a total of 56 events,
- That were all around Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe, and Australia.
The problem is that in 2020 all that came to a screeching halt when WordCamps stopped happening. But rather than throw up their hands and say “Oh well!”, the good folks at Yoast came up with a new plan.
The New Plan
The new plan is to sponsor the same group of people, but to fund their WordPress projects, rather than travel to an event. To quote the same blog post from above:
So what kind of projects are we looking for? It can be a short-term project, like fixing a simple bug, or a longer-term project like creating a new WordPress theme. That being said, we are looking for projects that aim to be no longer than one WordPress release cycle of three months.
I particularly love this new direction because it feels like a more substantial contribution. Don’t get me wrong, I think WordCamps are great and important, but supporting someone financially for three months while they build something that the entire world gets to use just feels like a bigger thing.
Diversity is very important to us here at HeroPress. We’ve striven for diversity across multiple metrics, from gender to age, culture, geography, and language. I think that’s why this project speaks to me more than others.
So many thanks to Yoast for making this happen.