I applied to speak at next year’s SXSW. My talk, “Embracing Diversity in Eight Steps or Less” is on a topic near and dear to me, namely diversity and inclusion in the workplace, just one aspect of creating a healthy company culture. Part of the selection process for SXSW submissions is the Panel Picker, through which the public votes on submissions of interest. Here’s why you should vote for mine.

When I attended this year’s SXSW, I was happily surprised by the number of people discussing either company culture or diversity issues. However, many of those talks were either from people/organizations with an agenda (buy my book or use my app), or were focused on what was coming out of large companies (I met great folks from Facebook, Pinterest, and Google). While there was great information, these weren’t speaking directly to me, since they weren’t necessarily geared toward small to mid-sized companies. That’s what I’d like to offer, using our own experience as an example.

Here at Substantial we’ve been putting a lot of work behind the scenes to advocate for diversity and inclusion with an initiative called Spectrum. It’s been an interesting exercise, with various successes, frustrations, and lessons for how this topic, much like culture overall, touches many (if not all) areas of the company. I think our experience can be generalized to other companies in many ways, a lesson in how to build consensus, determine goals, and bias toward execution in an environment where everyone’s time, attention, and budget is constrained.

The video above explains this further.

You can vote for my panel by clicking the thumbs up in the upper left corner of the description page. Selected or not, I hope to see you in Austin for SXSW!

Main image from Flickr user kplawver.