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Announcements
May 31, 2016

Childcare Matters at Your Conference

Sarah Mei Chief Architecture Officer

For the last several years, the Write/Speak/Code conference has empowered women software developers to gain influence and visibility via three critical activities: writing, conference speaking, and contributing to open source software.

Started by Rebecca Miller-Webster in 2013, Write/Speak/Code is the only conference of its kind in the world, and has been hugely influential in the careers of hundreds of women.

Since Tandem is based in Chicago (chicago custom software development), we are delighted to welcome the 2016 conference to our hometown next month! I’m personally flying out from San Francisco for the week, to be on a panel of conference organizers and to mentor attendees who contribute to a Rails project.

I wanted to go further than just speaking, though, so I’m excited to announce today that Tandem is sponsoring the childcare at this year’s event!

Why Childcare?

As a single mom of two kids, I know how hard it is to say, definitively, that you can attend an event if you don’t know yet who will watch the kids.

Acknowledging people’s real lives lets us open full participation to many folks previously kept on the sidelines.(image from daniellittlewood on flickr)

An event with childcare changes that entire calculus. I almost never actually use it — I can usually find my kids a playdate, or drop them off with a family member. Crucially, though, I know it’s there if I need it. That lets me be confident in my RSVP. If my sitter cancels at the last moment, I don’t have to cancel on the event.

Women still do more than half of the childcare in this country, even if both parents are working, so lack of childcare disproportionately prevents women from attending events.

In the past year, two events that I help run, RubyConf and RailsConf, have added childcare and gotten a tremendously positive response. I’m happy that we can help publicize and continue this trend at W/S/C this year.

See you there!

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