One of the fundamental missions of the Standard C++ Foundation is to “support the C++ software developer community.” Support starts with ensuring that everyone feels welcome in our community, and as the leadership of the largest community gathering of the year, we take the opportunity to build a more diverse and inclusive community very seriously and try to expand it every year. Here are the new, expanded, and continuing initiatives currently planned, aimed at making everyone feel welcome at CppCon 2022.
- (NEW) Double-blind review process: Creating a program that is as diverse as possible has always been a priority at CppCon. Each year, the Program Committee aims to create the best conference we can, and a big part of that process is obtaining the most comprehensive and accurate set of reviews for each talk submitted. Our goal is to reduce unconscious bias in the review process, and increase the diversity of submissions. Studies have shown that double-blind review processes have these effects, so this year the Program Committee will be reviewing the abstracts and outlines of submissions without the knowledge of the submitter’s names. To enable this, we will be asking presenters to take steps to anonymize their abstracts.
- (EXPANDED) New tracks, new track chairs: Having more focused tracks, centered around more specific areas of expertise, is an important part of creating a diverse and inclusive conference. This may be counterintuitive, but focused tracks actually enable speaking opportunities for junior developers: They may not have enough experience with topics of broad appeal, but may still have the domain-specific expertise to submit talks that may be interesting to a significant subset of attendees. This year, in addition to the existing Embedded, Back to Basics, and Software Design tracks, we are adding Tooling and Scientific Computing tracks. If your talk is submitted to a track, your track chair will be happy to provide additional consultation on both your abstract and your talk. Reach out to them!
- Supporting new speakers: CppCon offers mentoring for newer speakers. As part of the talk submissions process, we provide the option for one-on-one mentoring by experienced speakers. As mentioned above, part of the responsibility of track chairs is to provide subject-matter-specific mentoring to new speakers submitting to their tracks. If you are interested in this program, just mark it in your talk submission form.
- (EXPANDED) Diversity dinner, now also a workshop: This year, CppCon’s diversity dinner will be expanded to include a workshop to discuss processes, experiences, and paths forward for improving diversity and inclusion in the C++ community. Attendees are encouraged to submit 10-20 minute talks on these topics through a separate submission process.
- Women in C++ brunch: Building on the success of last year’s Women in C++ dinner, we’re hosting a women’s brunch for this year’s CppCon. Though we’ve always included women in general diversity initiatives at CppCon in the past, as more women have been attending CppCon we want to provide women with specific opportunities to network with others who face similar challenges. The brunch is intended to be an open, welcoming, casual environment for attendees to discuss diversity issues specific to women in C++.
- Hybrid on-line and in-person conference: We recognize that not everyone’s life circumstances allow them to take a week out of their life to attend a conference in person. This year, CppCon will again facilitate on-line participation for speakers and attendees, with the goal of including those who can’t attend or speak in person. We’re employing a number of emerging technologies to engage with online participants, aimed at making them feel welcome as part of the community as much as possible.
- Subsidized diversity tickets: CppCon sponsors a number of subsidized on-line and in-person attendance tickets for people from underrepresented groups in C++. More details about this year’s program, including how to apply, will be announced soon.
- Code of Conduct: CppCon’s Code of Conduct (CoC) includes a dedicated CoC report handling team and CoC training for all conference volunteers before each event. CppCon publishes annual CoC transparency reports after each conference, starting with the CppCon 2021 CoC transparency report.
- Professional live captioning for keynotes and large sessions: Professional-quality live captioning is expensive, but is important to us because it helps many attendees better follow the live program—not only attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing, but also the many non-native English speakers in the audience.
- Gender neutral restrooms: Every year, at least one restroom at the venue gets designated as gender neutral to accommodate attendees who may not feel comfortable in either the men’s or the women’s restrooms.
- Pronouns on name tags: While registering, attendees will be offered the option to add their preferred pronouns to their conference badge.
- Accessible venue and stages: All talks are held at the conference hotel, which offers wheelchair accessible guest rooms, and wheelchair accessible seating and stage access in meeting rooms. See our accessibility section for more details.
- Quiet room: We know that conferences and large gatherings can be stressful for some attendees, especially since the isolation caused by the pandemic. Being inclusive means making sure attendees have ways to manage that stress. We provide quiet room space for attendees to relax and recharge; see our quiet room section for more details.
- Child care: Parenting responsibilities and attending a technical conference are a challenge to mix. CppCon wants to help attendees with children to be able to focus on the conference experience, secure in the knowledge that their children are in a safe and secure environment. See our child care section for more details.
- (NEW) Feedback: We’ve set up a new email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to work on better understanding people’s reasons for being unable to attend CppCon in the past. We’re working on a survey process to learn more about how we can make CppCon as diverse and inclusive as possible.
Diversity and inclusion are a priority at CppCon, and we are dedicated to deepening and expanding our support for a diverse and inclusive environment. We look forward to your feedback, and are excited to see many of you—either online or in person—in September at CppCon 2022!
Daisy Hollman, Program Chair
On behalf of the CppCon 2022 organizing committee