The BlogHer conference, produced by women’s media company, ‘She Knows Media’, has made it their mission to improve the lack of diversity in advertising and other industries. That is because. new research from leading trade association 4A’s shows that half of the respondents believe the ad industry is terrible at hiring diverse professionals. And the woman in creative director roles tops out at just 11%, according to The 3% Conference.
BlogHer had been at the forefront of pushing for greater diversity and set a precedent to give the spotlight to speakers from the most marginalized communities.
Moreover, this past weekend marked the 13th year of the BlogHer conference, designed for women to inspire one another and turn their passions into content, community, and commerce.
“BlogHer was founded on the idea of representation. It’s always top of mind as we select our speakers and partners, which in turn, attracts a diverse set of attendees year after year,” said Samantha Skey, president of SheKnows Media.
BlogHer’s efforts towards diversity and inclusion are not lost on the conference speakers, panelists, or even the audience. Luvvie Ajayi states:
“I think BlogHer has been very intentional about ensuring that they’ve had diversity because they’ve made it a point to seek out women of color as opposed to using the always popular excuse of ‘we just didn’t know any,’ so that is one of the reasons I like the community of bloggers they’ve built.”
Also, this year #BlogHer17 in Orlando became a best-in-class example for diversity and inclusion. After all, 40% of the women on stage were women of color.
Danielle Faust, black mom blogger, and wellness coach served on the community advisory board for #BlogHer17. This time pleased with the representation at the conference, stating “from a diversity perspective this has been the best year.”
Likewise, previous speakers at BlogHer include Kerry Washington and President Obama, and this year more than half of the keynote speakers were women of color.
For instance, MSNBC host of “SoPOPular!” Janet Mock; comedian, actress, and activist Margaret Cho; CNN political correspondent Ana Navarro; and entrepreneur, philanthropist, and tennis champion Serena Williams.
The conference also attracted partner organizations pushing their diversity initiatives, including the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Google, Hilton, and Ad Council. Also, Cat Cora, a philanthropist, and the first female Iron Chef say she spoke at #BlogHer17.
In addition, 2017 keynote speakers included Carla Hall, co-host of “The Chew”; Chelsea Clinton, Vice-Chair of the Clinton Foundation, and best-selling author and celebrated blogger Luvvie Ajayi.
Ajayi has attended the BlogHer conference almost every year since 2010, sharing her knowledge, experiences, and successful digital strategy. She credits BlogHer for the role it has played in her career.
Moreover, 42% of the content creators, social media influencers, entrepreneurs, and brand executives were people of color.
Lynn Johnson, co-founder, and CEO of Spotlight: Girls and winner of #BlogHer17’s #ThePitch shares because she was inspired to attend:
“When I came to the conference last year, I was blown away by the number of creative women in one place at one time. Creating all this content and are influencing so much of our commerce today.”
Lastly, Ruma Bose- business executive, entrepreneur, humanitarian leader, and former president of the Chobani Foundation and Chobani Ventures. She discusses the conference’s role in empowering women:
” We need to change the face of entrepreneurship, and that face needs to be female. I think that platforms like BlogHer that bring together these incredible women and celebrate them… that’s how we create role models.”