Organization: Women in Tech
Crisis: A male was selected for Women in Tech's Annual Summit Conference keynote speaker. After the conference agenda was posted, women in the tech community began to voice their outrage and disappointment on Twitter and via email that a man was chosen as the closing keynote speaker. Some stated they would no longer attend the conference and requested refunds.
Response: After the Women in Tech conference organizers became aware of the situation, they contacted some of the women who voiced concern to request a call to understand their concerns and to also explain the selection process. Within five days the organization posted an update to their website, as well as emailed every member of their list-serv acknowledging their error and apologizing for creating a perception that there were not a sufficient number of qualified women in the to serve as a closing speaker. The statement also stated that while the male speaker would still remain a part of the conference, he would be moved to a different session time and a woman would be chosen for the closing keynote. The conference organizers also thanked the women in the tech community for sharing their views and extended the early bird ticketing period to those who were waiting to purchase their tickets until after the issue was resolved. The full statement can be found here.
Yoda's Take: The conference organizers quickly responded to concerns with a thoughtful and complete resolution. Their statement includes an apology, appreciation for the feedback and a gesture of extending the discounted ticket deadline, and Twitter feedback has been very positive. This was well handled and controlled in time to preserve the conference.
Rating: Jedi Master