As <a href="https:\/\/pressnomics.com\/">PressNomics 6<\/a> approaches, it\u2019s humbling to see how it\u2019s grown beyond a conference for people that power the WordPress economy, to a community of awesome individuals and organizations that come together to spark change in our ecosystem.\r\n\r\nI\u2019d like to introduce you to Zack Katz, creator of GravityView and co-founder of the company with his wife, Juniper Katz. I believe the first time I met Zack was at WordCamp Miami 2015, where he and I sat at the same table for lunch and sparked a conversation around our shared interest of films. Actually, it was more like getting his deep thinking into cinematography and passion for storytelling versus my wide-eyed, popcorn chugging excitement for action movies. We\u2019ve been swapping our favorite blockbusters ever since.\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s another passion that Zack shares, however, and that\u2019s diversity in tech. The duo has launched a new initiative at GravityView, and it\u2019s called the <a href="https:\/\/gravityview.co\/gravityview-diversity-grant\/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">GravityView Diversity Grant<\/a> which looks to help an attendee make a trip out to PressNomics this year.\r\n\r\n<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-20006 lazy" src="https:\/\/pagely.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/05\/Screen-Shot-2019-05-23-at-9.26.05-AM.png" alt="gravityviews diversity grant" width="1636" height="932" \/>\r\n\r\nOnce I saw the retweets piling up, I reached out to Zack to learn more:\r\n\r\n<strong>On the grant description page, you mentioned that you were scared to attend your first PressNomics, how has your confidence changed over the years since launching GravityView?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nEvery year I attend PressNomics, I feel more comfortable; it\u2019s great seeing many of the same people year after year.\r\n\r\nI\u2019ve developed a network of people whom I enjoy spending time with and enjoy seeing every year. I rely on my network to help me make decisions. I know we all encounter similar challenges in our business and as humans, and we\u2019re all part of the WordPress community!\r\n\r\nI\u2019m much more confident now.\r\n\r\n<strong>Are there any methods or lessons you could share to help someone build the confidence to <em>take their seat at the table?<\/em><\/strong>\r\n\r\nI know there is controversy surrounding her and her book, but I do recommend people read <em>Lean In<\/em> by Sheryl Sandberg. Yes, she works for an evil empire, but she\u2019s the most powerful woman in tech and gives solid advice. I listened to Lean In on audiobook when it came out, and her advice makes a lot of sense.\r\n\r\nEach person has to chart their own course when it comes to getting involved, but the first step is giving yourself the opportunity to see what\u2019s out there through attending conferences and the like. You can\u2019t succeed until you get yourself out there.\r\n\r\nI can\u2019t tell anyone else how to do this; you\u2019ll need to find your own way of building your nerve. But there are people who want you to succeed. Find them, and ask for help. We all need help on our way up; everyone does. It feels good to help people on their way up.\r\n\r\n<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-6488 lazy" src="https:\/\/pagely.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2015\/01\/PressNomics2FeaturedImage.png" alt="" width="740" height="300" \/>\r\n\r\n<strong>Do you have any advice for your fellow business colleagues that want to effect change, but don\u2019t know how to choose a meaningful path?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nChoose something that you care about and speak out about it.\r\n\r\nExpose yourself to information. Subscribe to some podcasts, <a href="https:\/\/pagely.com\/blog\/30-entrepreneurial-podcasts\/">here are 3o suggestions for entrepreneurs<\/a>, watch TED talks. Listening to people who have thought deeply about a topic helps you understand what you believe and how you fit in. Follow diverse voices on Twitter, and follow who they follow. Learning requires exposure.\r\n\r\nLast year, as an organizer for WordCamp Denver, I made a point to ask questions and suggest alternate viewpoints. For example: \u201cHow can we improve diversity for this event?\u201d is a simple question to ask, but it leads to a more inclusive event. It\u2019s that easy: be a voice. Speak out. Bring awareness to an issue that matters to you.\r\n\r\nWhat matters to you? One way to find a cause to support is to pay attention: what moves you? What are you connected to in your own experience? That\u2019s a good place to start.\r\n\r\nYou might be someone who really cares about health and nutrition. Your contribution could be to help bring healthier food options to events. You might care about recycling, or homelessness, or literacy\u2014whatever the issue, add your voice.\r\n\r\n<strong>Why did you and Juniper choose PressNomics as a choice conference for this kind of effort?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nPressNomics has been the most important conference for my professional development. Each year I return to the conference, I know more people, I make more connections, I deepen the relationships, and those relationships benefit me. Each year, the people I meet and the things I learn help me and improve our business.\r\n\r\nJuniper and I wanted more people to have that experience.\r\n\r\n<strong>Be honest with us, is there anything you\u2019d like to see added to PressNomics?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nThere are many hurdles to get involved in technology and business, and that\u2019s especially the case for women and minorities. These challenges begin long before people try and launch a business\u2014by the time someone is interested in attending PressNomics, they have already overcome so many systemic hurdles. PressNomics can help them with that last step.\r\n\r\nI believe there are actions can be taken to improve the diversity of attendees and speakers. These are just some ideas:\r\n<ul>\r\n \t<li>Create a code of conduct that outlines acceptable behavior during the conference. Apple just created a <a href="https:\/\/developer.apple.com\/wwdc\/attending\/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Code of Conduct for WWDC<\/a> that is simple but outlines expectations and repercussions; a mission statement for creating a safe and positive environment.<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Create an official scholarship\/sponsored tickets program for diversity (Maybe like the <a href="https:\/\/pagely.com\/scholarship\/">Pagely Scholarship<\/a> for underrepresented college students?)<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Start an outreach program to invite women and minorities to register<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Have panels on diversity and sensitivity<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Feature women and people from underrepresented groups in key speaking spots (like the opening talks of each day)<\/li>\r\n \t<li>Include <a href="https:\/\/leanin.org\/">Lean In<\/a> or a similar book in the welcome package<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>\r\nI want WordPress to be inclusive and diverse. PressNomics represents the premier business conference for WordPress, and if you make diversity a priority, it will surely have a meaningful impact.\r\n\r\n<img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-20007 lazy" src="https:\/\/pagely.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/2019\/05\/Screen-Shot-2019-05-23-at-9.37.01-AM.png" alt="pressnomics 6" width="2000" height="819" \/>\r\n\r\n<strong>Oh, and how're things with GravityView? Any particular challenges or goals remaining for 2019?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nThings are going great for GravityView. This year we\u2019re focusing on being strategic about growing our business. We are likely hiring someone soon to help lead these efforts.\r\n\r\n<strong>What\u2019s the best way people can reach out to you to say thanks?<\/strong>\r\n\r\nYou can find me at PressNomics or WordCamps and say hi! I always like to meet new people.\r\n\r\nPlease Tweet the link to the GravityView Diversity Grant and help spread the word.\r\n\r\nTake a moment to thank Zack, Juniper, and the GravityView team for making PressNomics 6 an even more special event than it will be.\r\n\r\nCheck out <a href="https:\/\/gravityview.co\/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">GravityView<\/a>, the best way to display <a href="https:\/\/pagely.com\/blog\/video-case-study-3-gravity-forms\/">GravityForms<\/a> on your website.