I don’t want a handout. Never have. Never will. I recently read a thoroughly disappointing post from Allyson Kapin at Fast Company. In her post she essentially argues for a quota system that would ensure women are equally represented on panels at tech conferences. Say what? Yeap, you heard it.
A quota system doesn’t ensure equality, what it ensures is mediocrity. I’m what the kids might call, “ethnic.” Yet, I’ve never played the “race card” to gain an advantage. Never. Not once. Didn’t do it to score better and more scholarships for college…or better yet to gain admittance into a college. I’ve never played the card to score a job or get invited to a conference.
You won’t find me bemoaning the lack of so called minorities in the advertising business. In fact, my thoughts on the matter are the same as my thoughts about women being invited to tech conferences: I want the best of the best, independent of race, color, creed, religion, gender, etc.
Why is that so hard? Why I submitted my presenter/speaker application to BlogWorld and was turned down, I was disappointed. But, instead of taking to the streets and demanding more ethnic representation at conferences, I hunkered down and tried to improve my work so that when I submit my application next year, I get accepted.
I don’t want a handout and neither should you. You should want to be judged on the merit of your work, capabilities, skill, and value – not your gender, color, race, etc. Would you really want to speak at a conference knowing that you’re only there to fill a quota and appease some loud mouth group/person that’s stumping for more representation of “their” group? I wouldn’t. If you do, you’re taking the easy way out and your work and talent will suffer for it.
I don’t want a hand out.