On Gender Representation and Diversity at Maker Faire Shenzhen

Violet_Su

Recently, we’ve become aware of the discussion on social media regarding gender and diversity representation at Maker Faire Shenzhen, and we’ve received kind concerns from friends in the maker community. We thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about how Maker Faire Shenzhen has been working hard to build an open and inclusive platform over the last 6 years.

Stefania Druga, Maker Faire Shenzhen 2014

As organizers of the first featured Maker Faire in China, we’ve always wanted to introduce the spirit of making to the Chinese community through this event. The practice of making, DIY, and craftsmanship has always been abundantly present in the Chinese culture, but the concept of “maker” is a foreign one. By bringing to Shenzhen our international friends of different backgrounds, including gender, race, nationality, skills and project scopes, we hope to to show our own community how the spirit of making is open, wide-ranging and welcoming, and how everyone can be a maker. Thus since the beginning, Maker Faire Shenzhen has positioned itself as a platform that celebrates the exchange of cultures and differences.

 Maker Faire Shenzhen 2014

Female makers are in the minority in maker communities everywhere, and this makes them worthy of celebration, their projects worthy of being shown, their stories worthy of being told. Other than makers, we also work with women who play key roles in the movement - community builders, educators, project leaders, and policy makers.

In 2015, Maker Faire Shenzhen featured 11 women out of 43 speakers in the forum, and a special panel by women working on creative projects. They came from from China, Indonesia, Romania, Germany, USA, and Canada (more detailed information of the panel can be found at:http://www.shenzhenmakerfaire.com/archives/6765).

Women Makers Panel, Maker Faire Shenzhen 2015

At Maker Faire Shenzhen 2016, three impressive female speakers spoke about education, robotics, and incubation, from China, Japan and the US.

Lit Liao of Litchee Lab, Maker Faire Shenzhen 2016

Nao Kondo, Maker Faire Shenzhen 2016

As for this year’s Faire, women will continue to feature as local makers and community builders. Carrie Leung, a teacher from the Shenzhen American International School and the organizer of Shekou School Maker Faire, will co-curate the education forum highlighting encouraging stories about  how STEAM education has been implemented in the local Chinese school system. From Xi’an’s MakerBeta, Wenwen Xie will share her experience in producing exciting educational videos about the making of her own wonderful projects. Of course, there will also be many many others to showcase their projects and tell their stories -- men, women, adults, children, hailing from Shenzhen, China, and the world over.

Wenwen Xie from MakerBeta, Maker Faire Shenzhen 2017

Maker Faire Shenzhen 2017 will take place on November 10-12 at Shenzhen Polytechnic, and so our work is underway. 60% of our organizing team are (strong, fun-loving and hardworking!!) women, who want nothing more than to have more female makers participate in our Faire. We will keep doing our best to make Maker Faire Shenzhen fun, informative and inclusive, and we welcome any suggestions to help us create a great event and a diverse community. Please send your comments and questions to mfsz@chaihuo.org

Thank you for reading, and we look forward to seeing you in November!

 

Team Maker Faire Shenzhen
August 30th, 2017

 

中文版本:

近期,深圳制汇节(Maker Faire Shenzhen)受邀嘉宾的性别和种族多样性在社交媒体上引起了多方关注和广泛的讨论。与此同时,我们也收到了创客社区多位朋友的关心和问候。在此,想跟大家分享我们在过去6年,作为深圳制汇节的主办方,为了打造一个开放包容的创客社区平台所做的努力。

有幸举办中国首个featured级别Maker Faire,我们一直致力于将创客精神引入中国。从2012年首届深圳制汇节开始,我们就一直致力于打造一个国际化的盛会,为海内外多元文化的交流提供一个平台。工匠文化在中国自古就有,但创客这个概念却是舶来之物。为了让国内的民众更直观地了解创客的定义,我们邀请了来自全球不同背景、不同性别、不同种族的群体来到深圳参与Maker Faire,让深圳乃至全中国了解