Yes, there are categories of “diversity” other than gender and geographic location, but Brian Thompson at the James Randi Educational Foundation shares some numbers showing the skeptic community is at least doing better than we were before.
Ideally, it’s an indication of what’s to come:
… If the skeptics community is going to thrive and grow, it’s essential that no one feel unwelcome or excluded due to race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. And we think our programs are better if they draw on the talents of everyone, not just one segment of the population or another. There is always room for improvement, but here are some recent statistics to show the progress we’ve been making:
This year, 1,672 people attended TAM 9. Of the 1,593 who pre-registered, only 26 were Las Vegas locals. We had attendees from every U.S. state save Wyoming, Delaware, and Rhode Island. 13% of our attendees were from outside the U.S., and 4% were from outside North America. A whopping 52% were first-time attendees, which demonstrates TAM’s phenomenal growth. We had almost doubled the attendees this year from just two years before.
Just over 40% of our registrants and half of our speakers were women. In fact, there was higher gender and racial diversity on our program than at any previous TAM. The high number of female participants seems to indicate that women feel welcome at TAM. And the diversity in our program isn’t the result of any sort of quota system. We simply feel our program was the best we could assemble and reflects the diversity inherent in our community.
Those last two sentences may be the most important.