“Gender Parity Won’t Just Happen”: Why Habit Summit Has Taken the 50/50 Pledge

When the 50/50 Pledge launched last May, we immediately signed on our first partner conference: Nir Eyal and Julie Li’s Habit Summit. Nir and Julie immediately rallied behind the 50/50 mission and worked diligently to bring gender parity to their event.

Women in tech know that getting women on stage isn’t about inviting “token women” to join panels and event lineups. It’s about ensuring that their expertise gets as much recognition as men’s.

Since we announced this first conference partnership, the number of women who believe as we do and who have joined the directory of speakers has skyrocketed. The 50/50 Pledge directory has now grown to include almost 3,000 women speakers - women who come from companies like Google, Facebook, Etsy, Slack, Salesforce, Capital One, and hundreds of others. We’ve been able to partner with other top-notch industry events like The Lean Startup Conference and the Draper Venture Network CEO Summit.

“Gender parity won’t just happen,” says Habit Summit Founder Nir Eyal of industry conferences. “Conference organizers must make an active effort and attendees must demand it. The 50/50 Pledge makes it possible.”


The event is now just around the corner on March 22, 2016, boasting an impressive roster of speakers.

This year, an amazing group of women will take the stage to share their expertise on behavior psychology and product design, including:

  • Merci Victoria Grace - Product Management Lead at Slack
  • Yingzhao Liu - Director of UX Int’l at Linkedin
  • Sarah Tavel - Partner at Greylock Partners
  • Cindy Alvarez - Director of UX at Yammer


The Habit Summit is a favorite not only among top product and user engagement professionals in the Bay Area, but also across the U.S. and abroad. The event focuses on sharing insights about customer psychology and habit formation.

It’s a fairly new conference, but that hasn’t stopped them from lining up a consistently compelling roster of speakers across their three-year history - Jeff Atwood of Stack Overflow, Jake Knapp and Daniel Burka from Google Ventures, and Ximena Vengoechea from Twitter, to name a few.

Why Did Habit Summit Partner with 50/50 Pledge?

The Habit Summit is all about bringing together people from a wide variety of backgrounds to share how their work applies to tech products. This work requires varied perspectives, and the Habit Summit’s speakers need to embody differing perspectives.

“When it comes to building great products and services, hearing from a diverse set of perspectives is an asset. I believe the Habit Summit will provide more value to attendees because of the 50/50 Pledge.”


Habit Summit Speaker Merci Victoria Grace said that the 50/50 Pledge gave her confidence in choosing to speak at the event, saying “When I saw the initiative I immediately felt that I should volunteer. Having more women on stage is a signal that benefits the greater good.”

For women speakers, it’s not enough to invite “token women” to join, and it’s vital that we push the events we attend to strive for diversity. It’s important that we raise the standards for what’s acceptable at a tech conference, as a group. The Habit Summit saw the importance of hitting that 50% milestone.


Want to Join?

Interested in joining us as a 50/50 conference partner? You can apply and tell us about your event. We then work with you to match you with women speakers for your event. Our partners all pledge to have at least 50% women on stage at their event, raising the representation of women at the most important events in the tech industry.