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CLS2016: Diversity Session Notes

Diversity in open source


Nicole manages a team of 4 men who are developers because no women ever applied for those roles

Stephanie mentioned the same situation with sys admins in one company she worked in - no women every applied

We need more women applying in the first place

Daniel mentioned that OpenStack summit had only 11% women in attendance. We’re seeing a lot of women in tech companies in non tech/engineering roles. So companies reporting large numbers of women aren’t necessarily reporting women in tech roles.

The first way to solve this is to start with kids. We need to show girls that technology/engineering is a career path they can follow. If girls don’t learn these skills then they don’t apply.

Stephanie mentioned that Seattle has an Ada Academy for women who want to learn about a career in technology. It puts them through a 6 month intensive study and then a 6 month internship.

Carlos mentioned that we need diversity to get more ideas.

How do we create a place that’s welcoming to everyone’s ideas?

It’s going to be different for every group. Carlos had sent out a survey to people to see why they weren’t contributing.

Offering options to direct message people with ideas is one way to encourage more participating. Also offering peer groups / safe environments to share ideas in a “safe” space. – women only channel/forum

Adam mentioned that maybe offering an option for smaller groups for collaboration will make people more comfortable.

Adam wants more diversity at events.

Stephanie suggested having a women organize the event. Nicole suggested asking attendees to bring a friend who is “not like” you.

Daniel mentioned that the code of conduct is very important for events. Stephanie said that your code of conduct needs to be in place before you start your community to build a safe environment.

Adam said that when it comes to events his group make sure that the code of conduct is front and center. Carlos asked if people read the code of conduct and it’s a good question. Nicole said that people who are concerned for their safety read it - but it’s not clear if the people who misbehave are reading it. Carlos finds that in his community people who are likely to break the rules read the rules so they know what they can get away with.

Adam asked if we should offer women only sessions at our events - is that exclusive or helpful?

Carlos and Daniel mentioned offering a mentor or a buddy at conferences to help folks get comfortable and feel safe.

Adam mentioned an option at meetups/networking events where every other meeting is open to everyone.

Daniel said - Look for “Women of OpenStack” on the OpenStack Summit site for Austin for videos. He hopes to provide us with numbers going forward - statistics and data. In some of his research he is using a tool called Genderize.io.

Adam would like to see from that data which open source projects have more women contributing code than others.

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