> The fact that we see only small single-digit numbers of females participating in software development would seem to indicate a serious problem, something is discouraging a large number of people from doing what they like and are good at.
That is completely flawed reasoning. As was pointed out, you are working from an unsubstantiated assumption. Not only do you assume that you know what people (in general) are good at--but you believe that you know what they should like? Wow.
It's just as bad to tell people what they should do or what they should like as it is to tell them what they shouldn't do or shouldn't like. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination. Affirmative Action is hypocritical and wrong.
> I think we should find out what is preventing people from doing what they like and are good at and systematically remove roadblocks preventing them from being successful. When those roadblocks are cultural then the culture which allows people to reach their full potential is going to have superior outcomes to one that is more caste driven and does not allow people to achieve based on non-relevant traits such as their gender, religion, color, etc.
I think you should advocate freedom for all people and let people do what they want. I think you should not try to manipulate any people. I think you should not assume that you know what people do want or should want. I think that you should not decide whether other people are "successful". You know, "pursuit of happiness" and all that.
To even insinuate that the "imbalance" of the sexes in FOSS is in any way like a caste system is an insult to the millions of people who actually have to live in one.
If you're trying to get any person or any group of people to do a certain thing, you're trying to manipulate them. Free Software is about FREEDOM. Advocate freedom and leave it at that.