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25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

Posted Feb 2, 2013 17:46 UTC (Sat) by marinaz (guest, #72670)
In reply to: 25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women by shmget
Parent article: 25 Women in 10 Free Software Organizations for GNOME's Outreach Program for Women

"Is there any evidence that, in 2006 GSOC, women were being disqualified for being 'woman' ? If not, the the outcome is not the result of discrimination against women. Equality of chance does not guarantee equality of outcome."

Yes, society influences that might not have exposed women to the information about GSoC or led them to dismiss it because it meant being part of the environment unfriendly to women and women's uncertainty about whether they are "rockstar coders" enough to apply disqualified women from being applicants.

"One wonder though why did you concentrate on that particular irrelevant criteria... did you try to evaluate the representation in GSOC with regard to citizenship, creed, height, weight, hair-density, number of toes ? or any other criteria irrelevant to the task at hand ? why not ? what makes gender so special ?"

Effectively, for decades Free Software and by association Google Summer of Code had a "For Men" label. 98% of people who took advantage of the opportunity to contribute to it and of the tens of thousands paid opportunities to work on it were men. This is why gender is a relevant criteria. It allows us to grow this group of contributors who otherwise would not feel confident to get involved. It doesn't mean that we can't do outreach based on other criteria if we find that they put people at disadvantage when considering joining Free Software. We want Free Software to be welcoming to all newcomers, and having outreach programs like this one improve things for everyone.

"I don't have the hard data to back this up, but anecdotal evidence and personal experience suggest that many if not most active hackers don' have much of a 'social circle', especially outside the floss community.
When I started programming, there was not a single person in my 'social circle' that owned a computer even less knew anything about code."

But the society around you didn't discourage you from spending time at your computer and the toys you played with since your childhood likely encouraged breaking and building things. For women it is more important to know someone personally who they can work with while getting involved in the project.

"I'll agree to that (well except for the joke thing). Although rudeness is unfriendly to anyone not just women.. but that is another topic :-)"

See - a lot of these were jokes that anticipated a men-only audience!

In my early days of contributing, when I was the only woman in an IRC channel, I definitely saw innocent jokes made that anticipated men-only audience. "Being one of the guys" or leaving were the only options women saw then. Thankfully, with outreach efforts like this one, men in the community are aware that women are part of the conversation.

Rudeness affects everyone, but it especially affects women.

"Ok, but then how exactly 'institutionalized job discrimination' acheive that goal ? is it required, in order to advertize 'friendliness and maturity' to one group to exhibit overt discrimination against another group ?"

Creating opportunities for an underrepresented and disadvantaged group is not discrimination or sexism. It is required to create these opportunities and invite people who otherwise might stay out. We have a lot of catching up to do.

"Well, that _is_ the problem. These are not necessarily the 'strongest' applicants... the are the 'strongest' among the one you did not exclude from participating. They may very well be the strongest overall, but it is not possible to tell unless they compete in an open field."

There are lots and lots of other opportunities for everyone. This is a special targeted effort that is needed to attract a specific group precisely because the members of that group are at disadvantage when considering all the opportunities already available.

""Many applicants think this program was just the right thing that they needed to get more involved. It meets their existing interest and experience in Free Software, and helps them become more integrated in a project community."

I'm pretty sure that statement is equally true for a program open to _everybody_ like GSOC."

Yes! Yet, the OPW applicants didn't apply for GSoC.

""6 women at a conference of 160 means that you are often the only woman in the room and that makes you question why you are the only one there."

because only 6 woman bothered to show-up... it is not like there are armed-guard at the entrance that prevent woman from entering.
In any case, how is that the fault of that kid somewhere that got denied an opportunity because of his lack of boobs ? why should _he_ be punished ?"

I explained earlier why women were held back from showing up. Men were and are presented with lots of opportunities.

""Basically, this program works for everyone involved and only grows the pie."

Well not for everyone... for the qualified candidate that got excluded because of his gender, that surely does not 'works'."

It worked, they applied for GSoC or a job or contributed in their spare time and were a part of a bigger and better community that builds cooler stuff with its better-rounded perspective.

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