To Sir, with Love: How To Get More Women Involved in Open Source
Subject:   Great article!
Date:   2007-10-01 11:26:17
From:   KimMoir
Recently we've been having this dicussion in our (eclipse) community regarding diversity.

The scope of the discussion is not diversity with respect to gender, but rather the number of companies that provide committers to each project.

Another important factor to consider when trying to increase the number of women in open source is mentoring. For instance, the company I work for conducts day camps for middle-school girls to expose them to various aspects of computer science and engineering. We try to dispel the stereotypes of technology as a solitary, geeky discipline and expose them to the benefits of this career. Follow-up studies have shown that having this role model makes a significant difference in the career options these girls consider as they progess through their schooling.

Kim Moir
Eclipse JDT, PDE, Equinox and Platform Release Engineering

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  • Selena Deckelmann photo measures of diversity
    2007-10-01 14:45:45  Selena Deckelmann | [View]

    Thanks for the pointer to that discussion. I liked this quote:

    A project without diversity is a bad thing IMHO. Might as well be closed source. (from pombreda)

    The pie-charts that came out of that discussion were great.

    I agree about the need for mentorship. I like to focus more on apprenticeship - as is mentioned in this entry from DevChix (near the bottom) -

    I was basically an apprentice in my first jobs - with more experienced sysadmins or programmers handing off small tasks for me to complete. I think the master-apprentice model appeals to me because it implies a more structured agreement between parties about work that needs to be done.

    I'm very interested in the middle-school program you mentioned. Here in Portland, we've been talking about who we might partner with and what we might do to develop computer programming clubs or camps for girls. We've already got the Rock'n Roll Camp for Girls -- maybe we could develop a programming/robotics/engineering camp as well.

    Love the name of your blog, btw.
    • measures of diversity
      2007-10-02 05:53:15  KimMoir [View]

      You're welcome :-)

      The camp is called EXITE.§ionSearch=&begindate=1%2F1%2F1999&enddate=12%2F31%2F2007&authorSearch=&IncludeStories=1&pubsection=&page=&IncludePages=1&IncludeImages=1&mode=allwords&archive_pubname=OBJ-Print%0A%09%09%09

      If I recall correctly, there was one in Beaverton, OR this year.

      It was a lot of fun, especially the session where the girls were asked to build and program a dance routine for Lego mindstorms robots. Pretty funny!