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Are open source communities sexist?

03 May in Community, Entrepreneurship, Legal, Video, Ingres, Eclipse, FOSSLC, Mozilla

We recently did a panel discussion with panellists from organizations actively involved in open source including IBM, Redhat, Ingres, Eclipse, Mozilla, and i365, a Seagate company. Panellists included:
* Ingres CEO - Roger Burkhardt
* Mozilla Executive Director - Mark Surman
* Eclipse Executive Director - Mike Milinkovich
* IBM Software Developer - Lawrence Mandel
* i365, A Seagate Company Software Developer - Austin Ziegler
* Redhat, Solutions Architect - Andrew Jennings

The 3 pillar themes of the evenings panel were to be education, business, and government. The session was interactive and thus the potential to explore other areas. Greg Wilson asked why the data indicates that open source is multiple times less inclusive to women (than closed source/corporate development). This was based on some research by Greg and Michelle Levesque. See one of their papers - Women in Software Open Source, Cold Shoulder.

Thus we had an unexpected and important discussion about open source inclusiveness - particularly towards women. I will comment further later, and we hope to revisit this issue with future discussions. I won't spoil the video for now - enjoy.

Are open source communities sexist? from Andrew Ross on Vimeo.

We also have an OGG version of the video available for those only using open codecs.


How to get more women involved with Rails

Related to this, thank you to Chris Schmitt for pointing out a link discussing how to get more women involved with Rails.