[coreboot] User:Hailfinger/Drafts/Women

Robinson Tryon bishop.robinson at gmail.com
Thu Jun 25 21:22:23 CEST 2009

On Thu, Jun 25, 2009 at 12:48 PM, Joseph Smith<joe at settoplinux.org> wrote:
> On Thu, 25 Jun 2009 18:33:26 +0200, Peter Stuge <peter at stuge.se> wrote:
>> Joseph Smith wrote:
>>> Carl-Daniel what does this have to do with anything?
>>> http://www.coreboot.org/User:Hailfinger/Drafts/Women
>> I think that's actually a good idea. It's nice to clearly state that
>> we do want female contributors as well.
> Why not just say EVERYONE is welcome to contribute.
> We don't see many Three Toe Sloth developers, should we make a wiki page
> stating encouraging Three Toe Sloth's to contribute to coreboot as well?
> The list could go on and on...Get my point?

I think that you raise a very important question: Why should coreboot
(or any Free Software project) specifically state their support for
women to participate?

Semantically, saying that everyone is welcome to contribute does
indeed include women as well as three-toed sloths, children, and any
sentient beings we don't know about yet. But I think it can be very
welcoming for the coreboot community to mention, even if only briefly,
that we are supportive of female developers.

Traditionally the Free Software community has been mostly male. If you
look at the subset of the community that is Free Software developers,
I'm going to guess that the group is even more heavily male. There
just aren't as many girls and women out there hacking on stuff. I'm
not saying that it's desirable to have equal numbers from each gender,
I'm just saying that the skew is so high that it wouldn't hurt for us
to put a little effort into encouraging women who might not otherwise

Having more women developing Free Software is a good thing because (1)
it means more Free Software hackers and (2) it means that more girls
will have female role models that they can look up to. Having strong,
visible role models that use and develop Free Software is great for
us, no matter their gender, but it wouldn't be half bad to have a few
more strong, visible female role models in the community.

Here's a quick thought experiment: Name 5 male Free Software
developers. Now name 5 female Free Software Developers. Much harder to
name the women, eh?

When was the last time we had a female DPL? How about a GNU/Linux
distro with a female lead? Who is the highest-ranking female
officer/employee of the FSF?

Given that women make up 50% of the population, I think it would be
great to see more women involved in Free Software. I don't want to
make any quotas or to give preference to women over men when picking
positions or anything like that. I just think that we should spend
some time trying to figure out why there aren't more female
participants in Free Software. It's definitely worth our time.


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