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One giant step for free software womankind!

by deborah Contributions Published on Sep 23, 2009 04:19 PM
Minutes from the summit and next steps

Gathered together on Saturday night was an impressive collection of coding and non-coding women, if I do say so myself! Mairin Duffy (Red Hat and Fedora), Leslie Hawthorn (Google), Adelaida McIntire (FSF Intern), Deborah Nicholson (FSF membership coordinator), Hillary Rettig (author of the Lifelong Activist), Christine Spang (MIT, Debian), Hanna Wallach (Debian Women, GNOME WSOP ), and Marina Zhurakhinskaya (GNOME WSOP) all arrived at the FSF office in time for a casual dinner. Then we settled down to business and Stormy Peters (GNOME CEO, via phone) called in to participate remotely.

Just a month ago we announced our intent to hold a summit to talk about the very important issue of of increasing women's participation in free software. Women account for less than 2% of our community and that's just no way to run a successful movement to empower users.

The mini-summit was also a kick-off for us here at the FSF to start building a campaign program that brings more women into the community. As of right now, the next event is planned to be in Boston about six months from now, co-located with this year's Libre Planet conference hosted by the FSF. We also hope that our work will help start a much larger conversation within the community and leave us all with the personal challenge to recruit our women friends, family members and colleagues into the movement.

The minutes and ideas we came up with are all documented here. Please take a look!

I'm sure you've been wondering: How can I get involved? First sign yourself up for the email discussion list, and the Free Software Supporter and then you may want to stop by to share ideas in #glofs on

If you're ready, take a few minutes to talk to other people in your free software project about increasing women's participation in your endeavors -- you may find that you have colleagues who have been waiting for someone to start this conversation.

Thanks to everyone who participated and everyone who sent along encouragement, ideas, links and materials!

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