This past week, the Community Operations (CommOps) team wrote a report on the Fedora Community Blog about some of Fedora’s most recent activities working towards improving outreach and increasing the diversity of the Project. Over the past year, there have been increased movements and activism towards improving the presence of women in computer science fields. Free and open source software is no exception to the rule, with FOSS being one of the areas with the least participation of women. In 2009, 28% of proprietary software development was done by women, but only 1.5% of contributions in free and open source software projects were made by women. While a lot has changed since 2009 and many great advancements have been made, the numbers are still low, and Fedora is helping give back to the world of free and open source software by working to improve its own diversity and outreach.
Opportunities for women contributors
In the past year, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists and students, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, was held in Houston, Texas. Red Hat’s Anisha Narang attended the event and wrote about her experience on her personal blog. Several workshops and talks were held by women, for women over the course of the week. The attendance at the Grace Hopper Celebration nears 12,000 women from all over the world. You can read more details about Grace Hopper Celebration on the Community Blog article about Women in Computing and Fedora.
Additionally, Fedora is participating in the upcoming GNOME Outreachy 2016 program. Fedora has participated in the past, and some of the contributions of past Outreachy applicants and interns include Fedora Badges, Fedora Hub, the creation of the Community Operations team, and more. More information about Fedora’s participation in GNOME Outreachy can be found in the Community Blog article.
Introducing the Fedora Diversity Adviser
To help specifically target the goal of increased diversity in Fedora, the Fedora Council recently created and appointed a new position: the Diversity Adviser. Fedora’s first-ever Diversity Adviser is María “tatica” Leandro, a long-time contributor to Fedora and Ambassador in the Latin American region. To help communicate what her position does and what some of her own personal goals are, the CommOps team interviewed her in the Women in Computing and Fedora article. You can read more about her plans there.
Looking ahead to 2016
2015 has been an exciting year for Fedora, and 2016 is looking no different. The CommOps team, the Diversity Adviser, and many others are looking forward to helping work towards improving diversity among Fedora’s contributors and reaching out to a larger base of potential contributors. If you are interested in helping with these initiatives, please subscribe to the CommOps mailing list, the Fedora Women mailing list, or find us in IRC on freenode at #fedora-commops.