[Pdx-pm] Ask For It

Selena Deckelmann selenamarie at gmail.com
Thu Jan 15 15:59:08 PST 2009

On Thu, Jan 15, 2009 at 3:03 PM, chromatic <chromatic at wgz.org> wrote:
> On Thursday 15 January 2009 14:35:23 Addie M wrote:
>> I'm willing to change myself a bit to accomodate the culture, but the
>> culture has not changed at all to accomodate me, and that's why "the sooner
>> they learn this stuff, the better off we all will be!" hit a wrong note
>> with me.  Until there's a little give on each side, expect to see a
>> persistent lack of diversity in this field.
> I wish I had something better to add to this discussion than what Addie has
> said, but it's satisfying to agree completely.
> With that said, are there specific ideas or practices that PDX.pm (or other
> communities of which we are part) can do to encourage everyone who may be
> interested but isn't a middle-class white male age 21 - 45 to participate more
> fully in the community?

First, +1 to Addie's comments.

Active networking with technical women and direct, specific
recruitment to projects and meetings has worked the best for me.

And before we all go off and flagellate ourselves for totally sucking,
Portland does better than many other cities w/r/t female attendance
and participation in the open source/user group community. I guess
that just tells you how bad it is other places.

It is quite possible to get more women to come to perl-specific
activities. One thing to think about is having lunch get-togethers, or
events that are more friendly to people who have after-work
commitments (like Addie) that consistently conflict with our meeting
time. I don't know if you've noticed, but none of the user group
leaders (of the groups I've attended) have children.

Also, I've found that once I prove a meeting is worth attending (and
fun!), people re-arrange their schedules to fit the meeting.  Or we
move our meetings to accommodate them (Hi David!) :)

I'm not saying that Eric has to do any of this -- but those of you who
feel passionately, and want to help the gender balance change, there
are things you could be doing.


Selena Deckelmann
Open Source Bridge - http://www.opensourcebridge.org
PDXPUG - http://pugs.postgresql.org/pdx
Me - http://www.chesnok.com/daily

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