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Women in free software: Recommendations from the Women's Caucus

Jul 16, 2010, 15:36 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Deborah Nicholson)

" Nearly a year ago the FSF held a mini-summit for women in free software to investigate practical ways to increase the number of women involved in the free software community.

"Those that attended the summit formed the Women's Caucus, and have been working to develop practical policy to recommend to the FSF and the wider free software community. Today, we are publishing the Caucus's initial findings and recommendations.

"1. We identified a number of barriers to women's participation in free software and strategies for overcoming these obstacles. What we found were some fairly simple short-term solutions and some more complex long-term solutions that are already being used successfully. Some successful strategies we encountered in multiple projects include: encouraging non-coding contributors, emphasizing cooperation rather than competition and (where appropriate) implementing a mentoring program.

"2. Women who are not already involved in free software often don't feel invited to join free software groups or projects. We have identified strategies for groups who are looking to grow and diversify their membership. While not always intuitive, many of these procedures are fairly easy to implement."

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