Category Archives: Ada Initiative projects

Final report on $100,000 donation supporting women in Linux

In September, we updated you on the progress of our work for women in Linux, supported by a $100,000 donation from an anonymous Linux kernel developer. We pledged to teach four Ally Skills Workshops at Linux conferences and give 100 hours of free consulting to Linux-related organizations. Here is our final report on this work!

Ally Skills Workshops

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men simple, everyday ways to support women in their community or workplace, with an emphasis on techniques that work well in open technology and culture. We taught four workshops at Linux conferences: one at SCALE (SoCal Linux Expo) in Los Angeles, one at LinuxCon NA in Seattle, one at Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus and our first ever workshop in Europe at LinuxCon EU in Dublin. All were free to attendees of the host conferences.

All together, we taught 60 people in the Linux community how to support women in Linux through simple, everyday actions. Here are some of the things the attendees said:

Timothy Weber said, “I liked that there was a focus on practical, ‘sustainable’ responses to inappropriate actions, that I’ll feel capable of employing. I also liked that just talking about these scenarios revealed how uncomfortable I personally am with conflict. And, it was good to discuss emotions with people at a tech conference – that’s rare and welcome.

Arnout Vandecappelle said, “With the discussions in small groups I was forced to really think about the situation and also view it from different perspectives.

Daniel Watkins said, “The opportunity to discuss how to act as an ally openly and honestly was incredibly valuable. The perspective from the women at the workshop was super-super-super-helpful, making me think differently about things from the very first scenario we covered. Val was amazing; an incredible facilitator and fount of wisdom and experience.

Consulting

We spent several hours advising Linux-related organizations, including helping them with updating and enforcing their conference code of conduct, developing codes of conduct outside of conferences, and how to run various kinds of scholarship programs to increase diversity.

Talks

Several people in discussion around a table

Allies workshop discussion

Our recent talks at Linux conferences were especially timely given the announcement by Sarah Sharp, author of the first production USB 3.0 stack, that she quit the Linux kernel development community because leading Linux developers told her that she would have to accept personal emotional abuse in order to work in Linux. A culture of verbal emotional abuse makes people of all genders unhappy, but it disproportionately affects members of underrepresented groups – and a look at any photo of a Linux kernel development conference will tell you that women are wildly underrepresented in this field.

At LinuxCon EU, Leigh Honeywell, a long-time Ada Initiative advisor and computer security expert working for Slack, gave a keynote address making the case for a polite and welcoming development culture to improve the security of Linux and open source software in general. Valerie joined Leigh and Nithya Ruff for a panel at the women’s lunch sponsored by SanDisk, where they talked about the importance of men taking on the work of changing Linux culture, what Linux developers get out of being rude and insulting (the pleasure of putting other people down), and using the Python community as an example of a polite open source development community whose leader exemplified their values.

At Ohio LinuxFest, Valerie gave the Saturday morning conference keynotes, as an on-stage interview with audience questions. She asked the audience of Linux enthusiasts to stop applauding Linux community members who are rude and insulting, and say something publicly to oppose that behavior. She also and encouraged them to look at the Python community as an example of a welcoming open source community led by a developer who is polite and encouraging to everyone, especially women.

Valerie Aurora also spoke at the Women in Linux lunch at LinuxCon NA, giving an on-stage interview with Linux Foundation CMO Amanda McPherson about what people of all genders can do to support women in Linux, with the emphasis on what men can do.

Thank you again to our anonymous $100,000 donor – and all of our donors, of any size – for making this work to support women in Linux possible!

Help teach women to overcome Impostor Syndrome!

AdaCamp-Portland-models-51.jpgWe’re happy to announce the open sourcing of our final project: the materials for teaching the Overcoming Impostor Syndrome training! From the facilitator’s guide:

The Overcoming Impostor Syndrome class was created by the Ada Initiative to teach women in open technology and culture how to overcome Impostor Syndrome, the feeling that you are not qualified for the work you are doing and may be revealed as a fraud at any moment. While this class is designed for women in open technology and culture, it can be adapted for any group that is the target of oppression.

All of the materials are available for free reuse, modification, or sale at our Impostor Syndrome page, including:

We encourage you to plan and teach an Impostor Syndrome training at your organization right away!

This is our last planned project as the Ada Initiative! The Ada Initiative has shut down major operations and our only planned activity is to keep this web site and the resources on it up and available. Our work will be continued by many in the community, as we have released all of our materials under the Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike license. Learn more about continuing all our projects at our home page, and if you have questions about people who teach or provide consulting in our areas of expertise, email us at contact@adainitiative.org and we will refer you to other people if we can.

Thank you for continuing our mission to support women in open technology and culture!

Public Ally Skills Workshop in San Francisco Sunday September 27

Want to learn how to support women in your workplace and community? The Ada Initiative is running an Ally Skills Workshop open to the public in downtown San Francisco on Sunday, September 27, 2015, from 2pm to 5pm. If you would like to join us, register now!

Two women standing back to back smiling, CC BY-SA Adam NovakThe Ally Skills Workshop is a fun 3-hour discussion-oriented workshop focusing on simple, everyday ways people can use their power as an ally to make their workplace or community more welcoming and attractive to women. We discuss what to do in practical, real-world scenarios ranging from how to welcome a woman attending a conference for the first time to speaking up when a co-worker makes a sexist joke at the office party. People leave the workshop feeling ready to take action and eager to learn more.

The workshop focuses on what men can do to support women, but it works best when about 20% – 40% of the attendees are women. This public workshop is a great way to test out the workshop and find out if it is a good match for your company or organization.

Register now to attend the workshop on Sunday, October 27 from 2pm to 5pm at Impact Hub San Francisco, at 5th Street and Mission Street, just a few blocks from the Powell Street BART station and a 15 minute walk from the Caltrain station at 4th and King.

The cost of the workshop is $175 per person. Many employers have personal development or training budgets for their employees. Ask your manager if your employer will pay for the registration fee for the Ally Skills Workshop.

A woman explains while a man listensIf you would like an Ally Skills Workshop at your workplace, email us for more information at contact@adainitiative.org. We have a couple of workshop slots left before October 15; for bookings after October 15 we can put you in contact with other organizations teaching the Ally Skills Workshop. Learn more about the Ally Skills Workshop here.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshop!

Supporting women in Linux: Ally Skills Workshops, consulting, and more

Last year, an anonymous Linux kernel developer gave the Ada Initiative $100,000 to support women in the Linux community – an operating system used by the majority of the servers on the Internet, all Android phones, and many network appliances. We pledged to teach four Ally Skills Workshops at Linux conferences and give 100 hours of free consulting to Linux-related organizations. This is an update on our progress!

Ally Skills Workshops

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men simple, everyday ways to support women in their community or workplace, with an emphasis on techniques that work well in open technology and culture. We have taught two of the four workshops for Linux conferences: one at SCALE (SoCal Linux Expo) in Los Angeles and one at LinuxCon NA in Seattle. The final two workshops will be the first week of October, at Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus and at LinuxCon EU in Dublin. All are free to attendees of the host conferences – sign up now if you’d like to attend!

The workshop at SCALE had about 20 enthusiastic attendees. In our post-workshop survey, 100% of respondents agreed that after the workshop, they knew what actions to take in order to welcome women – as well as actions to avoid – and that they would recommend the workshop to others. One attendee, Matt Krai, told us, “I liked learning exactly how to respond to certain scenarios and hearing other peoples’ responses and ideas. I liked the ways that all participants were encouraged to participate.

The workshop at LinuxCon had about 15 attendees. In our post-workshop survey, 100% of respondents agreed that after the workshop, they were confident about speaking up to support women and could respond to unwelcoming actions to women in their communities. The attendees had some very positive things to say about their experiences.

Timothy Weber said, “I liked that there was a focus on practical, “sustainable” responses to inappropriate actions, that I’ll feel capable of employing. I also liked that just talking about these scenarios revealed how uncomfortable I personally am with conflict. And, it was good to discuss emotions with people at a tech conference – that’s rare and welcome.

Daniel Watkins said, “The opportunity to discuss how to act as an ally openly and honestly was incredibly valuable. The perspective from the women at the workshop was super-super-super-helpful, making me think differently about things from the very first scenario we covered. Val was amazing; an incredible facilitator and fount of wisdom and experience.[Editor’s note – we’re blushing!]

If all that sounded good, remember that you can sign up for the Ally Skills Workshops at Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus and at LinuxCon EU in Dublin. We also have capacity to teach two more Ally Skills Workshops at other locations before the Ada Initiative shuts down in October – contact us if you’d like to learn more!

Consulting

Linux-related organizations have contacted us for consulting, including advice on updating and enforcing their conference code of conduct and how to run various kinds of scholarship programs to increase diversity. We have plenty of hours left, so consider this your invitation to ask us for advice on increasing diversity in your Linux-related community!

Talks

Several people in discussion around a table

Allies workshop discussion

While at these events, we are taking the opportunity to speak about supporting women in Linux. Valerie Aurora also participated in the Women in Linux lunch at LinuxCon NA, giving an on-stage interview with Linux Foundation CMO Amanda McPherson about what people of all genders can do to support women in Linux. At Ohio LinuxFest, Valerie will be giving one of the conference keynotes, also in the form of an on-stage interview with audience questions.

Next steps

If you’d like to be part of supporting women in Linux, please sign up for the final two Ally Skills Workshops, at Ohio LinuxFest in Columbus and at LinuxCon EU in Dublin. If you hurry, you can schedule an Ally Skills Workshop at your organization before the end of October (Ally Skills Workshops will be available again in January from other sources). Sponsoring an Outreachy intern is also an effective way to increase overall diversity in Linux and free and open source software in general.

Thank you again to our anonymous $100,000 donor – and all of our donors, of any size – for making this work to support women in Linux possible! We look forward to Ohio LinuxFest and LinuxCon EU!

Free Ally Skills Workshop for attendees of LinuxCon EU in Dublin on Oct. 5

Would you like to be part of changing the culture of Linux to be more welcoming to women, newcomers, and marginalized people? You can help by attending the Ally Skills Workshop at LinuxCon EU in Dublin on October 5th from 10:15am to 1:15pm. The workshop is free to LinuxCon attendees thanks to an anonymous donation of $100,000 to the Ada Initiative from a Linux kernel developer.

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men how to support women in their workplaces and communities, by effectively speaking up when they see sexism, creating discussions that allow more voices to be heard, and learning how to prevent sexism and unwelcoming behavior in the first place. The changes that reduce sexism also make communities more welcoming, productive, and creative.

You can attend the workshop by applying on the form on the event page. Register for LinuxCon EU 2015 here.

The workshop is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous Linux kernel developer who donated $100,000 to the Ada Initiative last year in order to support women in Linux and greater diversity in open source software overall. This is the final workshop of the four workshops we will be teaching at Linux-related conferences in 2015 at no charge to the organizers.

Here are a few things people have said after attending other Ally Skills Workshops:

“We’ve run the [Ally Skills Workshop] 4 times and the impact has been fantastic. This workshop has been the catalyst for many ‘a­ha’ moments. People who understood bias exists in a very logical way, were able to see, through the conversation with peers about the very relevant scenarios, and connect emotionally with the impact bias has on the colleagues they respect and interact with daily.” – Anonymous participant

“I’ve already witnessed a couple of incidents where coworkers who attended the workshop corrected themselves after saying something that could be misconstrued.” – Anonymous participant

“Change is uncomfortable. This workshop helped me be comfortable about being uncomfortable. Once that is addressed it opens a path for improvement, personally and for our industry.” – Kris Amundson

You can be part of change in the Linux kernel development community! Sign up for the Ally Skills Workshop at LinuxCon EU today!

Free Ally Skills Workshop for attendees of Ohio LinuxFest on Oct. 2

Would you like to be part of changing the culture of Linux to be more welcoming to women, newcomers, and marginalized people? You can help by attending the Ally Skills Workshop at Ohio LinuxFest on October 2nd from 1:30pm to 4:00pm. The workshop is free to Ohio LinuxFest attendees thanks to an anonymous donation of $100,000 to the Ada Initiative from a Linux kernel developer. In addition to leading the workshop, Valerie Aurora will also be one of the keynote speakers at Ohio LinuxFest, on October 3rd.

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men how to support women in their workplaces and communities, by effectively speaking up when they see sexism, creating discussions that allow more voices to be heard, and learning how to prevent sexism and unwelcoming behavior in the first place. The changes that reduce sexism also make communities more welcoming, productive, and creative.

You can attend the workshop by applying on the form on the event page. Register for Ohio LinuxFest here. The least expensive registration level is free if you register in advance, and $10 if you register on-site.

The workshop is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous Linux kernel developer who donated $100,000 to the Ada Initiative last year in order to support women in Linux and greater diversity in open source software overall. This is the third of four workshops we will be teaching at Linux-related conferences in 2015 at no charge to the organizers.

Here are a few things people have said after attending other Ally Skills Workshops:

“We’ve run the [Ally Skills Workshop] 4 times and the impact has been fantastic. This workshop has been the catalyst for many ‘a­ha’ moments. People who understood bias exists in a very logical way, were able to see, through the conversation with peers about the very relevant scenarios, and connect emotionally with the impact bias has on the colleagues they respect and interact with daily.” – Anonymous participant

“I’ve already witnessed a couple of incidents where coworkers who attended the workshop corrected themselves after saying something that could be misconstrued.” – Anonymous participant

“Change is uncomfortable. This workshop helped me be comfortable about being uncomfortable. Once that is addressed it opens a path for improvement, personally and for our industry.” – Kris Amundson

You can be part of change in the Linux kernel development community! Sign up for the Ally Skills Workshop at Ohio LinuxFest today!

Free Ally Skills Workshop at ACM ICFP in Vancouver on August 30

If you are attending the ACM ICFP conference on programming languages in Vancouver, you can apply to attend a free Ally Skills Workshop at ICFP on August 30 from 1:30pm – 4:30pm!

A woman explains while a man listens

Ally Skills Workshop discussion

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches men simple, everyday ways to support women in their workplaces and communities. Participants learn techniques that work at the office, in classrooms, at conferences, and online. The skills we teach are relevant everywhere, including skills particularly relevant to open technology and culture communities. At the end of the tutorial, participants will feel more confident in speaking up to support women, be more aware of the challenges facing women in their workplaces and communities, and have closer relationships with the other participants.

This tutorial will be tailored to the ICFP community and intended to be useful for those working in academia, in industry, and as open-source volunteers. You can learn more about the workshop here, and apply to attend here.

This workshop is free to attendees of ICFP thanks to the generosity of the conference organizers. This workshop could not have happened without the volunteer work and advocacy of Tim Chevalier, a long-time leader in the functional programming community and supporter of the Ada Initiative. Thank you all for your support and hope to see you at the workshop!