Category Archives: Donation drive

How you can stay involved in the Ada Initiative plus final fundraising thank-you

Seven women with arms on each others' shoulders

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

Thank you all for your help getting us to our fundraising goal for 2013! Over 400 donors gave more than $107,000 total, beating our original goal of $100,000 with 2 days to spare. We will use this funding to continue and expand our programs to support women in open technology and culture, including our most popular programs:

  • Impostor Syndrome training: Teaching women to overcome fears of being a fraud and a fake, a significant factor in whether women get involved, stay in, and become leaders in open tech/culture
  • Anti-harassment work: Expand our work into codes of conduct in online communities and other non-conference spaces, while continuing to support conference anti-harassment work in many communities
  • AdaCamp unconferences: Bringing people together from across open technology and culture to share best practices, build networks, and learn skills

None of these programs would be possible without your support and that of all of our many sponsors and donors. Thank you for making it possible for us to change thousands of lives for the better!

Staying involved

Donating is just one way to support women in open technology and culture. We've put together a list of ways people can help in their everyday lives. Corporations interested in the open technology and culture space can get involved in several ways as well. If you would like to keep up to date with the Ada Initiative's work, AdaCamp and other event announcements, scholarships, calls to action, and similar ways to be part of the movement for change, here are several ways to keep up with us.

Thanks and appreciation

An extraordinary coalition of individuals, communities, and corporations helped make our next year of work possible. We are incredibly grateful to everyone who donated their time, social capital, or money.

Smiling woman

Leigh Honeywell

We were also happy to hear so many positive stories from people who made matching grant challenges, blogged about their experiences with the Ada Initiative, or otherwise reached out during this fundraising campaign. Many people told deeply personal stories and honored the people they felt closest too: parents, children, grandparents, teachers, and personal heroes. Several people were amazed by how many people in their community supported women strongly enough to donate, and are hopeful for positive change in the future. Others thought that the opportunity to speak out about their most deeply held values was its own reward. And finally, many people told us about career or business opportunities that came directly out of fundraising for Ada Initiative.

We are incredibly thrilled that fundraising was such a positive experience for so many of our supporters. It was an uplifting, encouraging experience for us as well, thanks in large part to the many advisors and support staff who were part of making our next year's work possible.

Specifically, we would like to thank our matching donation challenge sponsors:

Everyone who wrote a blog post:

The many people who shared our fundraising drive with their friends, colleagues, and families.

And of course, all of our 400+ donors, including the donors who gave us permission to share their names:

@duckasaurusss
@elwing
@KathleenLD
Ada Lavee Fox
Adam C. Foltzer
Adam DiCarlo
aimeeble
Alan Coopersmith
Alex Gaynor
Alex Payne
Alison Cichowlas
Allison Morris
Amanda Skellenger
Amber June Blahnik
Amelia Greenhall
Amy Hendrix
Amy Rich
Andrea J. Horbinski
Andy Dirnberger
Annalee Flower Horne
Art Kaufmann
Arthi
Audrey Roy
Autumn Reinhardt-Simpson
Barbara Hui
Ben Chapman
Ben Combee
Bess Sadler
Betsy Haibel
Bill Nottingham
Brad Montgomery
Brenda Moon
Brian and Jennifer Luft
Brian DeRocher
Brian Kung
Brian Neal
Brian Nisbet
Brion Vibber
Britta Gustafson
Bro. Dave Lister
Carl Trachte
Carol Willing
Caroline Simard
carols10cents
Celeste
Chris Ford
Chris McDonough
Chris Minn
Chris Tierney
Christine Spang
Colleen Penrowley
CV Harquail
Dana Caulder
Daniel Lindsley
Daniel Quinn (@searchingfortao)
Daniel Ross
Daniel Trembath
David Comay
Deb Nicholson
Decklin Foster
Denys Howard
Derek Willis
Dominic Mazzoni
Dorothea Salo
Dwayne Litzenberger
Echa Schneider
Eirik Nilsen
Elizabeth Lorang
Elizabeth Ragavanis
Emily Oleksyk Sweeny
Emmanuele Bassi
Eric Grosse
Eric Palakovich Carr
Esa Vesalainen
Ethan Glasser-Camp
Eugene Eric Kim
Fredrik Larsson
Garrett Rooney
Gayle Karen Young
geeksdoitbetter
Glenn Siegman
Glenn Street
Greg Hilliard
Heath Anderson
Heidi Cautrell
hjwp
Holden Karau
Holly French
Hooshyar Naraghi
Ian Bolf
India Amos
Isobel Hadley-Kamptz
Jack Moffitt
James E. Pace
James Turnbull
Jamie Norrish
Jan-Bart de Vreede
Jane Hammons
Janet D. Stemwedel
Jason Thibeault
Jean Kaplansky
Jed Davis
Jed Hartman
Jeffrey Wear
jen smith
Jenny Dybedahl
Jenny Gardiner
Jerome D'Acquitaine
Jess Hamrick
Jim Blandy
Jiten Vaidya
Joe Murphy
John Bennetts
John Jacobsen
John McNamara
Julia Elman
Justin Husted
Kaitlin Devine
Kalina Wilson
Kalle, from Helsinki
Karl A. Krueger
Katherine Elliott
Katherine Scott
Katie Bechtold
Kellie Brownell
Kent Crispin
Kevin Fenzi
Kevin S. Clarke
Kim Stone
Kim Varnell
Kimberly Munoz
Kris Howard
Kristal Pollack
Kristina Kerr Bergman
Kurt Van Etten
Kym Maxham
Lacey Powers
Larissa Shapiro
Laura Dragan
Lincoln Loop
Lisa Seeman
lizTheDeveloper
Lord Darkraven Fierce-Eyes
Louis Wasserman and Jennifer Mace
Luis Villa
Lynn Root
Mackenzie Morgan
Marcel
Marcus J. Ranum
Marie Brennan
Marina Zhurakhinskaya
Marius Gedminas
Mark Pilgrim
Marta Maria Casetti
Matt Hellige
Matt Zimmerman
Maximilian Klein
Meg Molloy
Megan DiVall
Mel Chua
Meredith Tupper
Merlin Havlik
Michael Marineau
Michelle Yaiser
Mike & Claire Shaver
Mike Linksvayer
mimbles
Mindy
Mistress of the Dorkness
Mora
Moritz Bunkus
Nancy E. Shaffer
Nathan Bosch
Nick Popoff
Nóirín Plunkett
PalominoDB
Pam Chestek
Paul A.
Paul Bailey
Paul Smith
Peter Geoghegan
Peter van Hardenberg
Pierre Phaneuf
Preston Holmes
PZ Myers, for Skatje Myers
Quim Gil
R David Murray
Rachel Chalmers
Rachel Shearer
Raucous Indignation
Rebecca Sobol
Reed Mangino
Richard Fontana
Robin L. Zebrowski
Rosita Ty Derecho
Ryan Kennedy
Sally Ahnger
Sarah Sharp
Scott Rosenberg
Selena Deckelmann
Shiny
Shuying Liang
Siobhan McKeown
Stef Maruch
Steve Adamczyk
Susan Tan
Tammy Anderson
Tanya Reilly
tfkreference
Till Schneidereit
Tim Chevalier
Tim Johnson (tojo2000)
Tom Smith
Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tyler Breisacher
Tyler Laing
Valerie Fenwick (Bubbva)
Veronica Vergara
Vibragiel
Victoria Zenoff Career Strategies
Will Thompson
Wired

Ada Lovelace jewelry gallery

5 Ada Lovelace pendants on a red background

Ada Lovelace pendants

Ada Lovelace jewelry is getting more and more popular! Our most popular thank-you gift for donations to the Ada Initiative is a piece of custom jewelry we created, a black-and-white glass pendant featuring our original portrait of Ada Lovelace. For those of you new to Ada Lovelace, she became the world's first computer programmer when she published the first computer program in 1843! (She was also the Countess of Lovelace and Lord Byron's daughter.)

We collected all the Ada Lovelace jewelry we could find and made this gallery. Our own pendant is only available during our fundraising drives. Our current fundraising drive ends today, August 31st, 2013, but we are extending the deadline for getting a pendant by 3 days. To get your Ada Lovelace pendant, donate by September 3rd, 2013.

Donate now

If you aren't a fan of wearing geeky jewelry yourself, but want to support women in computing, we are sure you can think of someone who would love a gift of a beautiful Ada Lovelace pendant!

Picture Price Description

A glass pendant with a black and white portrait of Ada Lovelace
Donate $128 or $10/month Approximately 1" (2.59 cm) long glass cabochon pendant, wide nickel loop.

$27.95 USD Round 0.75" metal-rimmed pendant with 18" sterling silver-plated chain.


$29.99 USD A hand-soldered glass pendant with Ada's portrait on one side, and a quote from her writings on the other. 30mm by 20mm, 18" or 36" chain. "Water-resistant, but not water-proof [so] take it off when coding underwater."


$8.95 USD Oval glass pendant set in antique copper.


$30.00 USD Mica-fronted rectangular pendant with copper colored chain and lobster claw clasp. NOTE: this photograph is not actually of Ada Lovelace.


$10.95 USD Square glass pendant set in antique copper.


$8.95 USD Round glass pendant set in antiqued silver color metal.

More Ada Lovelace stuff, more more more!

Black and white poster with cartoon Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage holding silly sci-fi guns with the text "Lovelace and Babbage: They Fight Crime"If you're not in the market for jewelry, you should head on over to Sydney Padua's "Lovelace and Babbage" store, where you can get mugs, shirts, stickers, and more. Be sure to check out her fun (and super geeky) Ada Lovelace comics at 2D Goggles.

CC BY-SA Adam Novak. Woman with pink hair speaking and gesturing

Valerie Aurora

The first Ada Lovelace conference is coming up October 18th in New Jersey! Ada Initiative Executive Director Valerie Aurora will be giving the keynote address. Don't miss this interdisciplinary conference covering Ada Lovelace's accomplishments and influence on society.

Finally, don't forget to participate in Ada Lovelace Day on October 15th by writing a blog post about a woman who inspires you and works in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Please use our Ada Lovelace portrait

Note for jewelry makers: Our portrait is licensed CC Zero – that means you can use or modify it in any way you like: commercial or non-commercial, with or without attribution. Several high-resolution vector graphic versions are available on Wikimedia Commons. Let us know if you make anything with it and we may buy a few dozen! We would appreciate it if you included a reference to the Ada Initiative in your marketing material or receipt, but you don't have to.

If we missed any Ada Lovelace jewelry, leave a comment!

About the Ada Initiative

A glass pendant with a black and white portrait of Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace pendant (click for larger image)

The Ada Initiative, named after Ada Lovelace, is working hard to support women and remove barriers to participation in many areas of computing: open source software, Wikipedia, open data, and others. You can help support women in computing by donating to support our work and learning more about how you can help. You can also read about our accomplishments during the last year and our plans for the future. Donate before September 3rd to get the Ada Lovelace pendant.

Donate now

Generous Googlers give to support women in open source

Smiling woman in front of many flowers

Alice Boxhall

Google employees are the largest sponsor of the Ada Initiative's work to support women in open source, donating over $30,000 between our founding in January 2011 and July 2013. (That's just counting the money from Googlers who registered for matching donation requests from Google – the real total is higher.) We're overwhelmed by the generosity of Googlers across the world and honored to be doing work they care about.

In 2011, Googler Alice Boxhall inspired the Sydney Google Women Engineers to pool their money and donate a total of $1024 to the Ada Initiative's Seed 100 campaign. This year, Alice helped raise more than $7000 from fellow Googlers. Her challenge? If 10 more Googlers joined her and donated $512 or more by August 31st, they would receive a print of an Ada Lovelace comic signed by the author, Kate Beaton. Yesterday, the 10th donor signed on, with a donation of $2048!

Donate nowYou can join these 11 Googlers by donating now to support our work for women in open technology and culture!

A man wearing glasses and a red shirt

Tyler Breisacher

Here are the Googlers who answered Alice's challenge (and gave us permission to list their names):

And 4 more donors who wished to remain anonymous. Other Googlers who donated and gave us permission to list their names are Pierre Phaneuf, Jed Hartman, Sara Smollett, and aimeeble.

Smiling man in blue shirt

Eric Grosse

Louis Wasserman donated because "The Ada Initiative is one of the most prominent organizations dealing with the serious and real problems for women in computing today." Google VP of Security Engineering, Eric Grosse, notes that the "Google Security Team has been blessed with outstanding women over the years and we're eager for more."

Now they just have to figure out where to hang the print! We hope Alice is as good at resolving conflicts as she is at fundraising.

Thank you to everyone who has donated, whether you gave $5 or $5000. Every donation helps support women in open technology and culture for another year! Please give now to make our 2013 fundraising drive a success. And don't forget to apply for employer donation matching!

Thank you to our donors to our 2013 fundraising campaign so far (listed by permission):

@elwing
@KathleenLD
Ada Lavee Fox
Adam C. Foltzer
Adam DiCarlo
aimeeble
Alan Coopersmith
Alex Gaynor
Alex Payne
Alison Cichowlas
Allison Morris
Amanda Skellenger
Amber June Blahnik
Amelia Greenhall
Amy Hendrix
Amy Rich
Andrea J. Horbinski
Andy Dirnberger
Annalee Flower Horne
Arthi
Autumn Reinhardt-Simpson
Barbara Hui
Ben Chapman
Ben Combee
Betsy Haibel
Brad Montgomery
Brenda Moon
Brian DeRocher
Brian Kung
Brian Neal
Brian Nisbet
Brion Vibber
Britta Gustafson
Bro. Dave Lister
Carl Trachte
Carol Willing
Caroline Simard
carols10cents
Celeste
Chris Ford
Chris McDonough
Chris Minn
Chris Tierney
Christine Spang
Colleen Penrowley
CV Harquail
Dana Caulder
Daniel Lindsley
Daniel Quinn (@searchingfortao)
Daniel Ross
Daniel Trembath
David Comay
Deb Nicholson
Decklin Foster
Denys Howard
Derek Willis
Dominic Mazzoni
Dorothea Salo
Dwayne Litzenberger
Eirik Nilsen
Elizabeth Lorang
Elizabeth Ragavanis
Eric Grosse
Eric Palakovich Carr
Esa Vesalainen
Ethan Glasser-Camp
Fredrik Larsson
Gayle Karen Young
geeksdoitbetter
Glenn Siegman
Glenn Street
Greg Hilliard
Heath Anderson
Heidi Cautrell
hjwp
Holden Karau
Holly French
Hooshyar Naraghi
Ian Bolf
India Amos
Isobel Hadley-Kamptz
Jack Moffitt
James E. Pace
James Turnbull
Jane Hammons
Jason Thibeault
Jean Kaplansky
Jed Hartman
Jeffrey Wear
jen smith
Jenny Dybedahl
Jenny Gardiner
Jerome D'Acquitaine
Jess Hamrick
Jim Blandy
Jiten Vaidya
Joe Murphy
John Bennetts
John Jacobsen
John McNamara
Julia Elman
Justin Husted
Kaitlin Devine
Kalina Wilson
Kalle, from Helsinki
Karl A. Krueger
Katherine Elliott
Katherine Scott
Katie Bechtold
Kellie Brownell
Kent Crispin
Kevin S. Clarke
Kim Stone
Kim Varnell
Kimberly Munoz
Kris Howard
Kristal Pollack
Kristina Kerr Bergman
Kurt Van Etten
Kym Maxham
Lacey Powers
Larissa Shapiro
Laura Dragan
Lisa Seeman
lizTheDeveloper
Lord Darkraven Fierce-Eyes
Louis Wasserman and Jennifer Mace
Luis Villa
Lynn Root
Mackenzie Morgan
Marcel
Marcus J. Ranum
Marie Brennan
Marina Zhurakhinskaya
Marius Gedminas
Mark Pilgrim
Marta Maria Casetti
Matt Zimmerman
Maximilian Klein
Meg Molloy
Megan DiVall
Meredith Tupper
Merlin Havlik
Michael Marineau
Michelle Yaiser
Mike & Claire Shaver
mimbles
Mindy
Mistress of the Dorkness
Mora
Nancy E. Shaffer
Nathan Bosch
Nick Popoff
Nóirín Plunkett
PalominoDB
Pam Chestek
Paul A.
Paul Bailey
Paul Smith
Peter Geoghegan
Peter van Hardenberg
Pierre Phaneuf
Preston Holmes
PZ Myers, for Skatje Myers
Quim Gil
Rachel Chalmers
Raucous Indignation
Reed Mangino
Robin L. Zebrowski
Rosita Ty Derecho
Ryan Kennedy
Sally Ahnger
Sarah Sharp
Scott Rosenberg
Selena Deckelmann
Shiny
Shuying Liang
Siobhan McKeown
Stef Maruch
Steve Adamczyk
Susan Tan
Tammy Anderson
Tanya Reilly
tfkreference
Till Schneidereit
Tim Chevalier
Tim Johnson (tojo2000)
Tom Smith
Tyler Breisacher
Tyler Laing
Veronica Vergara
Vibragiel
Victoria Zenoff Career Strategies
Will Thompson
Wired

Lincoln Loop makes $1000 matching donation challenge to support women in open source

Lincoln Loop logoLincoln Loop has just made a $1000 matching donation challenge to support women in Django, Python, and open source in general! This is our absolute LAST matching donation.1

Lincoln Loop is full service web studio offering user experience and development based on the Django Web Framework. Lincoln Loop also provides a variety of design, development, and testing services for mobile app development, a variety of web frameworks, and much more.

Lincoln Loop will match up to $1000 of donations to the Ada Initiative in the next 8 hours, until 4pm August 30th PDT (21:00 UTC August 30th). Donate now!

A smiling man wearing sunglasses

Peter Baumgartner

Lincoln Loop founder Peter Baumgartner says, "Open source software gave me the chance to found a company, to work with a great community of people in Django, and to lead the kind of life that makes me happy. At Lincoln Loop, we live where we like, set our own hours, and travel to fun places. Like Jacob Kaplan-Moss, I want everyone to have the same opportunity to be part of the open source community, whether they found their own company or dabble in it as a hobby. Lincoln Loop is proud to support women in open source by sponsoring the Ada Initiative."

Two women smiling

Happy AdaCampers
CC BY-SA Adam Novak

When open source companies like Lincoln Loop step up and take concrete steps to support women in open source software, the whole open source community wins. We're thrilled to partner with Lincoln Loop to continue our work bringing more women into open source. Our GitHub private repository giveaway helped over 500 women learn open source development without fear of harassment, and our AdaCamp unconference includes workshops to teach women how to write open source software.

Join Lincoln Loop and Ada Initiative in supporting women in open source, open data, and other areas of open tech/culture! Donate now:

Donate now

[1] Unless someone emails us out of the blue and has amazing turnaround time. Feel free to do that.

You did it! We raised $100,000 for women in open tech/culture!

Two women hugging and smiling

We did it!!
CC BY-SA Adam Novak

With less than two days to go to the end of our 2013 fundraising drive, we have successfully raised over $100,000 for women in open technology and culture!

This means the Ada Initiative can continue our important work, making conferences safer and more welcoming, teaching women to overcome Impostor Syndrome, and running AdaCamp unconferences for women in open tech/culture. We thank you, and so do the thousands of women we will be able to help in the upcoming year.

You can still donate in the two days remaining for the fundraising drive! If we raise even more than $100,000, we could:

5 Ada Lovelace pendants on a red background

Ada Lovelace pendants

And if you need one more reason to donate now, the Ada Lovelace pendant is only available for two more days!

Donate now

Thank you to our generous matching donors, who challenged their communities to support women in open tech/culture with matching grants of $500 to $10,000:

Mary and Valerie laughing

Mary and Valerie
CC BY-SA Adam Novak

And to all our donors during the 2013 fundraising drive.

Thank you so very much for your support for women in open tech/culture! We absolutely could not do this without you.

Valerie and Mary
Ada Initiative co-founders & Very Tired fundraisers

Donors to our 2013 fundraising drive so far (listed by permission):

@duckasaurusss
@elwing
@KathleenLD
Ada Lavee Fox
Adam C. Foltzer
Adam DiCarlo
aimeeble
Alan Coopersmith
Alex Gaynor
Alex Payne
Alison Cichowlas
Allison Morris
Amanda Skellenger
Amber June Blahnik
Amelia Greenhall
Amy Hendrix
Amy Rich
Andrea J. Horbinski
Andy Dirnberger
Annalee Flower Horne
Arthi
Autumn Reinhardt-Simpson
Barbara Hui
Ben Chapman
Ben Combee
Betsy Haibel
Bill Nottingham
Brad Montgomery
Brenda Moon
Brian DeRocher
Brian Kung
Brian Neal
Brian Nisbet
Brion Vibber
Britta Gustafson
Bro. Dave Lister
Carl Trachte
Carol Willing
Caroline Simard
carols10cents
Celeste
Chris Ford
Chris McDonough
Chris Minn
Chris Tierney
Christine Spang
Colleen Penrowley
CV Harquail
Dana Caulder
Daniel Lindsley
Daniel Quinn (@searchingfortao)
Daniel Ross
Daniel Trembath
David Comay
Deb Nicholson
Decklin Foster
Denys Howard
Derek Willis
Dominic Mazzoni
Dorothea Salo
Dwayne Litzenberger
Echa Schneider
Eirik Nilsen
Elizabeth Lorang
Elizabeth Ragavanis
Eric Grosse
Eric Palakovich Carr
Esa Vesalainen
Ethan Glasser-Camp
Fredrik Larsson
Gayle Karen Young
geeksdoitbetter
Glenn Siegman
Glenn Street
Greg Hilliard
Heath Anderson
Heidi Cautrell
hjwp
Holden Karau
Holly French
Hooshyar Naraghi
Ian Bolf
India Amos
Isobel Hadley-Kamptz
Jack Moffitt
James E. Pace
James Turnbull
Jane Hammons
Jason Thibeault
Jean Kaplansky
Jed Davis
Jed Hartman
Jeffrey Wear
jen smith
Jenny Dybedahl
Jenny Gardiner
Jerome D'Acquitaine
Jess Hamrick
Jim Blandy
Jiten Vaidya
Joe Murphy
John Bennetts
John Jacobsen
John McNamara
Julia Elman
Justin Husted
Kaitlin Devine
Kalina Wilson
Kalle, from Helsinki
Karl A. Krueger
Katherine Elliott
Katherine Scott
Katie Bechtold
Kellie Brownell
Kent Crispin
Kevin S. Clarke
Kim Stone
Kim Varnell
Kimberly Munoz
Kris Howard
Kristal Pollack
Kristina Kerr Bergman
Kurt Van Etten
Kym Maxham
Lacey Powers
Larissa Shapiro
Laura Dragan
Lisa Seeman
lizTheDeveloper
Lord Darkraven Fierce-Eyes
Louis Wasserman and Jennifer Mace
Luis Villa
Lynn Root
Mackenzie Morgan
Marcel
Marcus J. Ranum
Marie Brennan
Marina Zhurakhinskaya
Marius Gedminas
Mark Pilgrim
Marta Maria Casetti
Matt Zimmerman
Maximilian Klein
Meg Molloy
Megan DiVall
Meredith Tupper
Merlin Havlik
Michael Marineau
Michelle Yaiser
Mike & Claire Shaver
mimbles
Mindy
Mistress of the Dorkness
Mora
Nancy E. Shaffer
Nathan Bosch
Nick Popoff
Nóirín Plunkett
PalominoDB
Pam Chestek
Paul A.
Paul Bailey
Paul Smith
Peter Geoghegan
Peter van Hardenberg
Pierre Phaneuf
Preston Holmes
PZ Myers, for Skatje Myers
Quim Gil
Rachel Chalmers
Raucous Indignation
Reed Mangino
Robin L. Zebrowski
Rosita Ty Derecho
Ryan Kennedy
Sally Ahnger
Sarah Sharp
Scott Rosenberg
Selena Deckelmann
Shiny
Shuying Liang
Siobhan McKeown
Stef Maruch
Steve Adamczyk
Susan Tan
Tammy Anderson
Tanya Reilly
tfkreference
Till Schneidereit
Tim Chevalier
Tim Johnson (tojo2000)
Tom Smith
Tyler Breisacher
Tyler Laing
Valerie Fenwick (Bubbva)
Veronica Vergara
Vibragiel
Victoria Zenoff Career Strategies
Will Thompson
Wired

Looking for a good SF&F book to read? Try one from these known feminists

Science fiction magazine covers

Not new authors
CC BY-SA by Zepfanman.com

Here at the Ada Initiative, we like to relax with a good science fiction or fantasy book at the end of a long day of fighting harassment at conferences. Luckily for us, one of the benefits of keeping up with the latest news in conference anti-harassment work is that it's a good way to find new science fiction and fantasy authors to read.

Chances are, if an author takes a public stand against harassment of any kind (gender, race, sexuality, in person, online, in print, in professional associations, etc.), they probably write better books. Books that have interesting, surprising plot twists because they don't rely on lazy sexist tropes. Books that have believable, varied characters instead of paper cut-outs supporting the straight white male protagonist. Books that explore ideas and viewpoints that weren't already tapped out in Homer's time. (And better short stories and poems too.)

We thought we'd share our favorite discoveries from following and researching conference anti-harassment work in the science fiction and fantasy communities. This list is necessarily incomplete, so please leave a comment with anyone we missed who was involved in SF&F anti-harassment work of any form, along with a recommended book and a reference so we can add them to the conference anti-harassment policy history if appropriate.

And if ending conference harassment is important to you, you can help by donating now to support the Ada Initiative's work fighting conference harassment. Thank you!

Our science fiction and fantasy recommendations

Name (Twitter) Recommended work How we learned about them
Alex D MacFarlane
(@foxvertebrae)
"Found" Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Amal El-Mohtar
(@tithenai)
"Wing" Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Genevieve Valentine
(@GLValentine)
Mechanique Publicly reported harassment at Readercon
Jason Sanford
(@jasonsanford)
Never Never Stories Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Jess Haines
(@Jess_Haines)
Hunted by the Others Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Jim C. Hines
(@jimchines)
Libriomancer Created a list of sexual harassment reporting resources for SF&F
John Scalzi
(@scalzi)
Old Man's War Created pledge to only attend cons with policies, got 1000 co-signers
Josh Vogt
(@JRVogt)
"Even Song Birds Are Kept in Cages" Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Karen Healey
(@kehealey)
When We Wake Co-founder of the Con Anti-harassment Project
K. Tempest Bradford
(@tinytempest)
"Different Day" Founding blogger at Geek Feminism and The Angry Black Woman
Laura Resnick
(@LaResnick)
Polterheist Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Leonard Richardson
(@leonardr)
Constellation Games With Sumana Harihareswara, made $10K donation to Ada Initiative to support anti-harassment work, twice
Liz Henry
(@lizhenry)
Unruly Islands Edited the Carnival of Feminist SF anthology
Mary Anne Mohanraj
(@mamohanraj)
Bodies in Motion Wrote primer on race in SF&F during RaceFail
Mary Robinette Kowal
(@MaryRobinette)
Shades of Milk and Honey Named the editor in "Why am I afraid to name the editor?" post
Myke Cole
(@MykeCole)
Control Point Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
N. K. Jemisin
(@nkjemisin)
The Killing Moon Fought to expel a creep from SFWA, her Continuum GoH speech, and much more
Saladin Ahmed
(@saladinahmed)
Throne of the Crescent Moon Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Steven Gould
(@StevenGould)
Impulse Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"
Veronica Schanoes
(@schanoes)
"Burning Girls" Wrote about why people don't report harassment
William Alexander
(@williealex)
Goblin Secrets Listed as a "PC Monster of SFWA"

About the Ada Initiative

Mary and Valerie laughing

Mary and Valerie
(CC BY-SA Adam Novak)

As a non-profit supporting women in open technology and culture, the Ada Initiative cares deeply about ending harassment in geek communities. Our co-founders, Mary Gardiner and Valerie Aurora, co-authored the most widely used example anti-harassment policy, hosted on the Geek Feminism Wiki. The Ada Initiative's first project was working as full-time advocates for the adoption of policies in the open source community, often working directly with conference organizers and community leaders as advisors and coaches.

We are currently in the last days of our 2013 fundraising drive. Please donate now and help us continue our work for another year!

Is Impostor Syndrome keeping women out of open technology and culture?

A woman looking seriously into the camera with a black background

Am I faking it?

"I'm not any good at writing. All those positive reviews are just people being nice to me."

"I'm not a real programmer, I just write code to get my job done."

"If I ask a question at work, everyone will know I've been faking it all along and I'll get fired."

If any of these thoughts are familiar, there's an excellent chance that you're actually good at what you do – you're just one of the many victims of Impostor Syndrome.

Impostor Syndrome is the (incorrect) feeling that you're a fraud, that you're not skilled enough for your role, and that you will be found out and exposed as an impostor eventually. More people than you realize have Impostor Syndrome (including many people you respect) for a very simple reason: If you're afraid of being exposed as a fraud, the last thing you want to do is tell anyone about it!

The Ada Initiative fights Impostor Syndrome because it is a major factor holding back women in open source software, Wikipedia, open hardware, and similar areas. Here's what we've learned from helping over 300 women in open technology and culture overcome Impostor Syndrome.

Is fighting Impostor Syndrome is important to you? Please donate to support our work now! Our 2013 fundraising drive ends August 31st.

What causes Impostor Syndrome?

Where does Impostor Syndrome come from? In fields like open source software, academia, and writing, our work is often presented in public and open to criticism from everyone. What makes it worse is that we usually only see the finished products of other, more experienced people's work — the beautiful code, the award-winning novel, the revolutionary research paper — without seeing the years of study, practice, and work that lie behind it. We compare ourselves with an illusory ideal of a personal who is "naturally" good at their work – and so do others.

That's the official story of Impostor Syndrome. But it's not the whole story. How often have you heard comments like these?

A group of people sitting on the floor with cards and paper in the middle of them

"Fake geek girls"?

"Fake geek girl. I bet she's never even seen Star Wars."

"Are you here with your boyfriend?"

"Are there any women coders in open source?"

Often Impostor Syndrome is a completely rational response to being called an impostor over and over. In fields that women are not "supposed" to be good at, and sexism is rife, women are more likely to face Impostor Syndrome. It's a myth that most people, when their skills, authority and legitimacy are regularly questioned, can answer with a giant "NOT SO, I'LL SHOW YOU!" Rather, when your community tells you over and over that you're an impostor, you start to believe it.

The result is women, in addition to being undermined by others, internalize their criticism and undermine ourselves. We choose easier tasks that we believe are more suited to our skills; we apply for lower level jobs than our confident peers; we don't give speak at conferences; we don't step up as role models, mentors and teachers because we feel we have nothing to give to others. And who can blame us? We're just responding to feedback from people we respect. Even those of us who know about our own Impostor Syndrome have to spend extra energy fighting with it when it comes time to share our work with others. Others see us underrating our own work and take it as confirmation of their Impostor Syndrome. We are not islands.

How can we fight back against Impostor Syndrome?

All those weird shirts I wear almost everyday, I did not steal them from my boyfriend: they're mine, I earnt them, I am not an impostor. — Flore Allemandou

What we've learned is that bringing people together to help with each other's Impostor Syndrome works. It's easy to question ourselves individually – "Maybe I just got lucky" – but when you're in a room full of people you respect and most of them admit to Impostor Syndrome, it's hard to believe that we all "just got lucky."

When seemingly almost every woman in open technology and culture has Impostor Syndrome (it's about 9 out of 10 at the AdaCamp unconference), it is proof that we're probably dealing with something other than genuine personal inadequacies. (Of course, some people worry that they don't have real Impostor Syndrome and that at any second they'll be caught, found out as an Impostor Syndrome fraud. If you've had this thought, then you definitely have Impostor Syndrome.)

I didn’t feel like a "real" kernel hacker because I hadn’t been doing it that long, and I "only" knew how to write device drivers. I was afraid someone would start asking me about the scheduler, or file systems, or real time Linux, or any of those "real" kernel subsystems. – Sarah Sharp

Impostor Syndrome is a major reason women in open tech/culture don't take on leadership roles, leave the community after a few years, or never join in the first place. That's why the Ada Initiative teaches women how to overcome Impostor Syndrome at all of our AdaCamp conferences. Impostor Syndrome training was so popular that our advisor Denise Paolucci turned her advice into a presentation she has given at several open source conferences. You can view a video and transcript of her Kicking Impostor Syndrome In the Head talk here on the Ada Initiative site.

Here are some of the tips that came out of AdaCamp about what you can do personally to fight your own Impostor Syndrome. (What communities can do about it comes next.)

  • Talk about the issue with people you trust: When we hear from others that Impostor Syndrome is a very very common problem, it becomes hard to believe our feelings of being a fraud are real.
  • Ask your friends what they think of you: Usually, other people have a more realistic (higher) opinion of your work. Often, our friends will remind of us major accomplishments we have completely forgotten about! "Oh yeah, I did win that hack-a-thon/publish that story/win that award."
  • Seven women with arms on each others' shoulders

    Fighting Impostor Syndrome together at AdaCamp
    CC BY-SA Adam Novak

    Go to an in-person Impostor Syndrome session: There's nothing like being in a room full of people you respect and discovering that 90% of them have Impostor Syndrome. The Ada Initiative runs Impostor Syndrome training at every AdaCamp conference.
  • Teach others about our field: We gain confidence in our own knowledge and skill, as well as helping others avoid some Impostor Syndrome shoals.
  • Ask questions when we don't know: It is scary in the moment ("Only an impostor wouldn't know this already!"), but it cuts off the extended agony of uncertainty and fear of resulting failure that makes us actually fail.
  • Build alliances: Reassure and build up our friends, who will reassure and build us up in turn. If they don't, find new friends!
  • Own our accomplishments: Keep actively recording and reviewing what we have done, what we have built, and what successes we've had.
  • Re-orient ourselves around our values and worth: When called upon to step up and show our work, reflect on our core values and how our work reflects them.

What can you do to stop Impostor Syndrome from keeping women out of your community?

Of the original seven [women in my first CS] class, I was the only one that graduated. Some were told by professors they were ‘not good enough’, that they should ‘quit while they were ahead’. The older engineering buildings at my school had once turned old closets into women’s restrooms despite a men’s room on every floor. — Connie Berardi

The flip side of coaching women on how to overcome Impostor Syndrome is building communities that don't create Impostor Syndrome in the first place. It's not fair to attempt to achieve gender equality entirely by asking women to change to fit the world (nor is it likely to succeed). Your community needs to be designed so that there isn't a huge gap between the actual skill required to participate or lead, and the apparent skill required! Impostor syndrome thrives in communities with arbitrary, unnecessary standards, where harsh criticism is the norm, and where secrecy surrounds the actual process of getting work done.

Here are some of the changes you can make in your community to make it less likely that impostor syndrome will flourish:

  1. Discourage hostility and meanness: When people in your project regularly flame each other to a crisp, that's a natural breeding ground for Impostor Syndrome, as well as discouraging to people who already have Impostor Syndrome.
  2. Get rid of hidden barriers to participation: Be explicit about welcoming new contributors, and thoroughly document how someone goes about making their first contribution to your project.
  3. Two women looking excited

    We were beginners once too!
    CC BY-SA Adam Novak

    As a leader, show your own uncertainties and demonstrate your own learning process: When people see those they respect struggling or admitting they didn't already know everything when they started, it makes it easier to have realistic opinions of their own work.
  4. Review your rules for contribution: Do all of them actually improve your project? Are they unnecessarily difficult to follow? Are some of them actually arbitrary "STAY OUT" signs?
  5. Reward and encourage people for mentoring newcomers: For example, the Patch Pilot system makes shepherding new contributions through the patch process the responsibility of a different core developer each week.
  6. Don't make it personal when someone's contribution isn't up to snuff: When enforcing necessary quality standards, don't make it about the person. They aren't wrong or stupid or a waste of space, they've simply done one piece of work that is not yet of the quality you need.

Impostor Syndrome hurts women and hurts the communities they can't participate in. But knowledge is power: Now you know the enemy, and you are on your way to victory. Or to your first contribution, perhaps. Or your first contribution that you feel bloody well proud of.


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Two women hugging and smiling

Fighting Impostor Syndrome together
CC BY-SA Adam Novak

"Why don't you just hit him?" — the worst possible anti-harassment advice

The example conference anti-harassment policy was announced on the Geek Feminism blog in November 2010 by Ada Initiative co-founder Valerie Aurora. Afterwards, hundreds of people suggested a "better" solution to sexual harassment: Knee him in the groin! This is a repost of what Valerie's co-founder, Mary Gardiner, wrote about what's wrong with "Just hit him!" in December 2010.


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"Why don't you just hit him?"

A woman smiling in front of a green background

Mary Gardiner

Valerie has had a lot of comments and private email in response to her conference anti-harassment policy post suggesting that a great deal of the problem would be solved if women were encouraged to hit their harassers: usually people suggest an open handed slap, a knee to groin, or even tasers and mace (no suggestions for tear gas or rubber bullets yet). I sent her such a lengthy email about it that we agreed that I clearly at some level wanted to post about it. What can I do but obey my muse?

OK. Folks…

This is not one of those entries I am thrilled in my soul to have to write, but here's why "Hit him!" is not a solution for everyone and definitely does not replace the need for people with authority to take a stand against harassment.

And I know some people were joking. But not everyone was, you'll need to trust me on this. Your "Jeez, guys like that are lucky they don't get a knee in the groin more often… hey wait, maybe you should just have a Knee In Groin Policy!" joke was appearing in inboxes right alongside material seriously saying that all of this policy nonsense wouldn't be necessary if women were just brave and defended themselves properly, if they'd just for once get it right.

Here are some samples:

  • Duncan on LWN: "What I kept thinking while reading the original article, especially about the physical assaults, is that it was too bad the victims in question weren't carrying Mace, pepper-spray, etc, and wasn't afraid to use it. A couple incidents of that and one would think the problem would disappear…"
  • NAR on LWN: "I've read the blog about the assault – it's absolutely [appalling] and in my opinion the guy deserved a knee to his groin and some time behind bars." (NAR then goes on to note that women should also wear skirts below the knee; which is very much making it about the victim. Dress right! Fight back!)
  • A comment on Geek Feminism that was not published: "…You also need to make it known to women that they need to immediately retaliate (preferably in the form of a slap loud enough for everyone in the vicinity to hear)… Women -must- stand up for themselves and report the guy, preferably after a loud humiliating slap immediately following the incident."
  • crusoe on reddit: "You need to end right then and there. Its one thing to make blog posts, its another to call a jerk out for it on the conference floor, including stomping a toe, or poking them hard in the belly… Do not stew about it, do not run home and write a blog post about it. Just call them on it right then and there." (As long as crusoe doesn't have to hear about it…)

First up, one key thing about this and many similar responses ("Just ignore him", "Just spread the word", "Just yell at him"):

Harassment is not a private matter between harasser and victim, and it's not the victim's job to put a stop to it.

The harasser is responsible for their actions. The surrounding culture is responsible for condemning them and making it clear those actions and expressions of attitudes that underlie them are not acceptable. (See Rape Culture 101.) The victim may choose to go to the police, yell, hit, scream, confront, go to a counsellor, tell their mother, tell their father, tell their friends, warn people. They may choose not to. Whether they do or not, we are all responsible for making harassment unacceptable where we are. Harassment, and stopping it, is not the victim's responsibility. (See But You Have to Report It!)

Am I against hitting a harasser in all situations? No. Am I advocating against it in all situations? No.

However, here's a lengthy and incomplete list of reasons why victims may not be able or may choose not to hit a harasser and why it is definitely not a general solution for the problem of harassment. I even have a special buzzer on hand that will sound when the reasons are related to gender discrimination. Listen for it, it goes like this: BZZZT! Got it? BZZZT!

Important note on pronouns and gendering: I am largely buying the framing of the "why don't you just hit him?" advice, that is, men harassers and women victims, for the purposes of this post. However, I acknowledge that people of all gender identities get harassed, and that people of all gender identities may be harassers. At various points in the post I will return to this point.

Conferences are a professional, or public hobby, environment. This is the point that applies to conferences most specifically. We are talking about an activity where people give talks with projected words and pictures, where people discuss and write computer programs or sci-fi or cocktail recipes, where people say things like "Oh wow, you're Lord Ogre Face! Oh wow, everyone, I've known this guy online for years and we just met now for the first time ever! Oh wow!"

This is not, generally speaking, an environment in which physical conflict is considered appropriate. How are slaps and knees to the groin (gender note: not all harassers have testicles as this advice somewhat assumes) supposed to fit in again? Conferences should be places where people learn things and have fun… oh yes and every so often something bad happens to someone and they hit the person that did it?

Of course not. Conferences, in an ideal world, are basically an environment of mutual consent: people go to talks they want to hear, they are in conversations they want to have, they party as much as they want to party and so on. The solution to this underbelly of non-consent that we're fighting against here is hauling it out into the light and making a public official stand saying "this is not OK", not adding combat to the list of acceptable activities at conferences.

How, exactly, is this helping build a better, safer world? I'm not personally a pacifist. But the world I'm looking forward to living in is not one in which, in between conference talks, I walk down the corridor to witness any of the following:

  • Harassment
  • Assault
  • Some of the more fantastical suggestions that have come up privately, such as harassers being held down and beaten by multiple people

It's hard to hit people. It requires training, not just to do it well, but to do it at all. Most people reading this, unless trained in combat, have very strong inhibitions about hitting people. To hit someone after a momentary touch or comment means leaping past "Did he really…?" "Did I deserve…?" "Was it that bad…?" to "YOU JERK" *SMACK*!

Getting angry at a harasser, let alone angry enough to hit them, takes many victims minutes, hours, days or even years. Going from incident to slap in seconds flat takes training or a particular type of self-assurance, and funnily enough women are specifically socialised out of that (BZZZT!)

Here are some Hollaback stories that illustrate the difficulty of summoning outrage responses in the moment:

Oh yeah, and then there's doing it well. That means, presumably, enough pain to hurt the harasser, not enough to continue causing pain after a few minutes have passed. Get it wrong in the soft direction and you're the butt of another joke, get it wrong in the hard direction and you've helped make a case against yourself. Speaking of which…

Hitting people can result in arrest and criminal charges. In jurisdictions I've been able to research, there is no "But he was being really jerky" defence against assault or battery charges. The person who who escalated to physical violence first is the person who is in the most trouble. I don't think I need to explain in general why this stops some people hitting others.

But some people have reason to especially fear contact with the police. Examples include people who get disproportionately charged and punished (racial minorities, for example), and people who would have a criminal record used against them (eg in a child custody case) or whose career would be over (lawyers).

When you picture a woman righteously hitting her harasser, what are you picturing? A slender white woman of average height or below? What happens when you start changing those things? Consider me, for example. I'm 6'4" (193cm). I'm relatively weak compared to many men of my height and I don't train in combat, but does it all look so straightforward when you picture me spinning in outrage and slamming one of my enormous hands into the face of a man who is a foot shorter because he'd called me some slur? Or are you starting to think "Hey, steady on, he just…" What would you think about a tall, fat, muscled woman doing this? Or a big woman who is a military veteran, or a black belt?

Maybe you'd be fine with that, I don't know. But I know that person has reason to think the police will regard what she did as a serious offence.

Not everyone can physically attack others. People who can't quickly move over to the harasser; people whose hands need to be on their cane or crutches; people who can't stand steadily or at all, let alone while reaching to slap someone's face or while raising a leg to knee someone in the groin. People who are very short relative to their harasser (BZZZT!), who don't have the reach to get a hand on their face or knee in their groin. People who shake and lose strength under severe stress.

Since it comes up in self-defence arguments: yes, some (not all) of these people can effectively use weapons such as guns or mace. But even in cases of life-threatening attacks, those require being armed with the weapon, being trained with it, and having special regular training on effective use when under stress. But right here, we are talking about harassment broadly, not serious assaults in particular. Attacking harassers with weapons isn't under consideration.

Which brings me to cutting remarks, as a tangent. I'm hoping everyone is familiar with the phenomenon of thinking of the perfect cutting response… 12 hours later? Well, that affects victims of harassment. And it's not just that. Speech impediments, for example, get in the way of getting the perfect cutting remark out in the perfect tone of contempt.

Back to hitting harassers.

It might make the victim more of a target. Maybe it was a weak slap and made a weak sound and the harasser smiled through the whole thing. Or the harasser caught the victim's hand as it came up and is now holding her wrist tightly and grinning at her. Or the harasser pushed at the victim as her knee came up towards his groin, and she fell over.

Hitting does not necessarily make a situation end and it does not necessarily make the physical aggressor look strong and in control.

Hitting hurts. I'm not going to devote a lot of space to being sympathetic towards harassers, and this is a statement of the bleeding obvious but, you're proposing hurting and possibly injuring people.

Onlookers are not sympathetic to the person who hits out. You might be picturing a conversation, I guess, where someone approaches a woman and is conveniently wired for sound and thus everyone hears him mutter that she's a so-and-so and he'd like to such-and-such her.

In reality, here's what you see if women hit their harassers:

  • A man walks near a woman, and she hits him across the face. Did he say something? No one heard.
  • A man is on stage giving a presentation and makes a joke about so-and-so women. It's definitely an ew joke and you feel uncomfortable. You then watch multiple women run on stage and knee him in the groin one after the other. He falls to the ground in absolute agony, crying out in pain that is in no way lessened by some magic jerky-joke-maker insensitivity gene.
  • A man is standing there talking to you. He's a moderately well known geek celebrity in local circles. You feel kind of chuffed to make his acquaintance. A woman runs up out of nowhere and hits him in the middle of your conversation, claiming that he assaulted her the previous evening at a party.

You might still be on the side of the women involved in those scenarios, most onlookers aren't. They're seeing violence.

We are arguing that you don't want these men at your conference, especially if they are repeatedly offending at the one conference. We are not arguing or agreeing that you want them physically hurt at your conference.

The harasser might hit back. Or onlookers might step in. I know a lot of men are strongly socialised to believe that they cannot ever under any circumstances hit a woman. This socialisation is not shared by everyone, far from it. And of course, while this piece is gendered, recall that of course the victim might be a man, or might be a person whose gender presentation doesn't match what the harasser thinks it should be. Those people don't benefit from any real or perceived social stigma about hitting women.

This situation is another especial danger for people without combat training and with some disabilities. It's also dangerous for the average woman (BZZZT!) who is smaller and weaker than the average man; thus rendering a solid majority of physical conflicts between men and women more dangerous for the woman. A martial artist I asked about this advised me that people who are at a weight-strength disadvantage need to, and this isn't surprising, win physical fights extremely decisively and quickly before their disadvantages tell. It takes even more training, mental and physical, to do this.

Let's get rid of the harassment and assaults that are already occurring, huh?

Women don't automatically win by hitting someone. Some of this seems, frankly, to be playing into the idea that being hit by a woman is extremely humiliating (BZZZT! BZZZT! BZZZT!) and the harasser will be thus unmanned and shamed by the violence (BZZZT!) and that others will view him as lesser (BZZZT!)

This might be the true effect on some harassers, and if a victim chooses to take advantage of it to gain power in a particular situation good for her. In the geek feminist utopia, being hit by a woman wouldn't be an especial humiliation; the problem is a dynamic in which men harass women with their humiliating harassment powers and women punish them with allocated women powers (BZZZT!).

In fact a great deal of this "Just hit him!" argument seems to assume that women's violence is necessarily different from and lesser than men's violence. Oh, women's violence isn't, you know, violence violence. No one will call the cops, or get in an extended fight or get seriously hurt! That's a man thing. (… BZZZT!)

This is the kind of advice given by people who don't actually want to help. Or perhaps don't know how they can. It's like if you're a parent of a bullying victim, and you find yourself repeating "ignore it", "fight back with fists" or whatever fairly useless advice you yourself were once on the receiving end of. It's expressing at best helplessness, and at worst victim-blaming. It's personalising a cultural problem.

You are not helpless in the face of harassment. Call for policies, implement policies, call out harassment when you overhear it, or report it. Stand with people who discuss their experiences publicly.

Revenge fantasies feel nice. Yes, they do. And they are cathartic. (This is one reason why Ender's Game is such a popular geek classic.) But why are we getting hit with so many revenge fantasies from non-victims when we're trying to build up a real solution? If you are angry that there have been, unbeknownst to you, harassers at conferences and in communities you know and love, indulge a revenge fantasy or two if you like. And then devote your energy to helping, rather than trying to convince women to enact your fantasy.

Here it is again for the road:

Harassment is not a private matter between harasser and victim, and it's not the victim's job to put a stop to it.


You can help. Support the Ada Initiative's work ending harassment at conferences and supporting women in open technology and culture. Join over 100 supporters who donated to our 2013 fundraising campaign. Donate now!

Jacob Kaplan-Moss makes $5000 matching donation challenge to the Python and Django community

Jacob Kaplan-Moss

Jacob Kaplan-Moss
CC BY-SA Aidas Bendoraitis

Jacob Kaplan-Moss, a co-creator of the open source Django web framework, challenges the Python community to donate $5000 to support women in free and open source software. Jacob will personally match up to $5000 of donations to the Ada Initiative made before Friday, August 30th, 11:59 PDT (convert to your time zone).

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Jacob explains why he made this challenge: "I want to be part of a community that's truly accessible to anyone, not one that just pays it lip service. I want to part of a diverse, vibrant community, one that reflects my values rather than contradicts them. The Ada Initiative is doing the vital, hard work of translating these values into action." Jacob isn't alone; he joins more than a dozen open source community members who donated $1000 or more to support the Ada Initiative's work, including Matthew Garrett, Christine Spang, Selena Deckelmann, Sumana Harihareswara, and Mike Shaver.

A glass pendant with a black and white portrait of Ada Lovelace

Ada Lovelace pendant

Jacob will personally match up to $5000 of donations to the Ada Initiative, made by Friday, August 30th, 11:59 PDT (convert to your time zone). Donors of $128 or more will also receive the coveted Ada Lovelace pendant. Donate now!

About the Ada Initiative

Mary and Valerie laughing

Co-founders Mary and Valerie
CC BY-SA Adam Novak

The Ada Initiative is a non-profit dedicated to increasing the participation and status of women in open technology and culture, which includes free and open source software like Django. The Django and Python communities have been leaders in the campaign to be more welcoming to women at conferences and online. PyCon 2013 had a record 20% women speakers and attendees, thanks to the combined efforts of the community, PyLadies, people like Jacob, and the Ada Initiative. The Ada Initiative helps conference organizers attract more women attendees and speakers, advises on community codes of conduct, and helps women learn open source development skills. We look forward to helping the next PyCon reach 30% women!

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We've raised almost $70,000 for women in open tech/culture, help us raise $30,000 more!

Two women standing back to back smiling

CC-BY-SA Adam Novak

We're doing it – with your help, we've raised almost $70,000 towards our goal of $100,000 to support women in open technology and culture! We've already made big strides for women in open technology and culture during the last 2.5 years. Our goal for 2013 and 2014 is to grow our most effective programs so that they directly impact thousands of lives: run several AdaCamp unconferences every year, expand our Impostor Syndrome training, and teach dozens of Allies Workshops. With your help, we can do it!

We still need to raise just over $30,000 by Saturday, August 31st to fund our 2013-2014 programs. You can help, by telling your friends why you support the Ada Initiative. You can post on Twitter, Facebook, or G+, send an email to a women in tech group or a work mailing list, or write a short blog post. It can be fun to tell your story about why you support the Ada Initiative. Don't be nervous – many of our supporters tell us they were overwhelmed by the positive response to their stories from their friends, co-workers, and family!

Here are some ideas for what to tell people about:

For more sample tweets, donation button HTML, and similar, see our spread the word page.

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Thank you so much for being part of the movement to make open technology and culture more welcoming to women! And thank you to our 2013 donors so far (listed by permission):

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