Tag Archives: supporter newsletter

The Ada Initiative in October 2012: building friendlier events and communities for women with your help!

Help the Ada Initiative!

Thank you to our generous donors and sponsors, who are helping with the Ada Initiative's work every day! Make a difference for women in open tech and culture: support us by making a donation or becoming a sponsor today!

Launched: conference booklet template designed to welcome women

Organizing a conference is a lot of work, and one of the least pleasant tasks is writing the program booklet. The Ada Initiative wrote the best program booklet we knew how for AdaCamp DC, with lots of help from the Geek Feminism Wiki, and in October we released it under the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike license, making it into a reusable template including all the information you’ll need for your conference. You are welcome to reuse it for your conference!

Anti-harassment: why starting with conferences makes sense

We at the Ada Initiative know that the abysmal numbers of women in open technology and culture (2% of open source software, 9% in Wikipedia) are not caused by harassment of women at conferences alone. Women are staying out of open technology and culture for hundreds of reasons, some more obvious than others.

So why have we spent so much time working with the community to make conferences friendlier to women? It’s simple: Working for the end of assault and harassment of women at conferences is both the right thing to do in itself, and also a good way to kick off serious discussion (and change) about how women are treated in open tech/culture communities. Valerie Aurora explains why this makes sense as a first step: How stopping conference harassment changes open/tech communities at all levels.

Find out what BruCON, the first security conference to accept our challenge to adopt an anti-harassment policy, feels about the effect on their conference culture: “Having a policy didn’t change the overall atmosphere of the conference AT ALL! If anything, I would say that it helped to create awareness of the issue and allowed everybody to discuss it.”

What do you do when there's a harassment report at your conference?

Unfortunately, having an anti-harassment policy does not mean harassment won’t occur at your event! The Ada Initiative has helped several conferences respond to harassment reports at their event, and we’ve drawn our experiences together into a wiki page: Responding to harassment reports. Our tips include ways to collect reports, respond quickly, and communicate effectively with your community afterwards, increasing the safety of everyone at your event. Leading open source conference PyCon US has already adopted response guidelines based on our work.

In addition, find out why you should have a public anti-harassment policy rather than a secret one: people use a published policy to judge whether to attend a conference, whether to report harassment, whether to engage in harassing behavior themselves, and whether they can safely challenge harassing behavior. For conference organizers, a published policy is a tool to improve their conferences’ image, increase attendance, reduce the chance of harassment, and increase the likelihood they will hear about harassment.

Rape discussion in open source communities

Valerie Aurora documented minimising of rape statistics in the Linux community, suggesting how to react to community leaders who perpetrate community atmospheres that are hostile to women:

  • Reply publicly online and disagree with the person’s opinions
  • Publicly advocate adopting specific, enforceable codes of conduct in your community’s online spaces
  • Send email to organizers of conferences expressing your discomfort with being in the same physical location as someone who condones assault
  • As event organizers, do not invite the person to speak or attend your event
  • As administrators of mailing lists, IRC servers, and blog aggregators, design and adopt policies governing behavior

Courtney Stanton: how to get more women in your technical speaker line-up

Courtney Stanton, tireless activist to increase women’s participation in the computer gaming industry and audience, organized a 2011 game conference No Show, which had 50% women speakers. She wrote up her techniques for attracting qualified women speakers to conferences, which were recently successfully reused by a programming conference, JS Conf EU to get 25% women speakers. The Ada Initiative interviewed Courtney in October:

Courtney: Assuming that [conference organizers are] actually doing it to add value to the industry/community/etc, then I think on some level they know [speaker diversity is] necessary work. Otherwise, you end up with a narrower and narrower slice on stage (and in the audience) of who your community really is, and that way is death.

Successful Ada's Angels campaign

Our generous donors in September and October helped make our vision — a world in which women are equal and welcome participants in open source software, open data, and open culture — a reality. Thanks to you, there will be more women writing free software, more women editing Wikipedia, more women Internet infrastructure and more women shaping the future of global society.

Donation progress bar: donate now

If you were unable to give in this drive, the Ada Initiative still needs your support to advocate for women in open technology and culture and we welcome your crucial donations year-round!

Ada Lovelace Day, October 16

Ada Lovelace Day is a project launched by Suw Charman-Anderson in 2009, to combat women's invisibility by highlighting heroines in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Ada Lovelace Day is independent of the Ada Initiative, but both are named for Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace and the world's first computer programmer, and our missions are complementary.

This year the Ada Initiative held an Ada Lovelace Day party in San Francisco for Ada Lovelace Day participants and our supporters, jointly hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. Thank you for joining us!

Individual staff and advisors also took part, with Valerie Aurora writing a profile of Ada Lovelace herself, and observing how minimisation of her work is typical of representations of women's work in men's fields; Mary Gardiner writing profiles of Australian women Else Shepherd, leading electrical engineer and Marita Cheng, Robogals founder; and Danielle Madeley profiling her colleague, physicist Elaine Miles. Danni was herself featured on the Australian Bureau of Meterology's Facebook page for the day.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

New sponsors in October

Many new sponsors joined us in our mission to support women in open technology and culture as part of the Ada's Angels donation campaign! We'd especially like to welcome our first individual donors who have become Bronze sponsors, Sumana Harihareswara and Leonard Richardson, who contributed a $10,000 matching donation to the Ada's Angel campaign!

Other new sponsors generously supporting us in October were:

  1. new Venture Philanthropist sponsor the Linux Foundation;
  2. Microsoft's employee gift-matching program, which reached Venture Philanthropist sponsorship status by matching Microsoft employees dollar for dollar;
  3. VirtuStream, an enterprise cloud provider, a new Contributing sponsor;
  4. the Red Hat employee gift matching program, which reached Contributing sponsor status by matching employee donations; and
  5. PalominoDB, a woman-owned database consulting company, also joining us as a Contributing sponsor.

Sponsorship opportunities

Instant sponsorship of the Ada Initiative is available through our Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Other donations of $500 or more are eligible for Supporting Sponsor recognition.

Contact sponsors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

The Ada Initiative in September 2012: Ada's Angels and anti-harassment policy improvements

Help the Ada Initiative!

You can help with the Ada Initiative's work, which is funded by our generous donors and sponsors. You can make a difference for women in open tech and culture: support us by making a donation or becoming a sponsor today!

The Ada Initiative in September: fundraising and anti-harassment policy improvements

The Ada Initiative launched a campaign in September seeking donor support to continue our policy work, launch future AdaCamps, and brand new programs supporting women in open technology and culture. We're also pleased to announce an addendum to our sample anti-harassment policies for women-friendly discussion of sex and porn, and the forthcoming Ada's Advice website.

To all our donors and supporters: thank you for your support in September, making all this possible!

In September's news

Ada's Angels campaign

At the Ada Initiative, we have a vision: A world in which women are equal and welcome participants in open source software, open data, and open culture. We want women writing free software, women editing Wikipedia, women creating the Internet and women shaping the future of global society.

Donation progress bar: donate now

Help us make this vision a reality. We need your support: individual donors comprise the majority of the Ada Initiative's funding. Support the Ada Initiative now and get the first ever Ada Initiative t-shirt! This limited edition shirt is available to the first 1000 donors at the Ada’s Angel level.

Women-friendly discussion of sex and porn

We expanded on our anti-harassment work in September with the first release of an addendum to the policy when sex and porn are on-topic for conferences. Discussion of pornography and sex in the context of most open technology and culture discussions is off-putting to women and LGBTQ people of any gender: Most pornography shown in this situation assumes that the audience is male and heterosexual, and sends the message that everyone who is not a heterosexual man is not the intended audience. Also, shifting people’s minds towards sex often triggers people to view women as sexual objects, in a context in which women want to be treated as humans with a shared interest.

But showing pornography and talking about sex in public are not necessarily a “women not wanted” sign. Women are using open tech/culture to create erotica by and for women, and to have open discussions about sexuality in general.

The Ada Initiative's own anti-harassment policy therefore includes an exception for on-topic respectful discussions that have appropriate warnings. If you'd like to comment on our exception or on this topic, please do so on our blog post about on-topic discussions of sex and porn.

Coming soon: Ada's Advice

Behind the scenes, we've been working on the first edition of Ada's Advice, a collection of effective strategies for supporting women in open technology and culture. Our first release will include advice for employers, colleagues and event organizers who want to reach out to women for hiring, to participate in events, or to make shared workspaces safer for women.

Mary's illness

Mary Gardiner

Ada Initiative director of operations Mary Gardiner was unexpectedly ill in September, spending nearly a week in hospital and another week recovering. She's back on board with the Ada Initiative now, but still trying to work up the energy to get back on her bike.

One of the things we've realized following Mary's illness is that as a very small organization (1.6 full-time staff members) we are very vulnerable to illness and misadventure in our founders. Once we have a stable long-term funding base, we are hoping to be less vulnerable to loss of Valerie or Mary for a short time!

Thank you Selena!

Ada Initiative advisor Selena Deckelmann worked as our Consulting Director of Development from July until the end of September, helping us establish a long term fundraising plan. One of Selena's key insights was how important individual donors are to the Ada Initiative. She went on to help us design the Ada's Angel fundraising campaign around individual donors. Thank you so much Selena for your insights and plans, we're looking forward to putting them into practice.

From September 24 onwards, Selena has moved into a full-time position for Mozilla, working on databases with the WebTools team. Congratulations Selena! Selena is continuing as a volunteer on the Ada Initiative advisory board.

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

Ada Initiative board member and advisor Rachel Chalmers keynoted the Hosting and Cloud Transformation Summit on September 19:

Billions of people have already connected to the Internet via computers and mobile devices, tapping saturated networks to connect and communicate. What happens when everyday objects start communicating as well? In this presentation, we'll look at how this will affect IT, as well as the benefits that the 'Internet of everything' brings with it, and the challenge of managing the infrastructure that supports these 'smart' devices.

Advisor Liz Henry was announced as the keynote speaker for hacker conference Kiwicon 6, to be held in Wellington, New Zealand, 17–18 November.

Selena Deckelmann will be giving a plenary address on Education vs. Training at the Large Installation System Administration conference (LISA '12) in San Diego in December:

System administration principles are typically not taught at universities, where “education” (concepts and frameworks) is valued over “training” (explicit instruction of tasks). It’s true that system administration courses and a couple degree programs exist—but they are the exception rather than the rule. The state of related curriculum in K–12 education is even more dire.

The belief that education and training are separate is harmful. It’s helped make computer science educators hostile to efforts to adopt system administration curriculum and a CS degree largely irrelevant when hiring web developers.

Advisor Sarah Stierch was a Guest Programme Planner for the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki September 17–22. She facilitated a series of lightning talks about what open technology and culture organizations are doing to engage more women and hosted a Wikipedia edit-a-thon geared towards women.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

Sponsorship opportunities

Instant sponsorship of the Ada Initiative is available through our Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Other donations of $500 or more are eligible for Supporting Sponsor recognition.

Contact sponsors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Anti-harassment, hacker cons and fostering diversity: Ada Initiative news, August 2012

Help the Ada Initiative!

You can help with the Ada Initiative's work, which is funded by our generous donors and sponsors. You can make a difference for women in open tech and culture: support us by making a donation or becoming a sponsor today!

The Ada Initiative in August: anti-harassment and hacker cons and fostering diversity

The Ada Initiative made a major splash in the hacker community in August, calling for widespread adoption of anti-harassment policies. We're excited at the response, with hacker con BruCON adopting an anti-harassment policy within days of our call.

We're also pleased to be able to finally share the video of Mary Gardiner's Wikimania 2012 keynote, "Fostering diversity", with you. To all our donors and supporters: thank you for your support in August, making all this possible!

In August's news


Anti-harassment and hacker cons

On August 1, Ada Initiative Executive Director Valerie Aurora published DEFCON: Why conference harassment matters:

This weekend was DEFCON 20, the largest and most famous hacker conference in the world. I didnt go to DEFCON because Im a woman, and I dont like it when strangers grab my crotch.

In discussing approaches to harassment at conferences, Valerie issued a challenge:

Were waiting to hear about the first hacker conference to adopt a specific, enforceable, well-planned policy protecting women from harassment – and then were going to promote the hell out of it.

Valerie's post had an enormous response: it has been viewed on our page nearly 50 000 times by nearly 40 000 unique visitors. The article was featured in BlogHer, LWN, Hacker News, Slashdot, Schneier on Security, io9, and more.

Belgium's BruCON designed, adopted, and publicly announced an anti-harassment policy within 5 days of Valerie's post. A close second was DeepSec, another European computer security conference. We interviewed BruCON organizers:

What made you decide to adopt an anti-harassment policy?

When I first read about the idea, I honestly had to give it some thought. We have, to my knowledge, not received any complaints about harassment at BruCON and my first reaction was we dont need this." Being a (slightly overweight ;-)) white male that is obviously a very easy conclusion to make so I challenged myself and there were two main factors that influenced my decision to do this:

  • As we are growing we will gradually lose control about who attends our conference and how they behave themselves. The social fabric" that is woven reasonably tightly right now will loosen and if that ever happens to a degree where people see opportunity to harass others, we want to have a formal policy that is enforceable. We have that now.
  • Being inclusive is at the core value of BruCON and while there doesnt seem to be an immediate need to adopt such a policy, I think it emphasizes the spirit of BruCON extremely well. It doesnt matter who or what you are, if you come to share knowledge, you have a spot at BruCON.

Help make your event a safer space! The Ada Initiative anti-harassment program has developed loads of resources for you to adopt anti-harassment policies at your event! If you would like to encourage events to adopt anti-harassment policies, please see the many ways you can support anti-harassment policies.

Mary's "Fostering diversity" keynote available on video

The Wikimania 2012 conference has uploaded video of Ada Initiative co-founder Mary Gardiner's Fostering diversity – not a boring chore, a critical opportunity keynote. In this talk Mary outlined several ways to improve diversity. People often fear that creating communities for underrepresented groups within a project leads to isolation and drop-outs, when the opposite is true. The more you encourage people retain parts of their identity that are important to them, in my case as a woman, the more you enhance their other identity as a Wikipedian."

We'd love your help making Mary's talk more accessible by subtitling it in Amara!

Geek Feminism wiki: helping girls at the expense of women, and ableist fallacies

Mary wrote several pages for the Geek Feminism Wiki in August. In addition to developing a page of actions in support of anti-harassment policies, she developed two pages about the problematic focus of some geek outreach initiatives on young girls, rather than women: Pipeline and Let's help the girls. She also extensively documented the ableist fallacy present in geek communities that harassment is disproportionately perpetrated by neurodiverse people.

Meetup at Mountain View

Valerie hosted the second successful Ada Initiative meetup, in Mountain View California on August 1. Thanks to everyone who came along. Please join our announcement mailing list for news of future Ada Initiative events.

New advisor: Liz Henry

Liz Henry

We welcomed Liz Henry to our advisory board in August: Liz is a writer, editor, and public speaker, concentrating on the intersection between hacker culture, popular culture, feminism and social justice. She contributes as a writer and developer to Geekfeminism.org, the FeministSF blog and wiki, the Organization for Transformative Works, and Noisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco. She recently edited The WisCon Chronicles: Carnival of Feminist Science Fiction, and her latest book is Unruly Islands, a collection of technoutopian anarchafeminist poems. You can find her online writing at Bookmaniac.org, and on Twitter as @lizhenry.

We're so excited to have Liz generously share her long experiences with feminist community organizing with us!

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

Photograph of Sue Gardner speaking at Wikimania 2011

Sue Gardner speaking at Wikimania 2011, © Martina Nolte, CC BY-SA

Congratulations to Ada Initiative board member and advisor Sue Gardner: in Sue's role as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation, she was named 70th most powerful woman in the world in the Forbes magazine listing. She also gave an extended interview to Forbes, including discussion of Wikipedia editor diversity.

Ada Initiative advisor and Consulting Director of Development Selena Deckelmann gave a keynote address at FrOSCon (Free and Open Source Software Conference) in Germany: Mistakes were Made: Education Edition. Selena spoke about the disconnect between secondary computing education and open source software.

Ada Initiative advisor Karen Sandler, Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation, was featured in an interview with Google's Open Source Programs Office. Read excerpts about the GNOME Women's Outreach Program and about AdaCamp Melbourne and the Ada Initiative.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.



Sponsorship opportunities

Instant sponsorship of the Ada Initiative is available through our Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Other donations of $500 or more are eligible for Supporting Sponsor recognition.

Contact sponsors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Ada Initiative news, July 2012: AdaCamp DC, Wikimania keynote and West Coast meetups!

Help the Ada Initiative!

You can help with the Ada Initiative's work, which is funded by our generous donors and sponsors. You can make a difference for women in open tech and culture: support us by making a donation or becoming a sponsor today!

The Ada Initiative in July: AdaCamp DC, Wikimania keynote and and West Coast meetups!

July was a great month for the Ada Initiative, with our second AdaCamp held over two days in Washington DC for 100 attendees. Discussion topics included fighting impostor syndrome, Geek Moms, Women Editing Wikipedia, Fandom, Feminism & Social Change, Soft Circuits, Job Seeker/Were Hiring!, and Feminist Hackathons.

Immediately following AdaCamp was co-founder Mary Gardiner's very successful "Fostering diversity" keynote to the Wikimania conference, and the following week we held the first Ada Initiative meetup, in San Francisco, meeting many of our key supporters and donors in the area, followed by a meetup for Google employees the following day.

To all our donors and supporters: thank you for your support in July, making all this possible!

In July's news


AdaCamp DC: building community and fighting burnout and impostor syndrome

I started camp wondering what open source tech shared in common with gnomes, to discovering the wonderful GNOME project which encourages women to learn code and create their first patch". Talk about shock and awe :0. Im leaving with new tools like IRC, bug trackers and mentor lists…" – Leslie Birch

AdaCamp is an unconference for women in open technology and culture and the people who support them. 100 people attended the second AdaCamp on July 10 – 11, 2012 in Washington, DC. Attendees came from at least 10 countries, including Japan, India, Myanmar, Argentina, Spain, Italy, Australia, the UK, Canada, and the US.

It was AWESOME. I arrived at AdaCamp well aware that I am currently burnt out and have difficulty setting boundaries, but I had no idea… how many other women have experienced similar issues and therefore have useful advice. I feel as if Ive returned to my regular life with dramatically increased motivation and clarity. Thank you!" – Anonymous

We ran over 65 sessions over 2 days. Session topics included Hands on Hacking, Geek Moms, Women Editing Wikipedia, Burnout and Lifehacking, Fandom, Feminism & Social Change, Soft Circuits, Job Seeker/Were Hiring!, and Feminist Hackathons, to name just a few. In total, over 40 of the sessions were documented on PiratePad.

If you couldn't make it to AdaCamp DC, but are interested in attending future AdaCamps or other Ada Initiative events, please subscribe to the Ada Initiative blog or subscribe to Ada Initiative email announcements.

The Ada Initiative thanks our AdaCamp DC sponsors for making the event possible. Thank you to our Gold level sponsor the Wikimedia Foundation. Thank you to our Silver level sponsors: the Linux Foundation, Intel, Facebook, Red Hat, Collabora and Yammer.

Mary Gardiner's Wikimania keynote: Fostering diversity

Photo of Mary Gardiner keynoting Wikimania (3/4 shot)

Mary Gardiner keynoting Wikimania, © Alejandro Linares Garcia, Creative Commons BY-SA

On July 12, Ada Initiative co-founder Mary Gardiner gave the opening keynote to Wikimania 2012, the world's largest conference for Wikipedia and related projects. Over 1400 people were in attendance, including several hundred people attending the co-located Tech@State conference. The keynote was part of articles in Slate, The Verge, and Wikinews.

The title of the keynote was Fostering diversity – not a boring chore, a critical opportunity." In it, Mary described how various social change movements around the globe increased diversity in their ranks, and what they gained from it. While the Wikipedia community is not first and foremost a social change movement, free access to the sum of all human knowledge" is an almost unimaginably strong force for social change, and many Wikipedians see their work in that light. Diversity is an important part of that goal; as Mary puts it, To incorporate the sum of human knowledge you have to incorporate the sum of humans."

Mary outlined several ways to improve diversity. People often fear that creating communities for underrepresented groups within a project leads to isolation and drop-outs, when the opposite is true. The more you encourage people retain parts of their identity that are important to them, in my case as a woman, the more you enhance their other identity as a Wikipedian." Extending invitations specifically to underrepresented groups, such as the GNOME Outreach Program for Women, is effective for many reasons. It is the Wikipedia community that has the power that to reach out to the powerless rather than the other way around."

The video is not yet available, but the slides are available from Wikimedia Commons and the Wikinews story includes extensive notes from the keynote as well as audio-only recordings.


Selena Deckelmann's first month as Consulting Director of Development

Selena Deckelmann

Ada Initiative advisor and open source expert Selena Deckelmann joined us as Consulting Director of Development from July 1.

Selena has worked on a huge number of projects in her first month with us including developing our plans for funding mix and reviewing our fundraising strategy; reviewing our fundraising materials; helping us prioritize our programs; and connecting with our donors and discussing our programs and our path from here with them. It's been amazingly helpful to have Selena focussed on the organization's long term plans while we worked hard on AdaCamp DC and our other events in July. Thank you Selena!

Meetups in San Francisco and at Google

On July 16, we held our first Ada Initiative meetup, in San Francisco. Ada Initiative co-founders Mary Gardiner and Valerie Aurora, and Consulting Director of Development Selena Deckelmann enjoyed meeting old and new Ada Initiative friends.

Mary and Valerie also met some of the Ada Initiative supporters among Google employees the following day at lunch on Google's Mountain View campus. Thank you for all your thoughts on our work, and thanks again for your generosity, your donations in 2011 collectively made the Google employee gift-matching program our second Bronze sponsor!

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

In addition to Mary's Wikimania keynote, two of our advisors also gave keynote talks in July!

  1. Sarah Stierch gave a keynote entitled The Visual Experience – Gender and Ways of Seeing Wikimedia" at Wikipedia Academy in Berlin; and
  2. Alex "Skud" Bayley's keynote was "What's Next? From Open Source to Open Everything" (for which, see her 2011 blog post on moving from open source to "open stuff") at the GNOME Users And Developers' European Conference (GUADEC) in A Coruña.

During her trip to GUADEC, Skud also launched a new open source project for home and community gardeners gathering information about planting times, seed sources and other resources.

Francesca Coppa was a radio guest on Heresay Culture on Stanford University's KZSU-FM. She was also interviewed for Thanks to fan fiction, we get Harriet Potter and erotic Twilight, in the Kansas Star Ledger and Original Fiction In All The 'Shades' Of Fandom on NPR's Morning Edition.

At Wikimania, Sue Gardner gave her customary overview of the Wikimedia Foundation's activities: "Wikimedia Foundation: The Year In Review and The Year Ahead", her slides are available from Wikimedia Commons. Sarah Stierch also made several appearances at Wikimania, including her 10 Women in 10 minutes hack-a-thon and the Wikimedia Community Fellows panel.

Sarah Stierch was successfully nominated to become an administrator of English Wikipedia with over 200 Wikipedians supporting her nomination.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.



Sponsorship opportunities

Instant sponsorship of the Ada Initiative is available through our Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Other donations of $500 or more are eligible for Supporting Sponsor recognition.

Contact sponsors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Ada Initiative news, June 2012

You can help with the Ada Initiative's work, which is funded by our generous donors and sponsors. You can make a difference for women in open tech and culture: support us by making a donation or becoming a sponsor today!

AdaCamp DC update

Photograph of Sophia Chung

AdaCamp DC attendee Sophia Chung

AdaCamp DC, on July 10–11, 2012, is in less than one week's time! All applicants should have been notified regarding their attendance, please contact adacamp@adainitiative.org if you weren't notified or have any questions about the event.

We've enjoyed introducing several AdaCampers on our blog in the last month: we hope you're as excited about having all of these people in the one room as we are.

New sponsor in June

We welcomed our last major AdaCamp sponsor in June, with the Wikimedia Foundation becoming the event's first Gold sponsor.

Wikimedia Foundation

Other events

Photograph of Stephanie Alarcon using a soldering iron

AdaCamp DC attendee Stephanie Alarcon (photograph by JJ Tiziou, used with permission)

If you missed out on applying to AdaCamp DC, or couldnt make it, but are interested in attending future AdaCamps or other Ada Initiative events, please subscribe to the Ada Initiative blog or subscribe to Ada Initiative email announcements.

If youre in the DC area, many AdaCamp attendees will also be attending Wikimania 2012 later in the week. Registration for Wikimania does not require application and remains open until July 4.

Selena Deckelmann joins us as Consulting Director of Development

Were happy to announce that Selena Deckelmann, Ada Initiative advisor, PostgreSQL expert, and open source community leader, has accepted a position as Consulting Director of Development at the Ada Initiative. Selena begins work in July on developing a long-term funding strategy for the Ada Initiative, in addition to contributing to our mission and strategy.

Now that we have our organisational structure in place, the Ada Initiative is ready for long-term planning and settling on a strategy for growth. Were thrilled to have Selenas expertise and energy at this crucial time for the organisation.

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

Sumana Harihareswara gave a very well received keynote talk at Open Source Bridge, Be Bold: An Origin Story". Sumana also featured in the inSCIght podcast: Episode 27: Ladies Who Learn And Code.

Sarah Stierch gave an address at the George Washington University graduation ceremony where she graduated with a MA Museum Studies. Congratulations on your graduation, Sarah.

Incoming and outgoing advisors

Gayle Karen Young joined the Ada Initiative advisory board in early July. We first began working with Gayle Karen in her capacity as Chief Culture and Talent Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, but quickly grew to rely on her advice in many areas. She is also the Board President of Spark, a non-profit dedicated to increasing the investment of young people in womens human rights both internationally and domestically.

Donna Benjamin stepped down from her position on the Ada Initiative advisory board in June. Donna began advising the Ada Initiative before our launch, helping us raise awareness and shape our mission. Her experience as a small business owner and open source community leader were especially valuable to us as we built the Ada Initiative from the ground up. Please join us in thanking Donna for her service!

Upcoming appearances

Washington DC:

  • July 10–11, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending AdaCamp DC.
  • July 12–14, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending Wikimania 2012's main program, as well as the opening reception.
  • July 12, 2011: Mary and Valerie will both be attending the GLAM Night Out at the Newseum.
  • July 19, 2012: Valerie will be attending Gallup's Evidence and Impact: Closing the Gender Data Gap" event.

Bay Area, California:

  • July 16, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending the Ada Initiative supporters party in San Francisco.
  • July 17, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be having lunch on Google's Mountain View campus. If you are a Google employee and want to join us, please email contact@adainitiative.org for more information.

Sydney:

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

New sponsors

Since our tax exemption was granted in May several employers have matched their employees' donations to the Ada Initiative over the last year. Thank you to everyone who has submitted their donation for employer matching.

We'd like to thank Google employees, with Google's employee gift matching program becoming our second Bronze sponsor by matching your donations.

We'd like to thank Atlassian employees, with Atlassian's employee gift matching program becoming a Venture Philanthropist sponsor by matching your donations.

Thank you also to employees of Microsoft and 1st Playable Productions for submitting donations for employer matching.

Sponsorship opportunities

Instant sponsorship of the Ada Initiative is available through our Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Other donations of $500 or more are eligible for Supporting Sponsor recognition.

Contact sponsors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Ada Initiative news, May 2012

AdaCamp DC update

Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. by Bernt Rostad

by Bernt Rostad

AdaCamp DC, on July 10–11, 2012, is getting very close! Our travel funding recipients have been notified and most other applicants have also received a decision about attending.

AdaCamp DC sponsors who signed on during May include:

We presently have around 90 confirmed attendees. Applications to attend are still open and will close on June 15.

Mary returns!

Mary submitted her PhD thesis for examination at the end of May and has returned to the Ada Initiative on her former schedule of two days a week. It's especially good to have two program staff on board as we look forward to holding AdaCamp DC in July and then launching other projects later in the year.

Tax exempt in the U.S.

In mid-May, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) granted the Ada Initiative federal tax exempt status in the United States, back-dated to our date of incorporation, March 18, 2011. This is the culmination of a lot of work in 2011, and enables us to accept tax deductible donations from U.S. taxpayers and to use many services only available to 501(c)3 tax-exempt organisations. It also means that donors can contribute to the Ada Initiative confident that their donations will be used for charitable purposes.

All donors who donated prior to May 14 2012 should now have received an updated email receipt suitable for claiming a U.S. tax deduction; if you haven't received your updated receipt, please contact donors@adainitiative.org. All new donations will be acknowledged with an appropriate email receipt automatically immediately after the donation is processed.

If your employer matches employee donations to tax-exempt 501(c)3 organisations, your receipt for any 2011 donation may still be eligible for employer matching, and we encourage you to submit it through your employer's system.

Consulting with organizations

Over the last year and a half, the Ada Initiative has given free consulting advice on making women feel more welcome to several organizations, including the Wikimedia Foundation, the Mozilla Foundation, OReilly, Google, the Linux Foundation, and Linux Australia. Since your donations make this work possible, we want to tell you more about the impact our work had.

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

Firefox Release Engineering, co-authored by Lukas Blakk, appeared in The Architecture of Open Source Applications.

Selena Deckelmann was an interviewee for a Women in Tech segment on Think Out Loud, and her company's product was featured in Forbes.

Outgoing advisors

We farewelled Mitchell Baker, John Ferlito, and Sulamita Garcia from our advisory board this month after their contributions to our first year of operation. The Ada Initiative is committed to both rotating new ideas and perspectives into our work, and to preventing volunteer burnout, and thus we periodically poll our board of advisors and ask who is ready to step down for a while.

Thank you again to Mitchell, John and Sulamita for your contributions to the Ada Initiative in our first year!

Upcoming appearances

  • July 10–11, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending AdaCamp DC.
  • July 12–14, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending Wikimania 2012's main program.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

Sponsorship opportunities

Instant sponsorship of the Ada Initiative is available through our Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Other donations of $500 or more are eligible for Supporting Sponsor recognition.

Contact sponsors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Ada Initiative news, April 2012

AdaCamp DC update

Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. by Bernt Rostad

by Bernt Rostad

AdaCamp DC, on July 10–11, 2012, will be located at the Washington Post building, thanks to our venue sponsor, SocialCode.

AdaCamp DC sponsors who signed on during April include:

Applications to attend AdaCamp DC are now open. The deadline for application for travel scholarships is May 11. So far we have over 50 strong applications, includes applicants from India, Brazil, Romania, Egypt, Argentina, Macedonia, Peru, Australia, the UK, and the US. This should be an amazing event!

Google is funding two international travel scholarships for AdaCamp attendees. As you can see, there are far more deserving applicants needing international travel funding than we are able to sponsor at this time. The more sponsors we have, the more travel scholarships we can pay. Email sponsors@adainitiative.org for more information on becoming a sponsor.

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

The BBC interviewed Karen Sandler about the importance of open source in her implanted defibrillator.

Mitchell Baker was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for her work on Mozilla.

Selena Deckelmann was quoted in an article on sexism in tech in The Next Web.

Rachel Chalmers was promoted to Research Vice President at The 451 Group.

Sumana Harihareswara was promoted to Engineering Community Manager at Wikimedia Foundation.

New board member: Caroline Simard

Photograph of Caroline SimardIn our yearly board elections, we elected Caroline Simard to the board of directors. Read more about Caroline in our announcement. We thank Matt Zimmerman again for his excellent service to the Ada Initiative as a board member, and are glad he is continuing as an advisor.

Upcoming appearances

  • July 10–11, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending AdaCamp DC.
  • July 12–14, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending Wikimania 2012's main program.

New sponsors

O'Reilly, the technology publisher and conference organizer and strong supporter of open technology and culture, is the Ada Initiative's latest Venture Philanthropist sponsor. O'Reilly strongly encourages women to speak at and attend tech conferences, as well as write about technology, in order to expand their influence and career opportunities. See the list of upcoming O'Reilly conferences here and consider submitting a talk proposal. We thank O'Reilly for their support of women in open technology and culture.

New sponsorship level

We added a new sponsorship level: For $500 – $1999, your company can be a contributing sponsor and get your company's name and a link on the contributing sponsors part of our sponsors page.

Our inaugural contributing sponsors are Mozilla Corporation, Dyn, Inc., CloudMine. Thank you for your support of women in open technology and culture!

Angel funders and major sponsors

We're taking this opportunity to thank our early funders again. Without their sponsorship and belief in the Ada Initiative's ability to accomplish our mission, none of our activities would be possible, including the upcoming AdaCamp DC. Thank you again, Linux Australia, Puppet Labs, DreamHost, Ceph, and our Seed 100 funders. Let our sponsors know you appreciate their support!

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

Sponsorship opportunities

The Ada Initiative's Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program allows organisations to sponsor the Ada Initiative for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Contact donors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Ada Initiative news, March 2012

Happy birthday to us!

Cupcake with a single lit candle placed in itThe Ada Initiative incorporated on March 18, 2011, making March 18 our first birthday! Thank you for all your support over the last year, whether as a sponsor, a donor, a supporters member, an AdaCamper or a reader or follower.

An especial thank you to our hard working board of directors and advisory board for their substantial volunteer contributions over the past year.

AdaCamp DC planning

Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. by Bernt Rostad

by Bernt Rostad

AdaCamp DC planning continues apace for July 10–11, 2012. We're planning for 150–200 attendees and hoping many people will attend both AdaCamp and Wikimania.

During March we prepared a sponsorship prospectus which we have now begun to distribute! If you are interesting in sponsoring the event and would like a copy of the prospectus, please email sponsors@adainitiative.org. Our venue is close to finalised, and early sponsors will be announced within the next week. We expect to begin taking applications in late April.

We will announce when applications open, but start thinking of people to recommend and session ideas now!

Mary Gardiner to keynote Wikimania

In March we announced that Ada Initiative co-founder Mary Gardiner has been chosen to give the opening keynote at Wikimania 2012! Wikimania is the worlds top conference for Wikipedia and related Wikimedia projects, held this year from July 12–15 in Washington, D.C.

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

Donna Benjamin

Donna Benjamin

Donna Benjamin's project Digitise the Dawn has resulted in the National Archives making the early Australian feminist journal The Dawn available to the public. Congratulations Donna!

Audio of an interview that Donna did with Melbourne's RRR radio station is available.

New advisors

In March we welcomed Kellie Brownell of the EFF; Ellie Young formerly of USENIX; Karen Sandler of the GNOME Foundation; and Caroline Simard of Stanford School of Medicine and the Anita Borg Institute to our advisory board. Thanks for offering to help us with our work with women in open tech and culture Kellie, Ellie, Karen and Caroline!

Upcoming appearances

  • July 10–11, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending AdaCamp DC.
  • July 12–14, 2012: Mary and Valerie will both be attending Wikimania 2012's main program.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

Sponsorship opportunities

The Ada Initiative's Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program allows organisations to sponsor the Ada Initiative for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Contact donors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Ada Initiative news, February 2012

Thank-you gifts all shipped

Ada Initiative scarf in actionThe last of our thank-you gifts for the last donation drive have shipped, including the "Ada's Ally" scarves. If you haven't received your gift (taking into account international shipping time if applicable), email us at contact@adainitiative.org. Thank you for your donations!

AdaCamp DC planning

Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. by Bernt Rostad, CC-Attribution

(c) Bernt Rostad, CC-Attribution

We have started planning for AdaCamp DC, co-located with Wikimania 2012 in Washington, D.C., on July 10 – 11, 2012. We're planning for 150 – 200 attendees and hoping many people will attend both AdaCamp and Wikimania. We will post more information and start lining up sponsors during March. Well-known advocates for women in Wikipedia Sue Gardner, Joseph Reagle, and Sarah Stierch plan to attend, as will both Mary and Valerie.

We are looking into arranging free childcare for a limited number of children for this event. Please email us at contact@adainitiative.org if this will make a difference in your ability to attend. We are also working to make the conference easy to attend for people with disabilities and food restrictions.

We will announce when applications open, but start thinking of people to recommend and session ideas now!

Allies workshop

We taught an allies workshop at Linaro Connect and updated the (CC-licensed, online) curriculum for it. We are interested in teaching other people how to give the workshop and are happy to share our latest slides. Let us know if you are interested!

We are happy to teach the (free) allies workshop in the San Francisco Bay area. Contact us at contact@adainitiative.org to arrange a workshop.

Job tweets

We inaugurated a new program for retweeting job openings of interest to people in open technology and culture, with an emphasis on women-friendly environments. See our announcement blog post for details on who is qualified and how to send them in.

Ada Initiative advisors in the news

Sarah Stierch

Sarah Stierch

Leigh Honeywell

Leigh Honeywell

Sarah Stierch and Leigh Honeywell were part of a popular panel, "Some of all Human Knowledge: Gender and Participation in Peer Production" at the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work.

Donna Benjamin

Donna Benjamin

Donna Benjamin was elected to the board of directors of the Drupal Association. Congratulations, Donna!

Administrative assistant and event organizer

We're excited (for real, not just press-release speak) to announce that the Ada Initiative has hired an administrative assistant to help us with the copious amount of paperwork involved in running a non-profit. We also hired an event organizer to handle logistics for the next AdaCamp. This will allow Mary and Valerie to spend more time on program work. Thanks for your help filling these positions!

Board meeting

Our board of directors, which is presently meeting about every second month, held a meeting in mid-February. Our major items of discussion were: reviewing the success of AdaCamp Melbourne; early planning for an AdaCamp in 2012, discussing Mary Gardiner's leave of absence; discussing our fundraising outcomes and future direction; and reviewing our financial situation and budgeting for upcoming months.

Thank you as always to Denise, Matt, Rachel and Sue for their help running the Ada Initiative.

Mary on leave

Mary GardinerMary Gardiner is taking two months of study leave from the Ada Initiative, excepting a few hours per week for administrative tasks, and will return in May.

Upcoming appearances

In addition to AdaCamp DC, Mary and Valerie will be attending Wikimania 2012 in July.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

Sponsorship opportunities

The Ada Initiative's Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program allows organisations to sponsor the Ada Initiative for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Contact donors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.

Ada Initiative news, January 2012

Fundraising

Thank you to everyone who donated to our fund-raising drive ending January 31, 2012. Over December and January, we raised $30,463 in individual donations from over 250 donors, and about $15,000 in corporate donations, for a total of 4-5 months of operating expenses. Your donations make projects like AdaCamp, allies workshops, and Adas Advice possible – in fact, we continued work on all three of these projects while we were fundraising.

If you want to donate and missed the deadline, dont worry – you can still donate at our year-round donation page. We are also seeking corporate donations.We especially thank our corporate sponsors who donated and/or provided matching funds:

  • Ceph: Open source distributed file system
  • Dreamwidth: Full-featured blog hosting on open source platform
  • Puppet Labs: Open source systems management software
  • Singly: Open source platform for accessing social network data
  • Creative Contingencies: Open source solutions and event organization

Thank you to everyone who donated, spread the word, or helped! We appreciate it!

AdaCamp Melbourne

We were thrilled with the success of our first AdaCamp in Melbourne on January 14.

AdaCamp stood out for me from other conferences because everyone participated and seemed to really want to go beyond the conference and drive things out in the real world. (Cobi Smith.)

Several sessions produced new or improved documentation, often hosted on the Geek Feminism wiki: fighting Impostor Syndrome, valuing diverse skills and women-oriented hiring, and preventing volunteer burnout. We also learned more about each others communities, including success stories like the majority female development community behind open source software project Dreamwidth and challenges facing librarians fighting for open access to knowledge.

For a full report on AdaCamp Melbourne please see AdaCamp Melbourne 2012 full report.

Based on the success of AdaCamp Melbourne other AdaCamps are in planning. Please follow our blog or join our announcement list for information on future AdaCamps.

linux.conf.au and Haecksen miniconf

Valerie and Mary spent a week in January in Ballarat, Australia for linux.conf.au. At linux.conf.au they delivered three sessions:

She's Geeky

Valerie Aurora attended She's Geeky Bay Area in late January.

Awards

At linux.conf.au, Ada Initiative co-founder Mary Gardiner was awarded the Rusty Wrench award for services to the Australian Free Software community.

Anti-harassment

In July, Tim O'Reilly pledged to adopt a code of conduct for O'Reilly events. O'Reilly has now released their code of conduct, joining other adopters of similar policies. Thank you O'Reilly!

Other organisations wishing to consider a anti-harassment policy can find policy resources on the Geek Feminism wiki.

Upcoming events for women in open technology and culture

See our calendar for a full listing, and submit any additional events to share@adainitiative.org.

New sponsors

Ceph

This month Ceph joined us as our first major Ada Initiative sponsor. Ceph is a distributed open source file system whose development was primarily funded by DreamHost, the successful Los Angeles based web-hosting company. The Ceph project is becoming part of a newly created and growing soon to be named" business entity that will provide ongoing resources and support services to those adopting Ceph.

Learn more about Ceph in Valerie Aurora's interview with Sage Weil and Bryan Bogensberger.

Thank you again to Ceph for their support of the Ada Initiative.

Sponsorship opportunities

The Ada Initiative's Venture Philanthropist sponsorship program allows organisations to sponsor the Ada Initiative for sponsorship amounts between $2000 and $9999 (USD) with a minimum of hassle. Contact donors@adainitiative.org for larger sponsorship packages.