What we do: 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, O’Reilly, 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.

Wikimedia Foundation

Gayle Karen Young, Chief Talent and Community Officer of the Wikimedia Foundation, had this to say about working with the Ada Initiative: “Their project work with us has included evaluation and recommendations on our recruiting methods, policy development, and training development, all with an eye towards our joint goal of supporting women in open technology and culture. We have adopted a policy on creating safer spaces at our events and conferences, we have looked at the way our job descriptions are written and how they are posted to better understand how we may unintentionally discourage women, and they were instrumental in providing input into our sexual harassment prevention training program. The Ada Initiative has been a joy to work with and a true partner in supporting an inclusive culture here at the Wikimedia Foundation.”

Mozilla Foundation

We advised the Mozilla Foundation on next steps to take after a community debate on the role of the Planet Mozilla blog aggregator. Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Foundation chairwoman, says “The Ada Initiative helped us work through some very tricky and emotional issues within our community. TAI was easy to reach, thoughtful in approach and very helpful. We promptly made an unsolicited donation so that this much-needed service from TAI can continue to be available to everyone.”


We helped O’Reilly develop a blanket conference code of conduct for all their conferences, sharing resources like the Geek Feminism Timeline of Sexist Incidents, the example conference anti-harassment policy, and our knowledge of which techniques worked best in the past to communicate expectations of attendee behavior.


We worked with Google’s Events Marketing team to develop and adopt an anti-harassment policy for applicable Google events, following calls for such a policy from Google employees.

Linux Foundation

We worked with the Linux Foundation to develop a custom anti-harassment/diversity policy designed for their more corporate, structured conference environment. “The Ada Initiative helped us quickly and efficiently build a policy that works for our many events,” says Amanda McPherson, Vice President, Marketing and Developer Program. Open technology and culture communities vary greatly, and we are happy to work with organizations to adapt policies to their specific needs.

Linux Australia

We advised Linux Australia on both the immediate handling of a violation of their conference’s anti-harassment policy, and on the development of long-term diversity initiatives for the organization as a whole. John Ferlito, president of Linux Australia, says “Over the last 12 months Linux Australia has been undertaking policy initiatives which amongst other things include issues surrounding diversity and discrimination. The Ada Initiative has helped in this process by providing useful advice and insights into the issues involved. The Ada Initiative’s consulting program has helped ease the burden on the scarce resources of a volunteer run organisation.”

Thank you

Your donations make this work possible. We don’t charge for consulting for many reasons:

  • Many of our clients are non-profits and can’t afford expensive consulting services
  • Often clients need advice quickly, sometimes within a few hours
  • We want the barrier to positive change for women to be as low as possible
  • We don’t want to profit from other people’s misfortunes

If we can find a way to charge for consulting in some cases without running into these problems, we may begin doing so, but for now, it’s all free.

Many of our consulting clients have gone on to become Ada Initiative sponsors, which is a nice vote of confidence. But what is most important is that every time we help a non-profit, foundation, or company figure out how to better support women, we are accomplishing our mission: increasing the participation and status of women in open technology and culture.