An important part of supporting women in open tech/culture is raising awareness of the problems that face them. We’re excited that the Ada Initiative was interviewed for an article in the June 2013 issue of Marie Claire, an international women’s magazine. We reached nearly 1,000,000 new people through the print edition alone.Written by veteran feminist journalist Alissa Quart, “When Geeks Attack” focuses on harassment of women in technology, rounding up many of the high-profile incidents in recent years as well as some disturbing statistics. Several women in open tech/culture were interviewed for this article, including Valerie Aurora, Ada Initiative Executive Director, Alicia Gibb, president of the Open Source Hardware Foundation and Ada Initiative advisor, and Valerie Bubb Fenwick, an open source developer, among many other women.
By featuring so many different women in open technology and culture, this article accomplishes two important goals. First, it sends the message that harassment of women in these fields is a major cause of women leaving them – or never joining in the first place. Second, it gives Marie Claire readers several different female role models for women in technology. For many women, the opportunity to make the world a better place while also being able to support themselves and their families is a powerful draw towards careers in open tech/culture, as opposed to technology in general. Women deserve equal access to all careers regardless of their monetary rewards: computer programming, construction work, working as an executive, serving in the military, playing professional sports, or driving a bus.
We were thrilled to work with the author, Alissa Quart, because of her long history of articles and books on feminism and free culture, such as What Does Free Culture Cost? and The Age of Hipster Sexism. Her latest book, Republic of Outsiders: The Power of Amateurs, Dreamers and Rebels, focuses on “idiosyncratic individuals” who approach social justice activism in creative ways, including transgender activists, advocates for neurodiversity, and animal rights activists.