In a time when prominent Internet pioneers still propose biological differences as an explanation for the relative dearth of women in computing, we should celebrate women in computing and technology of all kinds.
Leigh explains, “As a woman who attends and speaks at a lot of technical conferences, I’m grateful for the work the Ada Initiative does to make them more welcoming to women. I’ve been so happy to see – and experience – the improvements in the open source and free software communities in the past couple of years. It’s so refreshing, encouraging, and heartening to be able to attend conferences without that hackles-up feeling of anticipating sexist jokes or porn in presentations.
“I’m donating in memory of my grandmother, Janet Leys Shaw Mactavish. Throughout my childhood and to this day, her buildings were a visible legacy of her brilliance and success. Though she died long before I was born, the stories I heard about her growing up inspired me to persevere in the field I love and build my own legacies in code and communities.”
Leigh will personally match up to $2,000 of donations to the Ada Initiative, made by Friday, August 23rd, 5:00pm PDT (00:00 UTC August 24th). Update: Leigh’s challenge was met in just 4 hours! But your donation will still be matched by Sumana Harihareswara and Leonard Richardson. Donors of $128 or more will also receive the coveted Ada Lovelace pendant. Donate now!
About the Ada Initiative
The Ada Initiative is a non-profit dedicated to increasing the participation and status of women in open technology and culture, which includes open source software, hacker culture, and makerspaces/hackerspaces.Our goal is a community where women feel welcome and safe at conferences, online, and related spaces. We do this by advocating for conference anti-harassment policies, bringing women together to start women-friendly makerspaces through the AdaCamp unconferences, and running feminist hacker lounges at conferences. Our experience is that with the right guidelines and community expectations, we can discuss even the most sensitive topics in a way that is safe and welcoming for women.