Breaking down the gender divide in open source and open culture

How the Ada Initiative aims to increase women's participation and challenge sexism in open source, open technology and open culture


According to Gardiner and Aurora there's a deficit of research about women working in open source, let alone broader open technology/open culture roles. "In terms of something that's methodology rigorous and had statisticians go over the data and so forth there's probably only one," Gardiner says.

The Ada Initiative wants to conduct research that's rigorous enough to give an accurate picture of the current status of women in open source as well as discover changes over time. "Doing methodologically rigorous research is expensive, so that's getting towards the more ambitions end because we're only a two person non profit at the moment."

The organisation will be seeking a partner for a survey. "For starters we don't have the right kind of research expertise between the two of us," Gardiner says.


The fifth project of the organisation is also its first major undertaking: Organising 'AdaCamp' conferences for women involved in open technology and open culture. Forty three people registered to attend the inaugural AdaCamp in Melbourne on 14 January. The second AdaCamp is likely to be staged on the east coast of the US, Gardiner says, and be held around about the time of the Wikimedia Foundation's Wikimania conference, which will be in Washington DC in mid-July. "We won't settle on final dates and final venue until the books are closed on the current AdaCamp."


The Ada Initiative is seeking donations to help fund its operations. Donations can be made online.

Follow Rohan Pearce on Twitter: @rohan_p

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @techworld_au

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