GNOME and the free software community are making progress in increasing participation by women, but this progress has only shown the potential for a much larger change. The more people work towards it, the faster we’ll get there. In this talk, I will explain factors that hold women back in technology and discuss the motivation for initiatives for women, whether they are dedicated internships, scholarships, awards, or events. Having a good understanding of why these are needed will help you become an effective advocate. I will share what you can do, even beyond being a mentor and a promoter of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women, to encourage more women to join the communities, local groups, conferences, and companies you are involved with.
Marina Zhurakhinskaya works on community outreach and engagement at Red Hat and serves on the boards of the GNOME Foundation and the Ada Initiative. She is passionate about new contributor outreach, working on GNOME’s newcomers and interns initiatives. She organizes the GNOME Foundation’s Outreach Program for Women. About 170 women have so far participated in the program’s remote internships with 31 free software organizations. Prior to her community engagement role, Marina developed software for GNOME.