Women make up 51% of the American workforce, and yet only 20% of software engineers are female. Worldwide, the situation is similar. In open source software engineering, the statistics are worse: only 1.5–5% are female.
One of the organizations which presented at the Google Summer of Code Mentor Summit was the GNOME Foundation’s Outreach Program for Women (OPW). OPW is similar to GSoC, except that OPW doesn’t require its applicants to be students — or know how to program when the coding period begins. The pay is competitive with GSoC. And of course, only women can apply.
In the process of our Google Code-In 2013 application, I recruited several female mentors to work with female GCI students — not a requirement, but I think it helps to have supportive people involved with whom one can identify. Unfortunately, we weren’t selected for the Code-In (not too disappointing given the several venerable and accomplished organizations that were chosen). But we want to have another go, this time by applying for the Outreach Program for Women.
Here’s where we need your help.
Work for a company that might want to support this goal? Show this to your boss. Have him or her get in touch with us (sciruby.project at gmail dot com).
If you don’t work for such a company, but would still like to help, you can also get in touch at the same email address. As a general rule of thumb, you can always donate via Pledgie, even if you don’t have access to tons of money.
By the way, here’s a blog post by one of our mentors, Anna Belak.