ox4 - Final Version

Free Software and Beyond
The World of Peer Production

Christina Haralanova
Day 2
Room Humanities Bridgeford Cordingley
Start time 12:00
Duration 01:30
ID 34
Event type Lecture
Track Aspects of Free Software
Language English

Women's Participation to Free and Open Source Software Development

What it the role of women to FOSS projects? What is the significance of the contributions they make? What are the tendencies of the gender imbalance in FOSS? What can we do? These and other relevant questions will be covered in this interactive workshop, to which an important space will be reserved for participants discussion and experience exchange.

This workshop aims at giving space to presentation of findings and discussion on the topic of women's contributions to FOSS development projects. The gender imbalance in the world of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is not new, but is raising new questions. The number of women users in FOSS is raising every year, but not within the software development projects.

However, women do participate to FOSS development projects, and yet there are some who are extraordinarily visible. They contribute as much as men in development issues, in graphic design, quality insurance and documentation writing. But how is their role seen in the world of free software? Are they equally considered as men? Are their contributions somehow significant, from the point of view of personal participation, and from technical point of view?

The workshop will be divided in two parts. The first one will be in a form of a presentation including some of the latest findings based on recent interviews made in Quebec with women working in FOSS development projects. It will focus on the gender repartition of work in FOSS projects, on the contribution made by women, as well as some preliminary conclusions on the question of the women's role in FOSS. Examples will include a number of women around the world, as well as women's groups within the FOSS movement (such as linuxchix, debian women and drupal chix).

The second part of the workshop will be made in a form of a joint discussion with the participants, including questions such as:

  • sharing their personal experience about women's role in FOSS development projects
  • possible improvements in the work environment for involvement of more women to the FOSS movement
  • extracting some recommendations for a better sustainable involvement of women into the FOSS movement

Even if focussed on women's FOSS participation, this workshop is open to men and women.