In an initial post to the group. I suggested that it might be interesting to discuss ways we might increase the number, the percentage, and the influence of women in Drupal. I head an executive search and recruiting research firm and have worked on diversity initiatives to increase the number of women technologists at some of the most powerful and successful companies in software. Despite the best of intentions, increasing the number of women in technology has proven challenging for a whole host of reasons.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg has touched upon the issue of women who lean back when they should lean in and engage. She has pointed to research that indicates women are, in effect, punished for their success. The more successful we are, the less popular we become . . .we lose support when the opposite holds true for men. Then there's the whole bro-grammer culture and recent study of the Silicon Valley 150 documenting how Silicon Valley tech companies are less diverse than Fortune 500 companies, which are not all that diverse to begin with. Women make up 50% of the population. Yet we remain in the low single digits at the senior executive and board levels. And apparently the percentage is just as low in the Drupal universe.
There are 831 members of Women in Drupal. I'd like to think with that amount of brainpower here, we can cook up a few ways to increase the percentage and influence of Drupal women. As a possible approach, we might want to do the following:
A. Create a list of all the things that discourage, impede, create barriers, or dissuade women from getting or staying involved in Drupal
B. Problem solve on ways to eliminate or reduce those barriers.
C. Create a list of things that might attract more women to Drupal and help those who are involved to gain influence in the Drupal world and in the universe-at-large. Let's think out of the box . . .
D. See what idea can be implemented.
I look forward to your thoughts. As a newbie, I defer to the collective wisdom of those of Drupal women who have lived it and have insights and observations to inform the discussion.