[Linux-aus] Draft grant proposal - women in open source 'tour'

Paul Wayper paul.wayper at anu.edu.au
Fri Jun 1 03:50:24 UTC 2007

Hi all!

I've been thinking of doing a talk at my local CLUG about women in FOSS
- drawing on the FLOSSPOLS research, Melissa Draper's posts, Val
Henson's HowTo and other sources.  It seems to me that there's no overt
sexism in CLUG posts or at meetings, but since we get no women turning
up at all this is a sign that things obviously aren't actually good. 
Obviously, it would be great to have a woman give the talk because a guy
talking about how to encourage women to participate in FOSS is a bit
like a fish trying to describe a bicycle to a snake.  But we have a
chicken and egg problem if I wait for a woman to come to CLUG meetings
so that she can give a talk on why women don't come to CLUG meetings.

So what I'm asking for is some Linux Australia funding to get a woman to
travel to a CLUG meeting and give a talk on the research from FLOSSPOLS
and its findings, and exploring the general area of how to encourage
newcomers of all persuasions to get involved in FOSS.  Alternatively,
fund an entire 'tour' of talks at major LUGs around Australia on the
same topic if supporting one LUG is seen as biased.  I'm sure
accommodation and some expenses could also be catered for by local LUGs.

I'm tabling the idea at this stage to get feedback before I submit a
formal grant proposal to the LA committee.  So any and all feedback is

Thanks in advance,


P.S. I do think that men will respond differently (and be less
interested in changing) to a woman telling them that _they_ have a
problem rather than a man telling them that _we_ have a problem, so I
had envisaged a joint talk with myself and a guest woman speaker from
Canberra giving the talk.  But that's outside the scope of what I'm
asking here, and I don't think it appropriate of me to ask Linux
Australia to send me around Australia :-)  And I still need to search
more deeply in the FOSS hacking community in Canberra for a woman who'd
be interested in doing that joint talk.

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