[Linux-aus] The Ada Initiative - Should Linux Australia support it?

James Purser jamesrpurser at gmail.com
Tue Feb 22 15:28:33 EST 2011

On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM, Jon Jermey <jonjermey at gmail.com> wrote:

> I tend to agree with David, to the extent that I think the first goal
> of the ADA Initiative should be to establish whether there IS a
> problem: i.e. are there qualified women who would like to be further
> involved in ICT, if so, what are the factors preventing them from
> doing so, and are these factors different for the different sexes? And
> I'd like to see the answers backed up with verified objective data. So
> if that is going to be part of the first proposal for funding I am all
> for it. But as David points out, assuming there is a problem without
> submitting any evidence of it is putting the cart before the horse.

Okay see here's the thing. The factors preventing women from participating
further in the ICT industry should NOT be different from those preventing
men. The very idea that because one set of people has ovaries and the other
testicles is a valid reason for differences in this industry is absurd, and
given the examples of other countries, patently false.

 If you're genuinely looking for people to talk to about this issue, then
may I suggest people like Pia Waugh, who's been working hard to try and fix
this well identified problem for a number of years. She will be able to
direct you to relevant information, studies and papers.

> > So from this can I assume that you don't find the fact that there is such
> a massive imbalance to be a problem?
> A 'problem' is some rectifiable state of affairs that harms or
> distresses people. You have yet to show that a) anyone is harmed or
> distressed and b) that the state of affairs is rectifiable.

As I said, I would recommend that you do a bit of reading on the matter. The
industry has a history of having a blokey culture (see Booth Babes as an
excellent example) that has forced women to become blokier than thou to
survive, and the FOSS community is no different to the rest of the industry.
This is a known problem, with a known solution. The problem of course is
that the solution is cultural change, which as we all know is never easy,
fast or clean.

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