Happy Women’s Day!
Today we are celebrating Women’s Day. Thank you to everyone who is making the tech sector more inclusive! Let’s continue working together to achieve gender parity and embrace equity. There might be problems coming our way, but we also have each other. Join us and meet the FSFE Women team.
“Women's freedom is the sign of social freedom.”Rosa Luxemburg, philosopher and socialist
Many women (as well as other under-represented groups) still have to ask for security and equal opportunities in the workplace and in other areas of their lives. Women and diversity bring different skills, viewpoints, and experiences to the workforce. To thrive we need women in technology and in Free Software, both as developers and as part of our movement. In 2018, women made up only 22% of AI professionals worldwide, and in 2021 they made up only 16% of computer systems managers in the US.
Women should be involved in shaping our digital infrastructure, bringing their own ideas to solve collective problems. It is paramount to harness women’s talent while building technology that addresses their needs. They should also have a voice in key decisions. We invite everyone to join us in making technology an inclusive space that improves our society.
"Diversity drives innovation – when we limit who can contribute, we in turn limit what problems we can solve."Telly Whitney, computer scientist and former CEO & President of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology
Join FSFE’s Women group
The FSFE Women group was created to help women -and everyone who identifies as female- to make connections and go deeper into technological issues. FSFE Women meets online every month to discuss different topics related to Free Software. The group is women-focused and open to inter, trans and non-binary people as well. You can join the group:
- through its Matrix chat room,
- join the FSFE Women mailing list,
- drop by the FSFE Women’s next team meeting Monday the 20th of March 2023 starting at 8 pm CET, or
- contact the FSFE community coordinator.
One of the activities of this group has been compiling a list of Women groups in Free Software to increase networking and lead those who want to code to existing Free Software programs.
"Coding is today's language of creativity. All our children deserve a chance to become creators instead consumers of computer science."Maria Klawe, Harvey Mudd College President, Computer Scientist
Moreover, the Women group has contributed to the FSFE wiki page with resources on programming for children. Let’s get more girls to code too!
Technology can empower users to achieve equality
"If we want technology to serve society rather than enslave it, we have to build systems accessible to all people -be they male or female, young, old, disabled, computer wizards or technophobes."Anita Borg, computer scientist, founder of the Institute for Women and Technology and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.
Access to technology is a crucial aspect of achieving gender equality and creating a more democratic society. Technology must be at the service of everyone. And Free Software can respond directly to people's needs. Because it allows users to adapt it to their needs, it is a powerful tool to develop and bring technology to populations that lack coding skills.
Free Software can help close the gender gap. The use and development of Free Software, by providing accessible digital tools, supports the process of digital transformation and provides women and other under-represented groups with digital skills and the opportunity to develop their own software according to their needs.
For all the amazing potential of technology to be useful it must be unrestricted. We need Device Neutrality, for example, so that users can install and uninstall any software they want.
“We encourage women to crash computers and to put it all back together again. Preferably with an improved installation.”Genderchangers, a network for women, technology and freedom of information
We need software that does not restrict the users. With Free Software we can use a program fully without restrictions or trials, and we can understand, adapt, and share its code. We need software freedom.
Did you know?
The FSFE has implemented a code of conduct clarifying that in our communication channels people are expected to behave excellently towards each other. We formed a Care Team so that if you have experienced or become aware of behaviour contrary to the principles enshrined in this Code of Conduct, you can report it there. We have also taken measures to improve diversity within the FSFE.
“Political work should also be pleasurable, sociable, fun. If we can’t create organizations and enterprises and cultures like that, we’re not going to succeed.”Barbara Ehrenreich, American author, activist
In the Free Software movement we try to combine our work for software freedom with fun times. Stay strong and restless, but do not hesitate to chat with our community if you are just interested to meet like-minded people.
In this article we brought together quotes and artwork from women and non-binary people. Special thanks to Gwenn Seemel for sharing their art.
- Rosa Luxemburg text, picture
- Telly Whitney text, picture
- Maria Klawe: text, picture
- Anita Borg text, picture
- Genderchangers via Aileen Derieg: text, picture
- Barbara Ehrenreich: text, picture