[nycbug-talk] Re: Women in Open Source (fwd)
Tue Aug 3 10:14:37 EDT 2004
On Mon, 2 Aug 2004, Pete Wright wrote:
> so dru, do you think from your experience that most FLOSS projects are just
> boy's clubs...or what?
Definitely not a boys club, not from my perspective. I've had 4 careers so
far, 3 of which are obviously male-dominated. I've been a mover, a worker
at a scrapyard, a municipal government employee, and an IT techie. I
quickly found out from my moving and scrapyard stints that while guys will
initially groan when they see a female on site, you earn great respect
once you show that you're there to work and that you do your job well.
They keep each other in-line, watch out for you, and woe to the fellow who
hints anything inappropriate.
I discovered boys club when I became a govt employee. While 85% of the
workforce was female, they were the grunts. All the good paying, good
respect positions were held by males who did all the stuff that gives
govt. a bad name: extended lunches, golf games, secret back scratchings
behind closed doors. Being a smart cookie, I quickly worked my way through
all the female positions and asked how I could improve my position further
(the pay was beyond terrible). I was told to get a certain degree for a
certain pay hike and promptly started night classes. Half way through my
degree (when they realized I was serious) my manager had a meeting with me to
explain how I was to be commended for my efforts but in this day of
"budgetary cutbacks" and "fiscal restrictions" it wasn't likely I would be
seeing a pay increase anytime soon. I quit on the spot. (happened to be
the 4th of July which appealed to the American half of me...)
When I entered IT, it was at the tail-end of the boom, when govt. was
still paying people for retraining. Half of my class of 12 was female and
4 of the top 5 in the class were female (girls tend to be more studious).
By the time I was teaching at the school, we always had at least one
female per group of 12, but more often 2 -5 per group. How many (male or
female) actually found and kept IT jobs once the boom busted? I don't
My introduction to open source was through the FreeBSD questions list.
While I quickly learned to RTFM, besides that I found it to be a friendly
enough place with lots to offer learning-wise. The only weird thing that
happened on the list was some time in 98 or so some guy (who's name I've
long forgotten) had a little schizo-fit. (Anyone remember that one?) Was
told to clean up his posts or be banned but he quit the list himself with
quite a flaming swan-song.
Anyways, I'm rambling and need more coffee.
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