Towards a balanced gender mix at EclipseCon

James Governor recently blogged about his desire to have a good gender balance for his upcoming Thingmonk conference.  This is something that I would like to see at our EclipseCon conferences.  At the most recent EclipseCon Europe event we had only 27 women out of 589 attendees. Not very good; actually pretty pathetic.

I don’t know of any silver bullet to address this imbalance. I like to think, at least hope, EclipseCon is a welcoming event for women. At past conferences, most women attendees I have spoken with seem to enjoy the conference. If this is not the case, I would invite people to please let me know what we can do to make it so.We will be putting a code of conduct in place but we need to do more. If you have suggestions please leave a comment or send me an email (ian dot skerrett at eclipse.org)

One thing I would like to encourage is more speaking proposals from women. We have had some great women speakers in the past but they are unfortunately female speakers are always a minority. The Call for Papers is now open so the timing is good. If you are a women or know a women that would be a great EclipseCon speaker please submit a proposal. I am happy to report that we will have our first female keynote speaker. We will be announcing all the keynotes in a couple of weeks but I know she is going to be awesome.

3 Responses to Towards a balanced gender mix at EclipseCon

  1. You could start by requiring Program Committees to contain at least 1 woman.

  2. Tricky issue…

    A friend gave me this very interesting link http://geekfeminism.wikia.com/wiki/FLOSS

    “1.1% of OSS contributors are women”
    > Then Econ is representative of his community with 4% of women

    ” Often, women are treated as rare and special creatures, put on a pedestal, and treated as exceptional merely for showing up. (The informal shorthand for this is “OMG a girl!”) ”
    > Main issue is to find the balance between valorisation of talented women which may encourage other women to work in computer sciences (and in that case I THINK it would be OK), and valorisation of women that are not so talented and would never have been there if they were men (because this is a form of sexism).

    Do not have any answer, but this is definitely an interesting question.

  3. Fabian Steeg says:

    Alex, the 1.1% number seems to be from 2002. Same page says in GSOC percentage has been rising, to almost 10%. Compared to that, percentage at ECE was only half. Not to speak of the question of why it’s still only 10% even in GSOC and how to fix that.

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