Carrying the Ada Initiative Torch

By: | August 7, 2015
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CF Summit Diversity Lunch

More than 125 women attended the first Cloud Foundry Summit Diversity Luncheon

Earlier this week, the Ada Initiative announced it will be shutting down in mid-October. The initiative’s positive impact on the technology industry — on society in general — is without question.

A big part of that impact can be witnessed in the way the Ada Initiative’s concepts have become indelibly interwoven into the codes of conduct of a growing number of companies and organizations. It is those very concepts that sit at the heart of our community’s code of conduct.

As an industry, we still have a long way to go toward creating an environment that is as pragmatic, diverse and respectful as it should be. For nearly 5 years, the Ada Initiative worked tirelessly to help us get there. As the sun sets on the Ada Initiative, it is now up to each of us — as organizations and individuals — to continue the much-needed work it started.

Continuing the work of the Ada Initiative

  • Sign up for or spread the word about the upcoming Impostor Syndrome workshops in Oakland or Sydney
  • Sign up for or spread the word about Ally Skills Workshops, eg at LinuxCon Chicago
  • Advocate for a code of conduct in your community
  • Advocate for an anti-harassment policy at your conference
  • Use the AdaCamp Toolkit to start new events or make existing events better
  • Support women and other oppressed people entering your community byimpostor syndrome-proofing it: documenting your norms, providing mentoring for newcomers, and encouraging a supportive style of collaboration.
  • Suggest women or members of underrepresented groups to be speakers and panelists at events you attend
  • Support Outreachy with mentorship, sponsorship, or donation
  • Support Black Girls Code and similar organizations by donating or volunteering
  • Join or donate to feminist hackerspaces
  • Ask your employer to support the Recurse Center
  • Ask your employer to sponsor a feminist event for women in an open technology and culture field
  • Ask your employer to review their hiring process and their HR practices to support employees who are women or members of other underrepresented groups
  • Ask your employer to run unconscious bias training
  • Ask your employer to only sponsor events with anti-harassment policies
  • Ask events you attend to adopt inclusive practices such as access lanes, childcare and travel grants
  • Push the Overton Window by advocating for “extreme” positions supporting women in open technology and culture (remember: once, conference anti-harassment policies were extreme)
  • Start your own brand – start your own company or activist group making change for women in open technology and culture

We need to believe that what we do is bigger than the technology we create. Because we know that by working together we can make the world a better place.