2010: The Year of WIOS at Events!

Rikki Endsley

ROSE Blog: Rikki's Open Source Exchange

Oct 26, 2009 GMT
Rikki Kite

I spent this past weekend at Ontario [Gnu] Linux Fest, which was my first trip to this event. Ontario [Gnu] Linux Fest also marked my fourth time speaking at an event this year.

As you might know, earlier this year I spoke at SCALE 2009 for the first time, and in each of my talks I share my experience with the hope that other women will be inspired to speak at events, too. Most of the events I attended this year would have been great events for first-time attendees or speakers.

Now I have a vision for 2010: Let's make a concentrated effort to increase participation by women at events. How can we do this?

Here are some ideas to get us started:

  1. Take a friend/colleague to her first event.
  2. Help a friend/colleague prepare to attend her first event: Offer tips and suggestions, point out sessions that might be a great fit for her, and help her network with speakers and other attendees.
  3. Encourage a friend/colleague to submit a proposal for an event talk.
  4. Attend talks by first-time event speakers and congratulate them for giving their first talk!
  5. Volunteer – or encourage friends/colleagues to volunteer – at an event.
  6. Share your plans to attend events online (Twitter, for example) and arrange to meet up with other women at the events.
  7. Help promote events!!
  8. If you are organizing an event, let people know why your event is a great event for a first-time attendee, first-time speakers, or new members of our open source community.
  9. Contact event organizers and ask them how you can help them increase talk submissions and attendance by women!
  10. Share your stories: If you do attend your first event or speak at an event for the first time, tell us about it!

What would you add to this list?


  • Introduce yourself

    Great list!

    I'd say introduce yourself to other women. Whether they are sitting next to you or you see them in the hall or they give a talk.

    After my first keynote, I was surprised by the number of women that came up to talk to me afterwards. I hadn't realized there were that many women at the event and I really felt like I had their support. It was an awesome feeling.

    FYI, as a speaker, it's always good to hear "that was a great talk" or "I really enjoyed your talk." Maybe you think they they are expert speakers and who are you to judge their talk, but believe me, they'll appreciate the compliments.
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