12 Days of Good- Day 3: LinuxChix
We continue yesterday's theme of utilizing Linux & Open Source Software to bring more accessibility to tech to groups of people who aren't always included. Yesterday it was about disadvantaged kids in rural areas. Today, it's about women. If you're curious as to why I started this '12 Days of Good' series, you're more than welcome to check it out. Now onto Day 3!
LinuxChix "is a community for women who like Linux and for anyone who wants to support women in computing. We are an international group of Free Software users and developers, founded in 1999 with the aim of "supporting women in Linux." Founder Deb Richardson described it as an alternative to the "locker room atmosphere" found in some online technical forums and gave LinuxChix two core rules: "be polite" and "be helpful." LinuxChix is now many things to many people, but it remains primarily a group for supporting women in computing, specifically in Open Source/Free Software/Software Libre computing."
Being that I'm blessed with having four younger sisters & several nieces, I've always been a huge supporter of women in computing. I've seen the problem with my own eyes- our society doesn't always encourage women to go into Math & Science fields so it creates a dearth of women in tech. I still recall being in college & speaking with a fellow student who was in the Engineering school & how appalled I was to hear that she felt very isolated due to not being that many other women in the program. Thankfully, that's slowly been changing over the last decade. In no small part thanks to such positive initiatives like the global movement that is LinuxChix.
So when I heard about this great group of people many years ago, I sought out the local chapter. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that LinuxChix LA allowed men to be a part of their group (each chapter sets its own rules on whether to allow men entry or not). And what a fun group it is! They're always around spreading Linux, Open Source & penguin love. Matter of fact, they won the "Most Memorable Booth Award" at SCALE earlier this year. Not only did they win, they received the most votes overall by a wide margin. That's not only a testament to how cool their booth was but also to how much fellow techies in the Open Source community support the LinuxChix initiative and women in computing, in general. I'm sure they're primed to defend their title again in February 2014 at SCALE 12x!
But it's more than that, I just love seeing more diversity, as diversity brings more differing viewpoints to a project, community or anything in between. That can only be a good thing. So look up a LinuxChix chapter in your community. There's even a ChicasLinux subgroup which focuses on doing the same great things for women in the global Spanish-speaking community. It's about inclusion. The more the merrier!
p.s. A female piloting a penguin mech? The LinuxChix logo is badass!