Tech has long had a reputation of being a male-dominated industry where women are drastically underrepresented.
While women make up 59 percent of the U.S. labor force, they fill less than 30 percent of the roles at tech companies, according to CNET Magazine. The data is even more troubling when you consider that female employees are less likely to be in positions where they can influence product development and business strategy, both areas that are positioned near the top of the corporate ladder.
Fortunately, one of the key initiatives of the OpenStack Foundation is to help make the open source community more inviting to women. This week at the summit, there were several fun events lined up to help women forge stronger relationships with each other and with their male allies.
On Sunday, Intel and IBM sponsored a networking mixer on a yacht and a happy hour to help women connect with other women who are working on OpenStack-related projects. On Monday, the Women of OpenStack group sponsored a workshop designed to teach men simple, everyday ways to support women in their workplaces and communities.
Outside of the summit, several companies are taking initiative to improve talent diversity and grow the number of women on their rosters.
Last October, HP launched the inaugural “HP Helion OpenStack scholarship program,” which awards four female students in the information systems field with a $10,000 college scholarship and a mentorship opportunity with HP experts.
At Rackspace, we offer a training program called “Linux for Ladies,” which seeks to create fun and inclusive educational environment for women to earn technical certifications. Following graduation from the workshop, the graduates are invited to attend an eight-week program that will prepare them to become entry-level Linux administrators at Backspace or elsewhere.
Check out this video from our videographer extraordinaire Jacob Forbis to catch a glimpse of how some of the most talented Women of OpenStack are leading the charge in the open source community: