Women of OpenStack is exactly what it sounds like — a group for women who work on OpenStack to collaborate, communicate and support one another.
Better yet, it’s not just for women; quite a number of men are members, too — allies!
Created in 2012 by Claire Massey the Marketing Manager for OpenStack, the Women of OpenStack group has grown from a breakfast in Portland to an active working part of the OpenStack Community approaching 500 members, including myself.
Women of OpenStack created an accessible online community on the OpenStack LinkedIn page, providing an online platform for women and interested allies a way to keep in contact.
We’ve spent the last two plus years making our presence known through OpenStack Summit panels and events. In Paris, at the Kilo Summit, Beth Cohen, Nikki Acosta, Diane Muller and I discussed gender diversity and our experiences as women in the technology industry.
This week in Vancouver for Liberty, Beth Cohen, Nalee Jang, Elizabeth Joseph, Rainya Mosher, Radha Ratnaparkhi and Shilla Saebi talked about how to gain the confidence to contribute to the amazing and diverse OpenStack community in the panel, “Standing Tall in the Room.”
Jang, the User Group Lead for OpenStack Seoul, was fulfilling her dream of attending her first OpenStack summit. Asked what empowers her, Jang spoke of “passion with action,” encouraging those who might struggle with confidence to hone in on their passion.
Having the confidence to present your work in any capacity, whether online or in the office, can be daunting, the panelists agreed that no one recipe suits all. Finding your own strengths and developing them is a personal journey that requires a lot of courage. But surrounding yourself professionally and personally in environments that are encouraging, uplifting and enlightening is one of the best ways to move forward — and the Women of OpenStack can help.
This year, we’re looking to promote this all-inclusive group by sponsoring an Ally Skills Workshop, hosted by the Ada Initiative, which supports women in open technology and culture. The workshop is designed to teach men simple, everyday ways to support women in their workplaces and communities.
If you’re interested in joining the group, or just learning more about what we do, please visit the Women of OpenStack LinkedIn Group.