Yesterday, I was very excited to announce that PHPWomen will be partnering with Open Source projects who foster open, friendly and respectful communities. We work with project leaders for these projects to identify specific areas where they can use the most help, then we, in turn, promote these opportunities to PHPWomen members. The result is that we get more women involved in contributing to open source, open source projects get the help they desperately need, and everybody goes home happy.
It's interesting to note that while we ask that a project provide a Statement of Diversity, or other similar language somewhere on the site, this is not always easy to do. I understand some hesitation in putting this idea in writing, and if a project leader instead can assure me that our members won't be harassed by a bunch of assholes, then I'm okay with that. By linking the PHPWomen name with your project, we're putting faith in the fact that you will treat everyone (male and female) with respect and as a valued member of the community.
I've been asked by more than one person why a Statement of Diversity is needed, when that should be the default. It should be obvious that everyone is respectful and treats all others equally. My answer to that is yes, it *should be obvious*. But it's not. Consider this. If you take the time to dedicate a page of your site, or even write up language that suggests your community embraces diversity, is open, friendly, and doesn't tolerate disrespect or discrimination based on anything, then that tells me that this is a priority for you. It sets the tone for your community. It clearly identifies your stance on the matter. If I come to your site, and I don't see anything anywhere that mentions how you treat newcomers, then for me to assume you're going to welcome me and my contributions with open arms ... well that's a big assumption to make. So while we don't require it, we do appreciate those that take the time to clarify the culture of their communities.
We already have 6 projects that have partnered with us, and are in discussions with numerous others. We are proud to partner with these awesome projects, and you can read more about them or see what specific opportunities they have:
If you are the project leader of an awesome Open Source project, and you'd like to be included on our list, by all means give me a shout at Elizabeth.at.Naramore.dot.net. And if you have considered contributing to open source, but you aren't sure where to start, then check out the wonderful opportunities that are out there!