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Re: Thinking of organising a special mini-debconf

On Thu, Aug 15, 2013 at 02:57:28PM +0200, Margarita Manterola wrote:
> After discussing the women in Debian issue with many people here in
> DebConf, I've been thinking that it would be a nice idea to organise a
> mini-debconf where all the speakers are women.  This would be a
> mini-debconf targeted to everyone, like other mini-debconf, with only
> this specific difference about the speakers.

That's a nice idea, thanks for it!

In the same vein, I'd like to take the change of pointing to some
related work in this area. Recently I've attended, and/or followed from
a distance, the main conferences by the FSF (LibrePlanet) and GNOME
(Guadec). They make a point of cherishing and encouraging women
participation as speakers. (The underlying good reason to do that is the
same of your proposal: propose role models.)

The way they do that is manifold, and we might want to try some or all
of them in the context of DebConf, depending on the available
resources. Here is a non-exhaustive list (I'll add more as soon as I
recall them :-)):

- at each conference edition, communicate about the percentage of women
  speakers *at* the conference *and* on official project media, e.g.:
  "this year we have X% women speakers, that's an increase of +Y% over
  last year"

- reserve a given amount of well-visible (e.g. in the main talk room, or
  advertising them as "keynotes") talk slots in the conference program
  --- I guess this is not much of a problem for DebConf, as we rarely
  fill up the conference program *before* the conference, but we might
  want to think about something along similar lines

- have specific travel grants / sponsoring for women speakers, possibly
  explicitly inviting them from other projects.  Two remarks about this:

  - we have had multiple editions of the "DebConf Newbie" initiative in
    the past. This idea is very similar, but it will have a different
    target public (women DebConf participants instead of newbies)

  - doing this right requires quite a bit of coordination with the
    DebConf travel sponsoring team, so this should be taken with quite a
    bit of advance

Stefano Zacchiroli  . . . . . . .  zack@upsilon.cc . . . . o . . . o . o
Maître de conférences . . . . . http://upsilon.cc/zack . . . o . . . o o
Former Debian Project Leader  . . @zack on identi.ca . . o o o . . . o .
« the first rule of tautology club is the first rule of tautology club »

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