At many open source conferences, discussions about diversity come up and there is a lot of talk about how to make the open source community more inclusive and welcoming. While the Open Source Programs Office’s Jeremy Allison was at GUADEC, he had a chance to talk to someone who is actively doing something to get more women involved in free software. Marina Zhurakhinskaya, GNOME Shell developer and Senior Software Engineer at Red Hat, is an organizer of the GNOME Outreach Program for Women and she spoke to Jeremy on camera about the program’s activities.

One of the projects that the program has completed was a mentoring program similar to Google Summer of Code, which provided six women with mentors and stipends to help stimulate open source development. They plan to repeat their success again this year with the 2010 GNOME Outreach Program for Women, which will run from mid-December through mid-March to coincide with the Southern Hemisphere’s school break. If you’re interested in participating, take a look at the list of participating projects to see what sparks your interest, check out the mailing list, or help spread the word to anyone who you think should apply!

Thanks to Fabian Scherschel of Sixgun Productions for operating the camera.

By Ellen Ko, Open Source Team