Thanks to the attention my diversity work has received, I'm seeking a way to make it scalable and sustainable so I can devote more time toward these initiatives. But I need your help!
As many of you know, I've been working on a number of projects over the past year to improve diversity in the tech community. A handful of examples:
- I did a two month long survey and round of interviews with groups and programs that aim to bring more people from a wider variety of backgrounds into tech through education, the forthcoming results of which will help more people start similar groups and programs.
- Created resources for conference organizers to encourage them to make their events more friendly to a diverse group of people. While the project itself ended a couple months ago, every week I work with different organizers one-on-one to improve their conferences and attract more diverse speakers and attendees. I've also been honored to serve on the advisory board for a few others.
- Interviewed nearly 100 companies and individuals for The Diverse Team, a book to help employers change their hiring, interviewing, and outreach practices to increase diversity within their organizations. A few times a week I speak with businesses on how to improve their culture and outreach to create positive change through hiring and community involvement.
- Spoken about diversity, inclusivity, empathy, and education in podcasts, at conferences, on twitter, and have had numerous conversations with individuals to help them better understand both the problems and the solutions to the lack of diversity and empathy in our communities.
- I speak with businesses, non-profits, and other organizations to help them with their own initiatives that aim to make our communities better for everyone.
- On the local level, I run a women in tech group in Madison to help people feel more comfortable speaking in front of a group, presenting, and practicing before submitting to conferences and other events. The group fosters a safe environment for people to learn, be vulnerable, and make mistakes. With volunteers from this group, I also hope to create an after-school program for financially underprivileged kids to learn how to code.
- I mentor people who are new to programming, which may be one of the most rewarding things I've ever done.
I do these things because I'm passionate about them. I love open source and I love our community. I want everyone to be able to experience the awesome things we're able to create together. It's work that's really important to me and has the potential to change tons of lives.
As a freelance developer over the past 4 years, I've been afforded a lot of opportunities to take on amazing projects as I dream them up. I've been able to educate, speak, and provide resources for people who need them while still having time to work on fun open source projects. Here's the thing: I've gotten to a point where my community work is starting to overtake the time I have for paying freelancing work.
This is where I need your help.
I want to fund these community-betterment projects and my open source work either through full-time employment or through the support of businesses and organizations.
If your company is passionate about open source, sees the value in increasing diversity, and wants to make the community a better place, I'd love to talk to you about what we can accomplish together. I'm especially interested in places that already have remote employees and are intentional about their culture.
Why Increase Diversity?
Diversity yields superior results for businesses and organizations. Research has shown that more diverse companies make better decisions, think outside the box more, and produce more innovate products than homogenous companies. A recent industry report estimates that by 2012, teams with gender diversity will double their chances of exceeding performance expectations when compared to all male teams. Companies with diverse boards and directors experience a significantly higher return on equity, higher sales increases, and return on invested capital. Diverse organizations are more able to compete in a global landscape when their workforce is representative of the market.
In short, your financial success and viability as a company are directly related to the makeup of your teams.
- Minorities and High Tech Employment (pdf)
- The Business Case for Gender Diversity (pdf)
- The Bottom Line, Corporate Performance and Women's Representation (pdf)
- The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies (book)
- A Different Kind of Diversity: The Changing Face of Engineering Education
- Diversity: Promoting New Perspectives
Ideal Job Description:
- create and develop new tools for reaching technical audiences (books, documentation, podcasts, workshops, etc)
- promote work through speaking engagements at conferences and other events
- focus on increasing adoption of open source tools in diverse and emerging communities
- help develop diversity-friendly hiring practices, outreach, and culture
- organize and execute technical education programs that are inclusive and accessible
- developer evangelism across online and in-person communities
- contribute to open source projects
- developer, 12 years
- freelance + contract developer, 4 years
- team augmentation
- project management
- conference and community organizer, 10 years
- open source advocate
Many people have asked me how they can help on an individual level and that means a lot to me. I have a gittip, which is the easiest way to fund my projects for as little as 25cents USD per week. If you want to contribute to any of my projects or would like help with your conference or other initiatives, email me and we'll set up some time to chat :)
Thank you <3
I'm in this amazing position today thanks to the outpouring of support I've received from businesses, organizations, and individuals who've helped lift up my voice and work. I couldn't have done this without you.
Taking it to the next level: hire me or help me fund my diversity projects bit.ly/Z2cEPH
— ashe dryden (@ashedryden) April 17, 2013