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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Open Source: My Journey and Contributions at Bitergia

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At Bitergia, we are proud to be at the forefront of advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in the world of Open Source Software (OSS). DEI is not just a slogan but a fundamental principle that drives innovation, collaboration, and the overall success of open source communities. In this blog post, I will provide an overview of the DEI-related work we have done at Bitergia over the years and invite you to join me at the upcoming FOSSY event, where I am co-hosting the DEI track.

Bitergia's Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Open Source

At Bitergia, we have been dedicated to promoting DEI in OSS through various initiatives. One notable example is our involvement in founding the CHAOSS Project and its DEI working group. Together with the community, I helped define community health metrics and later branched off to address more specific DEI-related challenges. The DEI badging initiative has made these metrics actionable, providing event organizers and OSS projects with a tangible way to signal their commitment to DEI. Additionally, Bitergia actively participates in the CHAOSS project’s own DEI initiative, collaborating with the vibrant and active community to drive positive change.

We also participate at Open Source Events to spread the word about DEI initiatives, as for example, at the Open Source Summit Europe in 2022. You can watch my recorded presentation about Squashing DEI Bugs in Open Source Projects:

Assessing DEI in Communities

Another crucial aspect of our work at Bitergia is assessing the DEI landscape within OSS communities. Over the years, we have conducted in-depth analyses and published reports that shed light on the state of DEI in prominent projects. For instance, our gender diversity analysis of the Linux Kernel’s technical contributions provided valuable insights into the composition of contributors and highlighted areas for improvement. Similarly, our OpenStack Gender Diversity Reports for 2016 and 2017 explored the representation of gender diversity within the OpenStack community. Additionally, we analyzed the retention rate of the Outreachy program in OpenStack, uncovering important findings to guide future initiatives. Furthermore, we have collaborated with partners such as Anita Sarma, a Professor at Oregon State University, to identify common contributing barriers and develop frameworks for addressing them effectively.

diversity equity and inclusion visualizations
Women doing 1st commit to Linux Kernel by semester-extract from the Gender-Diversity Analysis Of The Linux Kernel Technical Contributions

Why DEI Matters to Me and Open Source

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, DEI holds deep personal significance for me. The strides made by the gay rights movement have allowed me to live the fulfilling family life I have today. My husband and I are foster and adoptive parents working with teens, some of whom identify as LGBTQIA+. Witnessing their unique challenges and experiences has reinforced the importance of DEI in creating a more inclusive society and providing opportunities for those who would otherwise face discrimination.

While I have been fortunate to encounter minimal discrimination and enjoy the love and acceptance of my family, I am acutely aware that many LGBTQIA+ youths do not share the same privilege. This fuels my commitment to DEI, driving me to pay it forward to the next generation and actively contribute to building a better society.

Furthermore, I find it baffling that the open-source community, which prides itself on collaboration and inclusivity, still exhibits stark gender disparities, as highlighted in DEI surveys. This realization compels me to be part of the solution, working towards a more equitable and diverse open-source landscape. By fostering a welcoming environment, we can attract a broader range of talents, ideas, and perspectives, leading to innovative solutions that benefit everyone involved.

DEI at Events: Join us at FOSSY!

Diversity Equity and Inclusion at FOSSY

I am thrilled to invite you to join me at FOSSY, where we will continue driving the DEI agenda forward. FOSSY is an exciting event next week (July 13-16) in Portland, Oregon. Alongside esteemed co-organizers Sri Ramkrishna, Anita Ihuman, and Aarti Ramkrishna, I have curated a diverse program highlighting various topics and perspectives related to DEI in OSS. We have reached out to inspiring speakers to share their insights and experiences. We’re particularly excited about the Unconference session on Saturday, where attendees can actively participate by bringing their topics and facilitating discussions. 

Also, join me in my talk about using metrics to assess Open Source Community Health on Friday, July 14, at 4:30 PM PDT. We will look at real-world examples of metrics for building and supporting open source communities.

Join us at FOSSY to learn, collaborate, and contribute to the ongoing!

Georg Link

Georg Link

Director of Sales at Bitergia

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