[kde-community] FOSDEM Organisation

Valorie Zimmerman valorie.zimmerman at gmail.com
Sun Dec 7 00:08:18 GMT 2014

Woah. I never thought I would hear such things here.

On Sat, Dec 6, 2014 at 9:22 AM, Pau Garcia i Quiles
<pgquiles at elpauer.org> wrote:
> John,
> You couldn't be more wrong.
> I have been organizing the Desktops DevRoom for the last 4-5 years (cannot
> really remember), so I can speak from reality.
> There is no discrimination against women in FOSDEM. It's just they do not
> submit talk proposals. Simple as that. E. g. this year we have only had one
> talk proposal from a woman and I had to chase her! In the very few cases
> where they do submit talks, more often than not when you tell them "you've
> got your slot" the answer will be "oh, I won't be attending, I need more
> time to plan". Well, sorry but everybody is notified of acceptance/rejection
> with exactly the same amount of time (4-6 weeks) due to the timeframe FOSDEM
> manages. If men can come, why can't women? (we do also have some rejections
> from men due to too-late notice but it's less frequent).

There are many reasons women don't submit talk proposals. One of them
is the perceived unfriendly, unwelcoming nature of the conf. I'm not
saying that FOSDEM *is* unfriendly or unwelcoming to women. However,
it certainly has that reputation.

Some women are "pioneers" enough to attend, or even speak. That can
require a great deal of courage, which is not always on-tap. Those who
are experienced speakers of course often come up with a talk on short
notice -- I know of many good female speakers. Why are they not
speaking at FOSDEM? Seriously, if the steering committee wants more
diversity, it should be talking to these experienced speakers and find
out why they choose not to come.

> People are overreacting with these CoC's (or lack of). For some reason, and
> it's not discrimination of any kind, women are by far not interested in
> technology and engineering. In the same way they are by far more interested
> in Nursery, Medicine, Psychology, Marketing & Advertising, etc than men. Is
> there a CoC about men for Nursery or Midwife conventions? I don't think so.

This paragraph here leaves me shocked and speechless. Say what?


> On Thu, Dec 4, 2014 at 2:21 AM, John Layt <jlayt at kde.org> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> Just a heads-up that I will not be attending FOSDEM next year and will
>> not be assisting in any way with preparations for FOSDEM or providing
>> any hardware. This is the result of the FOSDEM organisers refusing to
>> institute a proper Code of Conduct for attendees or to take any other
>> steps in addressing the dreadful gender ratio of speakers on their
>> program or attending the conference itself. I have attempted to
>> discuss these issues with them and found their attitude and beliefs
>> completely unacceptable to me. As such I cannot give them any form of
>> support, and sadly that means not helping the KDE community at this
>> event anymore.
>> John.


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