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News from the Wikimedia Foundation and about the Wikimedia movement

FOSS Outreach Program for Women: success and new round

Rachel Thomas at work.

Round 6 of the Free and Open Source Software Outreach Program for Women (OPW) has been successfully completed. Our intern, Rachel Thomas worked remotely from Boston (MA, USA) on Browser Test Automation for VisualEditor in a full-time Summer internship. For more detail on her work, check her wrap-up blog post, her project reports and her code contributions.

In total, 37 women took part in this OPW round, working with 16 open source projects including the Linux Kernel, Mozilla and WordPress.

There was only one Wikimedia intern in this round, but only because seven others were also participating in parallel in Google Summer of Code (GSoC). There were 6 interns in the previous editions and we plan (tentatively) to fund 8 positions in the next round, expected to start at the beginning of 2014.

While GSoC interns are paid by Google, in OPW the funds come mainly from the organizations participating in the program. At the Wikimedia Foundation, we’re starting to work on the next round. We consider that OPW is playing an important role in bridging the gender gap in our technical community. In the previous seven years, only one woman got a GSoC internship at Wikimedia. This year, more than a third of our interns were women (8 out of 21).

To make sure that this becomes a trend and not just an exception, we need your help!

  • Spread the news about the program, and encourage your tech friends to join when applications open. Remember that, in many cases, we have to break well-established social inertia: many more women will do the first step if they receive a personal invitation.
  • Propose a technical project, even if it’s a rough idea. We will help you polish it.
  • Volunteer as a technical mentor. Women are welcome! We want to close the gender gap at the mentorship level as well.
  • Fund an intern. Chapters and other organizations willing to pool resources with the Wikimedia Foundation are welcome.

We also welcome ideas to promote other profiles typically underrepresented or discriminated against in technical projects. We strive for equal opportunities, and we believe that diversity will make our community stronger and our projects better. If you agree, get a head start by exploring how to contribute! It will increase your chances of being selected when you apply.

Quim Gil, Technical Contributor Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation

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