Wise Awards 2016: Why we need more women in open source

WISE International Open Source Award – nominate now!

Christine Flounders, Regional Manager for Engineering, London, Bloomberg L.P.

Wise Awards LogoOrganizations with a diverse and inclusive workforce are statistically more likely to perform better financially than their less diverse peers, as their work reflects the needs and realities of real world users. This is certainly no different in software development.

I have seen first-hand how development teams that approach problems from different perspectives are more successful at spotting issues, tackling challenges, innovating and securing opportunities. But while the benefits of a diverse team are well documented for consumer products, such as health apps, they are often missed for applications that operate behind the scenes, powering businesses, financial markets, even entire economies.

Increasingly, these critical applications are being developed using open source software. Open source makes good business sense; by having many eyes looking at code, bugs can be found more quickly and better quality software can be developed, ultimately resulting in better, more secure products.

Yet these incredibly critical tools, frameworks and systems are generally being built by teams that are even less diverse than typical corporate software development teams. This is particularly troubling when you consider technology companies are increasingly looking for candidates with open source experience to fill top roles.

Addressing diversity in open source is critical to creating a more diverse technology industry as a whole. That is why Bloomberg is sponsoring the WISE International Open Source Award – to recognise those women who are already leaders in open source software projects, and to inspire others to join them.

We are looking for women who have had a meaningful impact in an open source software project. We also want to hear from women who have been visible contributors to their project in order to inspire others to get involved. Finalists will be asked to commit to an activity that helps get girls and women excited about careers in technology in the UK.

For more information and to make a nomination for the WISE Awards 2016, visit the website at https://www.wisecampaign.org.uk/wise-awards/wise-awards-2016

The deadline for entries is 9.00am Friday 15 July 2016.

Kayleigh Bateman
About the author

Kayleigh Bateman is the head of digital content and business development at WeAreTheCity. As a journalist there she covers stories about women in IT and looks after its women in technology community. She was previously the special projects editor for Computer Weekly and editor of CW Europe. Kayleigh attended the University of Hertfordshire, where she studied for her BA in English literature, journalism and media cultures. You can contact her at [email protected]

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