tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Edit: I've reached my goal of donations from 30 people, but don't let that stop you :-D

I had some grand plans to write blog posts as part of encouraging folks to donate, but over the weekend I caught a case of the creeping crud, and other stuff happened. Even so, at this point 22 people have donated, which means I just need 8 six five three more people one more person to donate by 23:59 PM Pacific time on December 18 in order to say that I achieved my goal of getting 30 people to donate to the Ada Initiative by my birthday!

In lieu of a longer post, here's a short one that connects two of the topics I mentioned earlier.

I'm male, obviously, so you might think I wouldn't care on a personal level whether or not the open-source community is 2% women (as the best estimates currently place it) or 50%. Sure, I used to be perceived as female, and for obvious reasons, that made it less comfortable for me to study computer science and to participate in open-source projects than it would have been if I'd been recognized as male all along. But, you might think, everything's okay now, right? I might still want the scene to be safer for women out of some abstract moral obligation, but it certainly wouldn't bother me on a personal level to not see any women in the room.

You would be wrong if you thought that, because when I'm at work or at a conference and notice that the people doing work on my level are all men, or almost all men, I wonder why. I wonder what else is going on, what I may not have noticed yet that is happening to drive women away. I wonder what I'm being complicit with without even knowing it. Perhaps more than any of those things, I notice the tone of conversations (both work-related and not) and how, in a strongly male-dominated environment, the tone reflects the lack of gender balance. No, I don't mean that guys at software companies are putting up Playboy calendars and sitting around scratching their crotches all day... not usually, anyhow. I'm referring to more subtle things, like whether a project meeting resembles a group of people cooperating towards a shared goal, or whether it looks more like a contest to see who can display the most knowledge and prove himself the winner. And I'm also referring to whether, during lunches or happy hours, people on a team are capable of talking about anything at all with each other besides just work.

It's not that I think women are intrinsically non-competitive or that they're less likely to be singularly obsessed with work. I do think that given the ways women and men are rewarded and punished for certain behaviors, women in tech are more likely to have interests outside tech and less likely to prioritize displaying how much they know ahead of getting a job done.

I find it depressing and toxic when the only people I work with are men. And I find that to be a distraction from getting my job done. Some people might see it as a distraction when I bring up sexism in my workplace -- for me, it's just something I'm doing in the hopes of creating an environment where I can do my job better, like getting an ergonomic keyboard or sitting near a window. It's not that women's place in tech is just to make guys like me happier, of course. Rather, gender ratios are something that can be measured and that are quite likely to be one proxy for a workplace that's functioning well. A company whose hiring process systematically excludes women is likely to be one whose hiring processes are broken in many other ways as well, and more broadly, that has a culture that's hurting productivity in more ways than just gender imbalance. (Gender imbalance hurts a project or company because it means that people who could contribute more are being pushed out in favor of people who can't contribute as much, just because they're the wrong gender -- and gender is a trait that's irrelevant to performance as a programmer.)

Nothing is going to change without concerted effort, because many men feel they benefit from a professional culture where they don't have to work as hard because they don't have to compete with women. And as I wrote before, one of the groups that's most likely to be remembered as having had an effect is the Ada Initiative.

Thanks again to the people who have donated so far:
  1. [twitter.com profile] Angry_Lawyer
  2. [twitter.com profile] josephcorcoran
  3. [twitter.com profile] ffee_machine
  4. [twitter.com profile] ArdaTisya
  5. [twitter.com profile] nerdonica
  6. [twitter.com profile] chrisleague
  7. [personal profile] cynthia1960
  8. [personal profile] nou
  9. [personal profile] substitute
  10. +n tung (gatoatigrado)
  11. [personal profile] miang
  12. [livejournal.com profile] anemone
  13. Eugene Kirpichov
  14. [twitter.com profile] scouttle
  15. [twitter.com profile] sixty4k
  16. [twitter.com profile] atombeast
  17. Eli Lebow
  18. [twitter.com profile] etrolleybus
  19. [twitter.com profile] aeolianharp
  20. Summer and Carl
  21. [twitter.com profile] acfoltzer
  22. [personal profile] nentuaby
  23. [twitter.com profile] sebfisch
  24. [twitter.com profile] Rohboto
  25. [personal profile] flippac
  26. [twitter.com profile] kowey
  27. [personal profile] gfish
  28. [profile] gwillen
  29. [twitter.com profile] ImreFitos
  30. [personal profile] pseudomonas
  31. [personal profile] yam
  32. [twitter.com profile] PerceptibleBlue
  33. [personal profile] callmesquinky
  34. [livejournal.com profile] rjmccall
  35. [twitter.com profile] musingvirtual
  36. [personal profile] karlht
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Today I am 32! And a total of 26 people were generous enough to donate to the Ada Initiative to celebrate. Thanks again to [personal profile] juli, [personal profile] etb, Henry Andrews, [personal profile] miang, [personal profile] yam, Liyang Hu, [personal profile] cidney, [personal profile] nentuaby, [twitter.com profile] leilazilles, [personal profile] pseudomonas, [twitter.com profile] davidcarr_2001, [personal profile] pastwatcher, [livejournal.com profile] anemone, [livejournal.com profile] gwillen, [personal profile] kyriacarlisle, [personal profile] sonia, [twitter.com profile] DRMacIver, [personal profile] agent_dani, [twitter.com profile] aeolianharp, [twitter.com profile] scazon, [twitter.com profile] wilkieii, [twitter.com profile] GreenSkyOverMe, [twitter.com profile] another_order, [personal profile] ivy, [personal profile] joxn, and Tash Shatz. And a special shout out to [livejournal.com profile] chrisamaphone and everybody else who donated to the Ada Initiative earlier in the year, too! I'd said I would post something apropos every day until 20 people donated, but that only ended up requiring me to write two posts, because y'all are awesome! :-) (There's a third one in the works that I'm going to finish and post anyway, though.)

If you want to find out where your money is going, keep following TAI's home page, which is updated regularly.
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
In ten days, I'm turning 0x20 (that's 32 in base ten). I'm asking anyone who would like to celebrate my birthday to make a donation to the Ada Initiative. Since I'm turning 32, I suggest a donation of $32 (which, conveniently, makes you an "Ada's Supporter") if you can afford it. However, donations of any amount, no matter how small, matter and are useful.

Conveniently, I already wrote about why I support the Ada Initiative, if you're looking for a reason why you should too. To quote myself: "If you're someone who has enjoyed the privilege of working in the tech industry, particularly in open source, and particular if you haven't had to fight exclusion because of your social placement, I encourage you to give back just a little bit of what you've reaped by donating to the Ada Initiative. That is, at least, if you think everybody should have the same opportunities that you had."

In the past, I've used causes.com for this, but this time I'm just asking that people donate to the Ada Initiative directly. If you donate because of my birthday posts, please let me know, because my goal is to incite 20 people to donate, and if you don't let me know you donate, I don't know. You can let me know by commenting on this post, tweeting at me or commenting on my Facebook wall, or -- if you prefer to be private -- emailing me (mylastname at alum.wellesley.edu) or sending me a private message on any of the services I use. Also, I will assume it's okay to thank you in a public post by the name or pseudonym that I know you by unless you tell me otherwise. You don't have to tell me the amount that you donated.

If you've donated to the Ada Initiative this year already, great! Please donate a little more for my sake :-)

I am going to try to post something on my blog every day until I reach my goal of 20 donors, even if it's a link to a post written by someone else. I'll have the first installment up either tonight or tomorrow!

And thanks!


Donors (i.e. wonderful people):

  1. [personal profile] juli
  2. [personal profile] etb
  3. Henry Andrews
  4. [personal profile] miang
  5. [personal profile] yam
  6. Anonymous Liyang Hu
  7. [personal profile] cidney
  8. [personal profile] nentuaby
  9. [twitter.com profile] leilazilles
  10. [personal profile] pseudomonas
  11. [twitter.com profile] davidcarr_2001
  12. [personal profile] pastwatcher
  13. [livejournal.com profile] anemone
  14. Anonymous [livejournal.com profile] gwillen
  15. [personal profile] kyriacarlisle
  16. [personal profile] sonia
  17. [twitter.com profile] DRMacIver
  18. [personal profile] agent_dani
  19. [twitter.com profile] aeolianharp
  20. [twitter.com profile] scazon and we're at 20! (but please keep donating!)
  21. [twitter.com profile] wilkieii
  22. [twitter.com profile] GreenSkyOverMe
  23. [twitter.com profile] another_order
  24. [personal profile] ivy
  25. [personal profile] joxn
  26. Tash Shatz
  27. [twitter.com profile] SpencerShiraev

Updates

Dec. 2nd, 2011 02:04 pm
tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Hi!

I'm turning 0x1F in two weeks and two days. This year I'm celebrating by raising money for the Lyon-Martin Clinic in San Francisco, a health clinic that provides informed-consent-based care on a sliding-scale basis and turns no trans person away; they also serve cis women, with a particular focus on lesbian and bi women. I started my medical transition at Lyon-Martin, so it's both personally significant to me and an institution that's very important in the process of establishing informed consent as the only way to provide needed care to trans people.

If you want to donate (which you can do anonymously or not), please go to my Causes page. All donations help, no matter how big or small.

Also, I'm still looking for housing in San Francisco or Oakland starting January 1, 2012 -- if you know of an available apartment or roommate situation, please let me know!

Profile

tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

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