Problems about diversity do not come from the Drupal Community

Thursday, February 9, 2017 by Tina

When I saw what happened on Drupal Camp Munich, I began to think about diversity even more. Make no mistake, I thought about it before too, but just not in that large extent. Nevertheless, the problem seems an important one to me, but it far surpasses the borders of a »small« Drupal Community.

Including the copies of a men's lifestyle and entertainment magazine in the welcome bag for attendees on Drupal Camp Munich was, in my opinion, far from appropriate for such event. We know that besides the negative comments, one of the speakers canceled his session due to the lack of action and communication by the organizers around the »spotted« problem. But that kind of actions are up to the individuals. The most surprising thing for me was that there was only one female speaker on the event. But that's not all. I also even think that not a lot of women applied for the sessions in the first place.

A casual observer might think that the problem lies directly in the Drupal Community. Since I am also a Drupal web developer myself, constantly in touch with the Drupal Community, I must reject such argument. I generally think that there are a lot of discussions about diversity in Drupal Community, trying to tackle the problem. However, as stated above, the problem surpasses the borders of a Drupal Community.

Namely, I think that problem about diversity begins in schools. It all begins very early, when girls are, as kids and juveniles, not encouraged and included enough to take part in computer things. So, if the problem was tackled in such early days, there would be more women in IT industry and consequently more in Drupal community.

Since World is not black and white, I am quite aware that not every profession has the perfect balance about genders and never will have. Web development is one of such examples, because women are simply not interested in this profession as much as men. So, that's also one of the factors to keep in mind. Still, I must say that I even if I am more or less surrounded by men, I participate in a Drupal Community as much as I like, and don't feel overlooked or neglected. Furthermore, I even think that if I ever wanted to achieve something more, there wouldn’t be any problem. For example, having a session on any Drupal Camp. But of course, as long as my lecture would have been interesting and important.

All in all, I was in majority surrounded by the opposite gender all my life. Therefore, I am quite aware that the problem about diversity is far more complex and should be dealt with in its early days. Drupal Community should also take part in it, by respecting both men and women. All should be given the same chances to prove themselves if they want to. To be fair, I think this is happening already. The latest example, which I must point out, is definitely DrupalCon Baltimore, which set the goal to increase the diversity of our speakers, attendees and sponsors on the event. I hope they will make it.