[hackerspaces] Women in Makerspaces

Bilal Ghalib bg at bilalghalib.com
Thu Jan 17 22:47:42 CET 2013

Lamba Labs* is a hackerspace that GEMSI helped build out in this last
October 2012. The current board is run 50% females and the workshops draw
many women to the space. Many of the problems of attracting women to the
hackerspace has been avoided by 3 important things:

1) Beautiful, clean, nice smelling space. The hackerspace is housed in a
vintage Beiruti apartment
2) Running skill and knowledge free workshops first. Like clay sculpting,
screen printing, light painting brought people who were interested in being
creative and didn't care about the tool chain.
3) The founding members attract people like them. Start off with women in
the space's board end up with women on the next board and in the
membership. The trickle down effect of this is powerufl.

Please check out some of their photos on their facebook page:
http://www.facebook.com/LambaLabs and say hello. They're great folk!

Also, we're looking for someone who is interested in being a resident in
Lamba Labs for ~1 month. To bring in new energy, do some talks and
workshops and work on an //awesome// project. Hope you're all well



On Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 12:25 PM, spider <spider at spiderwebz.nl> wrote:

> On 17.01.2013 21:02, Melissa Hall wrote:
>> Hi! A question, what exactly do you want to know from other women?
>>> If
>>> they also feel uncomfortable when there's less than 15% or so
>>> women? Or
>>> what values we seek in makerspaces/hackerspaces? If other women
>>> think
>>> they can take leadership? Or if they actually would like to take
>>> leadership? Or if we need another women to take leadership? Or...
>>> all of
>>> the above?!
>>> Grtz,
>>> Spider
>> Spider- Any of those things would seem like an interesting thing to
>> discuss, this was really more a sort of this is how I feel, how do you
>> feel thing than a request for data.
> I believe it's up to the women (each women for herself) to decide which
> part they want in makerspaces/hackerspaces. For me it's quite easy, I don't
> feel the need to learn programming or great networking skills. So I don't
> know how men would respond to me writing some cool code or designing an
> amazing network. I just like the creative flow that hangs around spaces,
> the sharing knowledge and art of what people are doing. I don't seek for
> special values, but I like the fact that (at least in the Netherlands)
> everyone is welcomed, how weird or different you may be. Everyone has
> something to add to the picture! Of course I would like to see more women
> in these groups, but also not just any girl (I don't consider myself to be
> a "girly-girl" so to many of those would scare me off).
> Most of my own activities are getting things organized. So I can imagine
> myself taking leadership and being a board member. But that's up to the
> person itself. If you want to be a board member, take matters in your own
> hands. Speak up, take action, organize. If you're not willing to fight for
> what you want to do, do you really want it? I'm not telling anyone they
> actually should harass people around them to get a spot anywhere, but you
> do need to take your own initiative. Nobody is handing it to you. If they
> do it's probably because you earned some respect in that matter and showed
> the needed skills before. To me there's no difference in claiming your spot
> as a board member as claiming your spot as a good developer. Could be the
> "macho" you were writing about, but effort needs time and devotion. If
> anyone lacks those, nothing will happen.
> Grtz,
> Spider
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