[hackerspaces] How Do You Bring In Women?

spider spider at spiderwebz.nl
Fri Jan 18 19:31:42 CET 2013

On 18.01.2013 19:00, Zack Freedman wrote:
> It seems like many hackerspaces get women through the doors but scare
> them off. The MakerBar has a slightly different problem - women 
> simply
> never show up in the first place!
> Of the 750+ people who have come through our doors, perhaps ten have
> been women. I'm wondering how to increase this.

Hold this thought!

> Women of the hackerspace universe, how did you find out about your
> current space? What event brought you in?

I'm fitting the stereo type. Friends birthday, meeting a great bunch of 
people, went to another party and another party, irc, meeting boyfriend, 
getting sucked in big time while organizing HAR2009. But, to be hones, I 
was already a geek I just didn't know about the hacker community being 
so close and inspiring.

> For what it's worth, our 'stickiness' with women may even be better
> than men. Of those ~10 women who've shown up, one is a member and two
> are diehard class and open-house addicts who come back very often.
> Almost all of our members are married or in committed relationships;
> either way, we're a pretty classy and non-creeper bunch that I can't
> see scaring anyone away.

For starters, let you members bring their wives and girlfriends. Ask 
them what they would like to do in your space, why they don't come more 

> It must be awkward being the only girl at a space, and I'd like to 
> get
> a critical mass to make anyone, no matter what demographic, more
> comfortable.

It can be, but it doesn't have to be. Apparently your only female 
member doesn't care, otherwise she wouldn't come back. I wouldn't mind 
either, I only care about being treated with respect while having fun. 
Not being stood off as "the girl that doesn't know", but taking time to 
explain things so I can learn them. I'm a noob, I already know that, now 
go on and make me less of a noob!

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