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How CNCF Is Tackling Diversity in Open Source—and at KubeCon

With KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + OSS China 2019 Diversity scholarship applications due next week –April 15 at 11:59pm PT — we’re proud to provide this update on CNCF’s efforts to improve diversity in open source.

According to GitHub, the gender imbalance in open source is overwhelming—with only 3% of contributors identifying as female and 1% as non-binary. To help address this massive gap, CNCF has been working to improve gender parity and inclusivity throughout the community.

“Well sure we all know we need more diversity, but the problem is that the majority isn’t showing up and helping the minorities! We need the community to collectively come together and make this a priority by providing opportunities for the minority to be present and heard, both at events and within our companies.” – Kris Nova, Senior Developer Advocate, VMware

Since 2016, CNCF has offered more than 485 diversity scholarships to traditionally underrepresented and/or marginalized groups in the technology and/or open source communitiesincluding, but not limited to persons identifying as LGBTQ, women, persons of color, and/or persons with disabilities—to attend KubeCon + CloudNativeCon events.

For the Seattle event in 2018 alone, CNCF and the following sponsors invested a total of $300,000 to help fund 147 diversity scholarships: MongoDB, Twistlock, Two Sigma, Aspen Mesh, and VMware.

To read more about the experiences of previous scholarship recipients, read their blog posts here. CNCF also funded the beacon project, a code of conduct reporting and management system.

CNCF has also partnered with The Chasing Grace Project, a documentary series about women in tech, to help highlight the lack of diversity within open source. “It’s important to show how men’s and women’s day-to-day experiences are quite different,” Cloer says. “Having a voice in communities like CNCF and getting access to conferences like KubeCon also have a big impact for women.”

To that end, more than 40% of keynote speakers at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2018 in Seattle were female, a jump from 29% female speakers at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2017. In addition, the co-chairs for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon CHina 2018  in Shanghai, as well as for the conference in Seattle, are both women (Janet Kuo & Liz Rice). It’s part of an effort that CNCF hopes will encourage and increase the participation of a diverse community for future events.

In addition, the Foundation is committed to making KubeCon + CloudNativeCon an inclusive event through the following initiatives:

  • Free child care and nursing rooms;
  • All-gender restrooms;
  • Communication stickers to support social interaction for people with a variety of disabilities and communication needs;
  • EmpowHER Reception, a fun evening event for attendees to network with other women in the tech industry and discuss ways to increase inclusivity in our fast-growing ecosystem;
  • Diversity Luncheon (a recording from the May event can be found here) is a lunch and panel for the open source community and diversity champions to connect around ways to promote inclusivity;
  • Support of the Inclusive Speaker Orientation course, created in collaboration with the National Center for Women & Information Technology; and
  • Strict policy around no all-male panels or keynote lineups.

Anyone interested in applying for the CNCF diversity scholarship to attend KubeCon + CloudNativeCon + OSS China 2019 in Shanghai June 24-26, can submit an application hereapplications are due April 15th at 11:59pm PT.