I’m going to buck the trend and not name names on my post for Ada Lovelace Day 2009. Instead I want to salute the women of the Ubuntu Women project for making participating in Ubuntu and in Open Source software in general just a little more supportive, friendly, and welcoming. Unless one comes into our spaces to troll or harass, in which case the banhammers are swiftly dealt 🙂
Over the years (and it’s been years now!) I’ve hung out in #ubuntu-women on freenode, participated in the mailing list, and run into U-W participants at conferences around the world. Through this, I’ve gained an invaluable support network, a place to vent to my peers, a great group of male allies (by which I mean guys who support the U-W project), and a bunch of fantastic friends.
Ada Lovelace Day is all about role models, and I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of women to look up to than the ones I hang out with every day in #ubuntu-women. Thanks for all the great conversations, and let’s keep working hard on bug number 1!
I would be remiss to not mention my friend Behdad Esfahbod’s post for ALD, because he picked me to write about. I’m delighted and honoured that he wrote about me. ETA: looks like Joey DeVilla and Karen Fung did too!
Two of the most important books I’ve read in my entire life are Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever’s “Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation – and Positive Strategies for Change” and the follow-up “Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want“.
They’ve inspired me to make significant changes in my life – negotiating the salary for my first “real job”, challenging contracts and business practices that I didn’t think were fair, and generally making my life way more awesome by asking for – and nearly always getting – what I want.
Yesterday, for example, I sent a note about the MOO cards I ordered to their support desk asking for a replacement set of cards because they had misprinted mine. It was a small issue, and they offered me a half-off coupon, but I insisted that they send me a whole deck – and guess what, they did. Kudos to them for solving the issue, and to me for asking, and then asking again.
I’ve created a Twitter account called @askdaily, inspired by these books and this particular incident, to share this kind of “happy negotiation moments” – mine was little, but I’d love to retweet people’s (particularly womens’) successes with job negotiations and promitions, contracts, car repairs, sales negotiations, housework splitting, whatever the happy moments that people get from asking for what they want out of life.