This week at OSCON, Kirrily Robert, a/k/a Skud, gave a great keynote
([slides](http://infotrope.net/blog/2009/07/25/standing-out-in-the-crowd-my-oscon-keynote/), (http://blip.tv/file/2400597))
about women in open source, and how projects can improve by welcoming
these potential contributors.
I loved it, and not just because of the importance of equality in society in general.
From the sake of the quality of our projects, we need to keep
the welcoming not only to women, but to everyone who might feel excluded from
contributing. Contributing could mean anything from submitting code to answering mailing list questions to writing docs. Most specifically, it does not only mean writing code.
Skud worked on two projects that were specifically aimed at and
populated predominantly women. She surveyed the project
members, the
[comments she received](http://infotrope.net/blog/2009/05/19/dispatches-from-the-revolution/)
from project members are telling, such as **”I didn’t feel like I was
wanted”** and **”I never got the impression that outsiders were welcome.”**
I hope that I’ve never given anyone that impression on my projects.
While I’ve always welcomed contributions from everyone, I’ve never explicitly stated it. I think it’s time for that
to change.
I’ve adapted part of the
[Dreamwidth diversity statement](http://www.dreamwidth.org/legal/diversity.bml)
into what I’m calling, for now, a “welcoming statement.” **My plan
is to put this on every module I maintain:**
> The (foo) project welcomes people of any ability level, age, social
stratus, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, nationality,
religion, political opinion or physical aspect. The only requirements
for participation in the project are basic civility and respect for
others.
I also want to put that here on Perlbuzz as well, with additional
wording about my editorial policies as far as what I’ll run and
won’t.
I’m interested in suggestions you might have for improving my
welcoming statement.