Active Diversification in Open Source
We’ve heard -over and over- that the tech industry needs to address the diversity problem and be more inclusive. However, it’s rare to hear how people are solving the problem. Griselda Cuevas explains how to bring cultural diversity to open source by using a framework for active diversification. Mexico is known for its large software manufacturing centers, and Guadalajara is even called the Mexican Silicon Valley. So it was surprising to find out that open source projects are not a big part of the software culture. This is why OSOM (Open Source Mexico)—a community led consortium focused on bringing the experience of contributing to open source projects—was founded by IBM, Google, and Tacit Knowledge. The purpose of this consostium is to work on cultural challenges that make it hard to participate in open source, from the language barrier to feelings of not being “good enough” or not being welcome to a new community. These are situations lived by all minorities. Gris discusses how OSOM is approaching this opportunity, detailing how OSOM is structured, the main focus areas of the group, and the impact it has had in the Mexican ecosystem, in order to inspire and empower other minorities to create similar initiatives to boost diversity and inclusion in their communities. They call this “active diversification”: they lead by example and expose groups to the communities they want to diversify; they empower them; and they work on smoothing the entry barriers.
Griselda Cuevas Zambrano