Greater Female Participation in the Technical Community: New LACNIC Initiatives
As part of its commitment to the promotion of gender diversity within the technical community, in 2019 LACNIC led a research process seeking to identify the barriers that limit the participation of women in the Internet ecosystem. Considering these inputs, the organization designed new initiatives to promote women’s leadership in the Latin American and Caribbean digital ecosystem, with a special focus on their spaces and activities.
Led by Carolina Aguerre and consulting firm Mercoplus, the research process identified two actions to encourage the participation of women in LACNIC events and a third initiative aimed at revitalizing IT Women, a space that is highly valued as a place for sharing and professional networking.
One of the first measures was to publish the LACNIC Code of Conduct that applies to online and in-person participation spaces. This code outlines expected and unacceptable behaviors and serves as a guide for the community to avoid potential cases of harassment and discrimination. “This code seeks to ensure that LACNIC events will be safe and inclusive spaces for all the members of our community,” said Carolina Caeiro, Development Projects Coordinator at LACNIC.
To make it easier for parents with young children to participate in LACNIC events, childcare services were offered at the latest events held this year in May and October. The goal of this initiative is to mitigate the domestic barriers that many women who are part of the community face as a result of their role as caretakers, and it encourages both men and women to take their children with them when they attend a LACNIC event.
LACNIC’s third initiative for promoting greater gender equality involves the restructuring of IT Women, the space designed to foster ties among the women of the community.
While the research shows that IT Women is highly valued because it allows networking and the integration of new participants, suggestions were received to revalue and reorganize the space, both in its face-to-face and online implementations.
In this sense, it was considered necessary for IT Women to bring together all members of the community concerned with the construction of a greater gender equality and to be inclusive of men.
The new impulse to IT Women included an interactive coaching and networking session organized during LACNIC 32, where approximately 70 participants worked on issues related to professional development. In addition, two webinars were held. The first of these webinars presented LACNIC’s research and actions relating to the reduction of the gender divide. During the second, Radia Perlman gave a presentation on corporate culture and environments that promote diversity.
Click here to watch the presentation by Radia Perlman.
Subscribe to the Women in ICT list here.