OSS doesn’t seem to be a very enticing career for women unfortunately. Over all my years of OSS projects, I can’t think of any where women outnumbered the men. However, my OSS projects have been interspersed with a variety of other projects where women have dominated the team numbers.
Looking back, there’s almost perfect correlation between the positivity of the project environment and the proportion of women on the team. The teams with few or no women have definitely been the most challenging projects from a morale perspective and least balanced.
The level of “success” of the project also seems to be correlated, but perhaps not quite so strongly, probably due to the larger number of factors that contribute to project success.
I’m not qualified to offer suggestions on why there aren’t more women in OSS (or IT / telco) but based on my experiences, we definitely need more to improve the health of our working environments.
I’d particularly love to hear from any OSS-women reading this blog.