IRL - Online Life Is Real Life

What if Women Built the Internet?

Episode Summary

All the things we love on the internet — from websites that give us information to services that connect us — are made stronger when their creators come with different points of view. With this in mind, we asked ourselves and our guests: "What would the internet look like if it was built by mostly women?" Witchsy founders Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin start us off with a story about the stunt they had to pull to get their site launched — and counter the sexist attitudes they fought against along the way. Brenda Darden Wilkerson recalls her life in tech in the 80s and 90s and shares her experience leading AnitaB.org, an organization striving to get more women hired in tech. Coraline Ada Ehmke created the Contributor Covenant, a voluntary code of conduct being increasingly adopted by the open source community. She explains why she felt it necessary, and how it's been received; and Mighty Networks CEO Gina Bianchini rolls her eyes at being called a "lady CEO," and tells us why diversifying the boardroom is great for business and innovation.

Episode Notes

All the things we love on the internet — from websites that give us information to services that connect us — are made stronger when their creators come with different points of view. With this in mind, we asked ourselves and our guests: "What would the internet look like if it was built by mostly women?"

Witchsy founders Kate Dwyer and Penelope Gazin start us off with a story about the stunt they had to pull to get their site launched — and counter the sexist attitudes they fought against along the way. Brenda Darden Wilkerson recalls her life in tech in the 80s and 90s and shares her experience leading AnitaB.org, an organization striving to get more women hired in tech. Coraline Ada Ehmke created the Contributor Covenant, a voluntary code of conduct being increasingly adopted by the open source community. She explains why she felt it necessary, and how it's been received; and Mighty Networks CEO Gina Bianchini rolls her eyes at being called a "lady CEO," and tells us why diversifying the boardroom is great for business and innovation.

IRL is an original podcast from Mozilla, maker of Firefox and always fighting for you. For more on the series go to irlpodcast.org

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Coraline Ada Ehmke has been an open source programmer for over 20 years and created the Contributor Covenant. You can also learn about Mozilla's own community participation guidelines.

Meritocracy as an open source practice is briefly mentioned in this episode. Mozilla has taken steps to discontinue using the word “Meritocracy” as a way to describe our governance and leadership structures. Here's why.

Mozilla is dedicated to fostering both an inclusive web and also inclusive working places. Learn more.

Firefox is open source and driven by a community of volunteers and contributors. However, in the past decade, representation of women in open source has inched up merely 1.5 percentage points to a shockingly low 3%. Read about the importance of — and efforts to realize — open source gender inclusion.

Like society, the Internet grows stronger with every new voice. What's healthy and unhealthy on the web when it comes to inclusion? Mozilla Foundation's Internet Health Report has some of the answers.

And, check out this article from Common Sense Media, on kids and technology use.