back to article Lights out for Ada Initiative – women's group closing shop

Women-in-tech advocacy group The Ada Initiative is shutting down. The creators of the women's open-source developer organization said they will be closing down operations following a fruitless search for a new executive director. The group plans to cease operations by mid-October. Started in 2011, the Ada Initiative advocated …

  1. gerdesj Silver badge

    More, please

    "the group said that the decision to close up shop came following a failed effort to bring in a new executive director"

    You reported the facts but no commentary. Are we to conclude that:

    "Started in 2011, the Ada Initiative advocated for women working in the open source software fields. The group took on issues such as discrimination against female developers and the harassment of women at technology conferences." no longer an issue?

    Where's your editorial?

    1. Turtle

      @gerdesj Re: More, please

      Along with the rest of the paragraph we see a situation that can only be called bizarre:

      "The group said that the decision to close up shop came following a failed effort to bring in a new executive director. Co-founder Valerie Aurora stepped down, ... Mary Gardiner declined to take over... Crystal Huff left after just two months on the job."

      Now, if this was an unpaid position, that would perhaps explain some of it but if there was remuneration attached, that must have been one highly-toxic working environment.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More, please

      Has anyone actually seen "harassment of women at technology conferences"?

      I haven't - but I have seen plenty of highly-respected female technologists.

      A non-issue?

      1. Grifter

        Re: More, please

        Well if YOU haven't seen it, then it MUST not be happening! Your logic is impeccable and my hat is off to you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: More, please

          I am yet to see a cow shit gold bricks either, but that can't mean it doesn't exist, right? And who even wears hats anymore?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: More, please

        Yes I have. The harassers were always other womyn though, so there weren't any brownie points to be won.

      3. Glen Turner 666

        Re: More, please

        @gerdesj: "Has anyone actually seen harassment... A non-issue?"

        This would appear to answer your question:

  2. JustNiz

    It seems they are too sexist to have also considered a male for the job. If so, good riddance.

  3. Spaceman Spiff

    I'll volunteer! My wife is a particle physicist, my granddaughter is going to be a brain surgeon, my sister is a world-class musician, and my niece is a well-known latina actress. Me, I'm just a word-class software engineer! :-) At least in my own mind!

    1. Richard Taylor 2 Silver badge

      Yes but word class software engineers are only any good for VBA programming - and who wants that?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Any PHB worth his salt, of course.

  4. Charles Manning

    Unfortunately doomed to fail

    Hats off to any initiative that brings quality people into any industry where they can add their value to society.

    It is true that some people (blacks, women, ...) feel somewhat daunted by an industry that is typically dominated by white males. Efforts to make all people welcome in IT (or any other field) should be welcomed and encouraged.

    Unfortunately though, these organisations tend to become infected with ideologists who put the idealogical mission ahead of the beneficial purpose.

    Reading through the vitriol on that seems to have happened here.

    How is it that the medical profession managed to transition well, but others have not? Perhaps engineering needs to look at what they did.

    1. PushF12

      Re: Unfortunately doomed to fail

      > How is it that the medical profession managed to transition well, but others have not?

      Medicine is tightly regulated. The professional colleges control labor supply and enforce quota according to social policy.

      STEM education was changed in the 1990s to accommodate and encourage female students, but the effort is wasted by a structural oversupply of labor.

      > Perhaps engineering needs to look at what they did.

      Form a strong professional association that self-regulates in ways to ensure that an engineering job is comfortable and lucrative for an entire career?

      A doctor's income only goes up with age and experience. The salary of an average STEM worker peaks within five years, and the harder disciplines have a career half-life of less than fifteen years.

    2. Turtle

      @Charles Manning

      "How is it that the medical profession managed to transition well, but others have not?"

      Malpractice lawyers. Because... they make it impossible to hire the incompetent - irrespective of the gender, race, ethnicity, to which the incompetents might belong. The cost of malpractice insurance and the size of the awards frequently given by juries make it too expensive to hire them.

      On the other hand, if a software company hires a few incompetents and organizes them into a committee to - just to take an example at random! - redesign a Start Menu, and they mess it up, there are no real consequences. So a software company can hire incompetents. And some software companies take full advantage of this by hiring no one except incompetents.

    3. Ole Juul

      Re: Unfortunately doomed to fail

      Reading through the vitriol . . .

      I don't see any comments there now. Perhaps they decided that would not be a positive legacy - and that's probably a good thing.

    4. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: Unfortunately doomed to fail

      I don't see much evidence for domination of the industry by white males in, say, India, China, Vietnam, Myanmar... Singapore does have a problem of domination of the industry by non-Singaporeans.

  5. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's Lottie Dexter when you need her?

    Presumably she can code now, it only takes a week to learn. The job would be ideal.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This was one of the paragraphs from the Ada Initiative's site that bothered me:

    AdaCamp awakened their feminist identity, helped them improve their careers, and connected them with a community of support. Many women realized for the first time that what they were going through was not unique to themselves, that their negative experiences were the result of systemic sexism, ...

    Because this reads as having nothing whatsoever to do with IT, and nothing to do with helping women finding jobs in IT, and everything to do with blaming others for your own lack of success - a sorry trait in anyone. It's always easy to be a victim.

    Why does a lack of women in IT have to be only caused by 'systematic' sexism (whatever that actually means), presumably from men? What is a 'feminist identity' and why is this helpful to getting a job? Is there some sort of 'masculinist identity' I should be awakening in myself, in return, or is that just not fair?

    People that push the whole 'if you don't win you've been discriminated against' ethos don't help themselves, and don't help others.

    Finally, CVs I receive from women are of the same standards as those I receive from men: some very good, some not so good. I hire accordingly.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    So, a hotbed of ideologists mixed with Wiki and Scientology

    Good grief, no wonder Crystal left in a huff !

    1. Andy 73

      Re: So, a hotbed of ideologists mixed with Wiki and Scientology

      I heard it took a little longer... maybe a minute and a huff.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You'd need a heart of stone to not find this funny.

    Reminds me of the story of Spare Rib (1970's feminist rag) told on BBC radio a few years back. The BBC tried to get all the ex-editors of the magazine together but due to 'differences' they wouldn't be in the same room as any of the others.

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Schadenfreude

      To quote Chris Rock, "Women would rule the world – if only they’d stop bitchin’ about each other."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Schadenfreude

      "In this edition of the Reunion, Sue MacGregor brings together five of the women who created Spare Rib"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Schadenfreude

        Ah! Not the programme as was thinking of. I seems to remember it being a multi-part (3?) series on feminism.

        Still, this shows that not all those working on Spare Rib are hostile towards their ex-colleagues. (I presume. I'm not prepared to listen to 45 minutes of man bashing.)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Closing due to irrelevance?

    With every company now firmly signed up to the diversity agenda, the Ada Initiative kinda lost its raison d'etre.

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