Prospective Organizers

So you’ve decided to start your own PyLadies group – YAY!

We’re excited to have people like you join our growing community and want to help you get your group launched as quickly and painlessly as possible. If our experience is any indication, your first major event will galvanize and inspire the Python community in your area and create momentum for subsequent events, so it’s crucial to start things off on the right foot!

To help you get started, we’ve created this open-source kit for starting your own PyLadies group in your city. PyLadies is part social club, part stepping stone toward the Python open-source world.

Things to Think About

Types of Local Groups

A local group can be:

  1. a geographic group: for a city, region, state, or country
  2. a student group: for a university, college, or school
  3. an interest group: for any topic (e.g. PyGame, SciPy, Django)

The larger the local group, the harder it is to meet in person. Large local group’s events will be mostly virtual meetups that occur online, whereas small local group’s events tend to be in-person meetups.

A local group can consist of sub-local-groups, making both the in-person and virtual meetups possible.

Group Size

It’s fine if your local group is small. Having just 2-3 women who meet regularly to exchange Python tips and tricks counts as a local group. What matters most is quality, not quantity.

Larger local groups have more flexibility to organize different types of events, but it’s harder to get everyone together for dinner.

Event Frequency

There are no formal requirements for how often a leader hold events. However, we highly encourage that - at minimum, to try and hold one event a month. This helps keep interest in PyLadies from flagging, and helps people maintain their progress in becoming better developers. You can hold more events with proper support and planning.

Suggestions for event types and event resources can be found under Event Ideas and Event Hosting Resources.

Process Overview

Everything is listed in Checklist, but an overview of the process is:

  1. Think about who you’d like to have help you, if you’d like.
  2. Think about the name of the location. For instance, do you want “PyLadies of Super Awesome City”, or “Super Awesome City PyLadies”, or “SACPyLadies”? We highly encourage to not choose a name that is the whole country or state, e.g. “PyLadies of California”. We do not want to discourage other women from starting a local PyLadies, say “PyLadies of Santa Barbara” when “PyLadies of California” is only focusing on the Bay Area.
  3. Fill out the initial interest form (linked in the checklist).
  4. If you haven’t heard from anyone within a week, please ping us! Once you do, you will be given a PyLadies email address, which is also your Google Apps account.
  5. Sign up for ALL the things with your new PyLadies email address, like Meetup.com, Twitter, Facebook, or anything that’s relevant to your location.
  6. If you have signed up for Meetup, you may request reimbursement of fees paid from the Python Software Foundation. Check out their grant process for more information, as well as a Python Software Foundation Grant Proposal.
  7. Think about how you want to setup your website (e.g. a static HTML/CSS/JS site, or a dynamic site with Django/Flask/etc). More information in Creating your own Local Website
  8. Fill out the PyLadies resource form with all the new accounts (linked in the checklist).
  9. Start hosting events!

DON’T GET AHEAD OF YOURSELF

Please do not purchase domains or setup email addresses; we do that for you! We need to maintain accounts (both for trademark and administrative purposes).

Process Checklist

Here’s all of what needs to be done to start a PyLadies group locally. You may of course adapt this list to meet your group’s needs.

PART 1

Fill out the initial PyLadies group interest form to get your namespace setup for your group domain and email. If you haven’t heard anything within a week, please ping us!

Once you have received a confirmation that the the initial PyLadies request form was approved and setup, continue on:

PART 2

  1. With the new @pyladies.com email address, sign up for the following social media/communications accounts (if it makes sense for your local group):

    1. Twitter
    2. Facebook
    3. Google+
    4. GitHub
    5. IRC/Freenode
  2. Whether it’s Meetup.com or another local event/community site, start the local group with the pyladies.com email address.

Note

TIP! Uber-frugal? Get half-price Meetup fees! Complete all of the Meetup forms, but stop when you reach the payment page. In 24 hours, you will receive an e-mail from Meetup.com, with a link to complete the payment process at half price. :)

  1. File for a reimbursement for Meetup fees to the Python Software Foundation by following their grant process. A sample grant request can be found here.

Note

The Python Software Foundation will reimburse Meetup.com fees for PyLadies Meetup groups. However, if your location does not use Meetup.com but a different/similar site that charges, still file a reimbursement!

  1. Sign up for a Heroku account with your pyladies.com email address. This will be used to setup your website, which is documented at Creating your own Local Website once you’re ready.

  2. Fill out the PyLadies resource form for contact information, all group information, etc. This is for administrative purposes (e.g. what social media accounts do we own, where should we send PyLadies stickers to, etc), and will not ever be shared outside of PyLadies.

  3. Request to join the following mailing lists:

    1. PyLadies Global Organizers list - all global organizational communication and coordination is done via this list. You’ll be introduced to the mailing list.
    2. PyLadies Global Members list - a global list for PyLadies (and PyGent allies) members. Feel free to introduce yourself and the new location.
  4. If you’re familiar with IRC, come hang out in the #pyladies channel on Freenode.

  5. Plan your first event! Check out New Organizer Reference for New Organizer information. Start promoting your new group via various local channels, including meetup.com, local PUGs, related groups, and universities, as well as the global PyLadies Members list!

FAQs

This FAQs are specifically for prospective or new local PyLadies organizers. If you are a member or just curious in learning more about PyLadies, check out the FAQs here: Frequently Asked Questions.

Can men attend local PyLadies group events?

It’s up to you Generally, it’s good to hold women-only events as well as events for both genders (either women and +1 guests, or anyone who wants to attend). Just be aware that the dynamic of the room tends to change when the male:female ratio becomes lopsided.

A good way to hold a mixed-gender event is to partner with a local Python user group.

Note

Be extra-clear in your event description about whether men are allowed/what the rules are – it will save you a lot of time, and prevent awkward conversations.

Can I use the PyLadies logo and graphics for any purpose?

Yes! But please read our logo usage policy.

TL;DR is that any of the graphics in our PyLadies assets repo can be used for your own group promotion and/or to show your support. You may also alter the PyLadies Wordmark or PyLadies Geek logo to adapt it to your location. Check out examples on our locations site.

Logos used with the intention to sell merchandise, please seek permission from the PyLadies leadership.

There is “official” merchandise sold - with proceeds going towards PyLadies - at our own spreadshirt site.

Can transgender women be PyLadies?

Anyone who considers herself a lady and does Python is a PyLady/Python lady. We support all women, whether female by birth or not.

We encourage you sure to make trans women feel welcome by saying so in your meetup group and event descriptions. Here is an example of a statement you could include:

PyLadies [city] is welcoming to and respectful of trans women. We encourage all women to come out to our meetups.

If the idea of trans people is new to you, you might want to take a look at this fantastic illustrated book about gender, this comic, or any of the many other introductions to trans issues on the internet.

How do I set up reimbursement for Meetup fees?

The PSF will most likely reimburse your Meetup.com organizer fees for a local Pyladies meetup. Please refer to the checklist for more info.

What if my question isn’t answered here?

Ask in IRC #pyladies on freenode if you wish. But feel free to organize your PyLadies group however you wish, and make it completely your own. We’re here to help you, not to limit you or control your plans.

Questions & Contact

If you have any questions or concerns about the process, drop us an email or ping roguelynn or estherbester in the #pyladies channel on Freenode!

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