In March 2011, I asked around at LA Django if anyone wanted to do something about diversity in the local Python community. The 3 female devs who were there that night and myself got together afterward. That night PyLadies was born.
Since then the group has done the following:
We have planned the following:
PyLadies now has a team of 7 female Python developers leading/organizing events, plus 8 male/female volunteers pitching in at our events.
We would like to request funding to cover the costs of 6 6-foot folding tables and 24 folding chairs to use at all our future events. This is our biggest pain point. We only have space to seat 10 people at tables at the upcoming hack session on June 18. At the previous Intro to Python workshop, we were scrambling for furniture and embarrassingly had to ask attendees to bring tables/chairs.
- Based on prices from walmart.com, tables are roughly $40 each: http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cosco-6- Foot-Long-Center-Fold-Table/13269097
- Chairs are roughly $80 for a 4-pack:￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hercules-Hinged-Fabric-Padded-Folding-Chair-4-Pack-Navy-Blue/13241431 Total requested for tables/chairs: $40*6+80*6 = $720
If possible, we request $500 to cover a small print run of PyLadies t-shirts. At the Intro to Python workshop, 7 of the volunteers paid to have their own PyLadies t-shirts printed, to wear the day of the event. It made a huge impact on the attendees. We are not just teaching workshops but trying to build a community of female Python developers willing to help each other, identifiable at events by t-shirt.
- We would like to either sell the t-shirts at events (all profits being used for food at future PyLadies events or printing of materials), and/or give them out to attendees as prizes/incentives for things such as open- sourcing their Python code or participating in other open-source Python projects.
- We have the files in print-ready form. We used Spreadshirt for getting individual shirts printed on demand (see http://www.pyladies.com/t-shirts/), but I’ve brought our design files to local wholesalers in LA’s Garment District and found out that we can get them printed locally for less with a faster turnaround
- We are open to other options too, such as working with t-shirt companies that the PSF has successfully worked with in the past.
PyLadies requests a total of $1220 in funding to help cover tables/chairs and t-shirt printing for our June hack session.
We are starting to see real impact on the LA community as a result of our work. I have now met over 50 women in LA who have told me that they want to learn Python. The last SoCal Python Interest Group meeting had 6 females in attendance, up from 1. The LA Django meetup group is now planning to co- host a women’s Intro to Django workshop, thanks to our efforts.
(Note: since then, I’ve realized that the number of women who attend the regular local user group doesn’t matter. What matters is the number and % of women who attend the local WOMEN’s user group.
The fact that it’s a user group with regular members is all that counts. There’s no need to force the women to attend a mostly-male user group if that’s the situation in your city; there is enough merit to having a women’s Python user group in itself.
Point this out and make it clear that regular attendance at your group is what counts in the end.)