Announcing Julia Gender Inclusive

For several years now, members of the Julia community have noted that our community is not as diverse as it could be. While the community strives to be welcoming, diverse, and inclusive towards people from all backgrounds, our surveys [1, 2] show that we still have a long way to go. This is especially so for gender diversity: The 2020 Julia User & Developer Survey found that only 3% of respondents identified themselves as women*, and did not collect data on non-binary or other genders.

As Julia users and developers whose genders are under-represented in the community, we believe this needs to change. To that end, we are announcing the formation of Julia Gender Inclusive, an initiative to promote gender diversity and inclusion within the wider Julia community. We aim to do this through a combination of community building, targeted outreach, education, mentorship, and mutual support, in the hopes of addressing potential causes of gender under-representation.

We welcome anyone who sees their gender as under-represented within the Julia community, including women, non-binary people, trans people of all genders, and people exploring or questioning their gender. Because gender is multifaceted, we are intentionally being general about what gender under-representation means.

Some activities we are planning for the near future include:

  • A JuliaCon lightning talk on Improving Gender Diversity in the Julia Community
  • A follow-up Birds-of-Feather discussion at JuliaCon on gender diversity
  • Regular meet-ups to foster community building — our first meet-up is scheduled for July 10, 4PM UTC, and you can sign up here!

We have also created a Slack workspace to facilitate communication, discussion, and planning, which we invite any interested members to join! Just fill out this sign-up form, and we can add you to the Slack workspace. You can also reach us at juliainclusive+gender@gmail.com or via direct message on Discourse, whether you are an interested member or an ally looking to offer support.

We look forward to your energy, ideas and participation — and to building an even more welcoming Julia community for all of us, regardless of gender :slight_smile:

– Members of Julia Gender Inclusive
Xuan (they/she, @Xuan)
Kim Louisa Auth (she/her, @kimauth)
Laura Ventosa (she/her, @laurava)
Huda Nassar (she/her, @nassarhuda)
Krithika Natarajan (she/her, @22natarajank)


*We note that there may be under-reporting bias in this 3% figure, given that 10% of respondents declined to identify their gender, and 20% of visitors to JuliaLang.org are presumed to be women by Google Analytics.

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Thank you all for your dedication on this front and for taking time away from your technical initiatives to support the D&I of the community! :heart_decoration:

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:clap::clap::clap:

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Hiya, I laud the attention to Inclusion. I wonder if anyone considers the ‘Seniors’ (>65), registering less than 3% I think. I have recently joined the ranks of this growing demographic. Surprisingly, some of us are still clever and energetic enough to learn Julia(!). But it may be that our priorities might be somewhat different, perhaps more interest in ‘bigger picture’, often less patience with (tangential?) details. I think we might be analogous to the drivers who don’t need to know every detail of how the engine in their car works, but enough to be able to drive it well and safely :slight_smile:

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Are there available resources on a career path for programmers starting off with Julia?

Oftentimes more diverse people are earlier in their careers, and are sensitive to practical skills over other considerations. I see this all the time in hiring, and you also see it in coding boot camp curriculum designs.

I think tools like JavaScript and Python are appealing both because they’re easy to learn, but also importantly, because there are a bunch of entry level, well paid positions that are accessible with those skills.

If we could identify a set of skills needed to get a job in Julia-adjacent industries, and then map out how to build those skills, then joining this community would be less risky for more people.

It would also be interesting to look at personas. Women are more represented in health, life sciences, and physical sciences, so is there anything that could be done to make Julia more useful for practitioners in those fields, and are there marketing efforts that could be made to stir up interest?

I found this JuliaCon presentation interesting, “The rise of the research software engineer”:

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Thanks for sharing this!

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How does Julia stack up for EDI (Equality, Diversity and Inclusion) against other computer language communities?

I take EDI very seriously at work and I am always looking to try promote these issues. I want more women managers/leaders, more women chairing meetings and being given responsibility. A large percentage of our women are from overseas, and Turkey must be doing something right in their education as we get a higher proportion of women applicants from Turkey than any other country. (We need roboticists, software engineers, C++ programmers, control engineers.)

In the UK, physics is mostly taught by men. If more women could be physics teachers, perhaps girls would identify more with that subject.

In the Julia community, what can I do to effect change and not just promote EDI, which everyone can do? A friend of mine has a badge that says: “Wearing a badge is not enough” and that’s where I sit.

(disclaimer: I am a white male )

IMHO: 2 core key concepts need to understand and clearly communicate for white males:

My favorite links
* HBR: Gender Equity Is Not Zero Sum
* Eugenia Cheng : The Art of Logic | video | Math + Relationships
* Eugenia Cheng / Nature: Equity: a mathematician shares her solution
* Eugenia Cheng / TED video:
Eugenia Cheng: An unexpected tool for understanding inequality: abstract math | TED Talk

Diversity Training in the real world is hard … and sometimes ineffective or counterproductive:

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