Do you know who Rosie the Riveter is?
Neither did I till some days ago.
Two amazing ladies introduced me to the story behind this poster at WordCamp Europe 2018 at Belgrade, during the Contributor day. It was only some months after the death of the woman that inspired the artist.
Contributor day is a huge opportunity to assist other users of WordPress, as well as share knowledge and experience. And also learn a lot of things that will help you to support your local community, back home.
One of the topics concerning me, as a woman and active member of technological communities, is that for some undefined reason, while there are many women to the sector of Technology, they are not active members of technological communities. These women come forward neither as speakers, nor as attendees, nor as volunteers and do not socialize and network. What could we do, the ones more active, so that we attract these women? How to make them feel welcome and show them what the openness of the WordPress community is?
At this point, I met two marvelous ladies, who talked to me about the Women Who WP meetup. Speaking of Jen Miller and Bridget Willard, who have been also assisting us with some other issues concerning our Community.
Naomi Parker Fraley is the lady that inspired J. Howard Miller, in 1942 in order to create the poster of «Rosie the Riveter». A woman with her make-up on and a scarf on her head wears her work uniform, lifts her sleeves, and sets herself as a good example. “We can do it!” is the slogan that tried to call forth women, to start working in factories, during World War II. After all, the men were fighting. However, the poster ended up becoming a global symbol of the feminist movement and women as an economic power, while in turn inspired the design of the Wapuu for the Women Who WP meetup.
What are Women Who WP?
And why a meetup of this kind is useful and not considered as discriminative, since it addresses solely to women?
While every meetup should be female-friendly, unfortunately, this is not always the case. Generally, everyone is welcomed, regardless of gender and age, of course. Just while everyone is accepted in a general group, a specialized meetup enhances the comfort level for all.
“We are women-inclusive, not gender-exclusive.“, is noted on their website.
During a Women Who WP meetup
Wanting to confirm that women feel they are valued in the space, the creators of Women Who WP, created this meetup. It takes place once in the month, before the regular local meetup, as a dinner among friends. As a result, increases the percentage of women attending the regular local meetup. At the same time, they use Facebook Live, in order for them to record the sessions so that also the ones staying at home due to obligations feel involved.
It is a reality for women the difficulty of taking time out of their responsibilities to focus on improving their skills and networking.
During the meetup, they introduce to each other, talk for something they have good knowledge of, and after the questions, they share something new they learned about WordPress during the past month, increasing their confidence and gaining the courage to apply as speakers at meetups, WordCamps or other conferences.
“It’s essential that each of us realize that we can make a difference and welcome one another. Whether at a general WordPress Meetup, a specially designated Women Who WP Meetup, or an informal gathering of colleagues, we need to be encouraging one another in this tech journey. The industry we have chosen to be a part of moves quickly, and it’s only through learning from one another and supporting each other that we can flourish. It’s all about community —developing it and making sure everyone has a place in it.” – Jen Miller