Do you know who Rosie the Riveter is?
Neither did I till some days ago.
I was introduced to the story behind this poster, some months after the death of the woman that inspired the artist, at WordCamp Europe 2018 at Belgrade, during the Contributor day.
Contributor day is a huge opportunbity to assist other users of WordPress, as well as share knowledge and experience and learn a lot of things that will help you to support also 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 and do not 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 to attract these women, to make them feel welcome and show them what the openness of WordPress community is?
At this point, I met two marvellous 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», where a woman withher make-up on and a scarf on her head, wearing her work uniform, lifting her sleeves, in order to set 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, since 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 is Women Who WP, someone could ask and why a meetup of this kind is useful and not concidered as discriminative, since it is addressed 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.
Wanting to confirm that women feel they are valued in the space, the creators of Women Who WP, created this meetup, which takes place once in month, before the regular local meetup, as a dinner among friends resulting to the increase of women attendance to 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