FSFE in Outreachy?

Daniel Pocock daniel at pocock.pro
Fri Sep 1 07:54:20 UTC 2017

On 01/09/17 07:52, Carmen Bianca Bakker wrote:
> Re-posting the below, which ended up on the wrong mailing list:
> Hi,
> I don't know if it's okay if I add my five cents (adjusted for
> inflation), but I'm reasonably well-read on this and adjacent topics, as
> well as included in the list of minorities that would be sponsored under
> the Outreachy program.
> But I am unequivocally against such programs, on the simple grounds that
> it tries to combat discrimination _through_ discrimination, which is
> about as silly to me as trying to achieve world peace through war.  It
> generates envy/antipathy in individuals from groups that are excluded
> from the given list of minorities, and it generates imposter syndrome in
> those who are, because they might only be hired/accepted because of
> their status as minority, rather than excelling in their skillset.

In this particular case, Outreachy, many of the people who are not
eligible for Outreachy can already apply to GSoC and be accepted there.

So what Outreachy is doing in this case is simply making a lot of noise
to attract women to apply for internships that are very similar to GSoC

It could be argued that Outreachy should simply direct those applicants
to apply to GSoC though

In numbers: there are usually around 50 women selected in each
Outreachy, while there were over 1,300 people, including women, selected
in the current round of GSoC.

We also have many cases where a woman applies to Outreachy but we
encourage her to duplicate her application in GSoC so she can be funded
with Google's program.  In these cases, when the woman is selected in
GSoC, it is because her application is competitive with the male
applicants and she deserves to be selected on merit.  Yet we would not
have met some of these applicants without the publicity created by

Some of the points made by Karen Sandler in her talk at DebConf address
your concerns too:


> I would be very against getting involved in this program, though I know
> that the FSFE currently practises positive discrmination selection
> standards for its internship program:
>> We want more women to be involved in Free Software. That's why we will
>> give preference to applications from suitably qualified female
>> candidates.
> from https://fsfe.org/contribute/internship.en.html
> I'd personally be a little bit disappointed if this carried any
> significance in my being selected as intern, because I do believe that I
> can hold my own with my unique skillset.
> On Thursday, 31 August 2017 13:43:59 CEST Daniel Pocock wrote:
>> Increasing diversity could also help avoid situations like this in
>> future.
> I don't know if there is any evidence to suggest this.  Where there are
> humans, things sometimes go awry.  Having a more ethnically/sexually
> diverse cast of humans doesn't change that.
> Be that as it may, I don't aim to change any hearts or minds.  I just
> wanted to add my couple of cents.
> Yours sincerely,
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