The meteoric rise of the OpenStack project is a unique phenomenon in the world of OpenSource software. It has been helped by the years of hard work put in by other OpenSource projects to be accepted by the commercial mainstream as viable solutions. OpenStack has also had the backing of vendors and other commercial punters from very early on in its lifecycle. OpenStack is also a truly global project with users and developers from various countries and backgrounds coming together to produce cutting edge software.
With that background, I think working towards making the OpenStack community and the Foundation as inclusive and diverse as possible becomes very important. OpenStack has the potential to change the way computing is done the world over. It behooves us to look at diversity in a meaningful way. The OpenStack foundation has several programs that support diversity already: OpenStack Foundation participates in the Outreach Program for Women and runs the travel support program for attendees looking to travel to the OpenStack summits.
However I feel we could be doing more. There have been several meaningful conversations within the OpenStack board, the Foundation and the community at large about diversity. I think the need for setting goals related to diversity has been acknowledged at all levels. To this end a Diversity working group has been formed. The specifics are still being worked out but I would like to applaud the Board and the Foundation for taking a step in the right direction. Together we can ensure that voices from diverse backgrounds are heard and given support. I also feel privileged to be given a chance to represent my community at the OpenStack Board and to have a small role in the formation of the Diversity working group. I will strive even harder to increase engagement with the community in my part of the world and I will also push for greater participation from the community in the project.
If any of you feel like you have some suggestions that can help with diversity or how we could be improving engagement with the global community and people from diverse backgrounds, please feel free to reach out to me.