[ubuntu-uk] Age and gender

Lucy lucybridges at gmail.com
Thu Aug 7 10:29:25 BST 2008

On 07/08/2008, London School of Puppetry <lspinfo at gmail.com> wrote:
> In a conversation recently someone said to me that Ubuntu is only for
> techies.....and blokes at that- and young blokes at that!
> Out of interest, as a middle-aged woman- I rarely see any other female names
> on the forum- but I really like Ubuntu but could not do without the help
> from the Forum
>  -what is the general format of the forum?

I've no idea about the forum or mailing list, but I've read
statistics[1] which show that about 28% of people in IT are female but
that only 1.5% of people within FOSS are female. A census of the
Ubuntu community revealed that the proportion of women contributing
was about 2.4%. I get the feeling this has changed in recent years,
but there's certainly still a large gap.

The people I know who use Linux and go to LUG meetings are anything
from 16-70 (at a guess) year old males, with a few women in between.
So there's certainly a large spread, but from my experience people
tend to get involved at college/Uni or after retirement, when they
have some free time.

> and could anything be done to
> change the age/gender profile to make Ubuntu more accessible to others-OR
> are there lots of middle-aged females out there?

That's a whole can of worms ;)

Group like Ubuntu-women and linuxchix[2], etc have certainly done some
research and are trying to help the situation (mostly by providing
support and encouragement for integrating women into the wider

I would strongly recommend listening to the talk that Emma Jane Hogbin
gave at both LUGRadio Live in the USA[3] and UK[4] this year. It's a
good starting point into the subject. In fact, listen to them both as
they cover slightly different things.

[1] http://ubuntu-women.org/
[2] http://www.linuxchix.org/
[3] http://lugradio.org/live/USA2008/schedule
[4] http://lugradio.org/live/UK2008/schedule - it's not available yet,
but will be within the next few weeks.

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