Ruby on Rails Workshop

Thanks to everyone who contributed and attended the workshop this October. We hope we were successful in hosting an attitude-free, newbie-safe and mama-friendly tech event encouraging women to join the Ruby on Rails community.

Women are a minority in most technical communities, but in open source communities the numbers are even smaller — by a factor of about ten or more.

Moving forward, we encourage our newly empowered programmers to meet monthly and use their skills towards open source projects in a welcoming, collaborative, mixed gendered environment.

Click here to learn more about the Open Source Code Crunch.

Corporate Sponsors:




Individual Sponsors:

Julia Ashmun

Monthly Archive for February, 2009


March 5th, Thursday 5-7pm Radcliffe Gym

Join prominent women leaders in a moderated panel discussion on women’s critical place in university leadership at Harvard and beyond.  The panel will be followed by small group discussions, facilitated by leaders throughout the university.  Dinner will be served!  Please RSVP to  hcwc at by Monday March 2nd.


Barbara Kellerman – James McGregor Burns Lecturer in Leadership, Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership Harvard Kennedy School


Jacqueline Bhabha – Lecturer in Public Policy and Director of the University Committee on Human Rights Studies and the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Harvard Kennedy School and Faculty of Arts & Sciences

Judith Glaven – Associate Dean for Basic and Interdisciplinary Research Harvard Medical School

Ann Braude – Director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program and Senior Lecturer on American Religious History Harvard Divinity School


This event is cosponsored by the Office of Faculty Development and Diversity, the Harvard College Women’s Center, the Office for Postdoctoral Affairs, and the Office of Career Services.

Birth of the Netbook

Mary Lou Jepsen, an LCD screen designer, was chosen to lead the development of the One Laptop Per Child project. With such tight constraints Jepsen needed to carefully craft the machine to sell for about $100.

Instead of using a spinning hard drive she chose flash memory—the type in your USB thumb drive—because it draws very little juice and doesn’t break when dropped. For software she picked Linux and other free, open source packages instead of paying for Microsoft’s wares. She used an AMD Geode processor, which isn’t very fast but requires less than a watt of power. And as the pièce de résistance, she devised an ingenious LCD panel that detects whether onscreen images are static (like when you’re reading a document) and tells the main processor to shut down, saving precious electricity.

Asustek crafted the EEEPC with concern that Jepsen’s OLPC machine would be a threat. Within a few months it sold out its 350,000 piece inventory. Turns out people wanted less out of their laptops and the netbook as been a success ever since.

Read the full article from Wired.

Geek Feminism Wiki

Launched last July the Geek Feminism Wiki is “An overview and resource centre about issues facing women in geek communities.”

Seems like they’re trying to be a central repository for all things female geek.  Perhaps they should get together with who is compiling a list of women conference speakers.

Mentor in a Box

It is a common lament at Berkman (and beyond of course) to hear that its difficult to find qualified female applicants for tech staff, for internships, for fellowships, for board positions… you name it.  It is my belief that talent must not only be sought out but cultivated from within.

So I was excited to hear about the Mentoring in a Box toolkit put together by the Anita Borg Institute and National Center for Women in Information Technology via the Systers Mailing list.  The free download offers activities, resources, and tools to support a mentoring pair and “start and sustain a purposeful and rewarding mentoring relationship”.

Might be try growing tech leaders at Berkman and across campus via this mentoring program?