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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

Archive for the 'Events' Category

New Ruby on Rails Study Group

Come join us in our quest to hone our Ruby on Rails skills! Using Michael Hartl’s Ruby on Rails 3 Tutorial as our textbook, we will work chapter by chapter building our skills together.

Meetings will be held every-other-week on Wednesday evenings starting at 6:30 pm. and will last approximately 2 hrs. RBM Technologies has graciously donated meeting space. Attendees will chip in to buy a communal dinner. Non-alcoholic drinks will be provided, but feel free to bring your own beverage of choice.

The next meeting will be held at RBM Technologies on March 16th, 6:30 pm, 215 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02142 on the first floor across from the entrance to Technique. The information desk can assist if you have problems finding the office.

RBM Technogliges is a short walk from either the Lechmere or Kendall T-stations. On street parking is tight but sometimes you will get lucky. The Cambridgeside Galleria parking lot is closeby and very affordable after 5pm.

Attendees should have read/studied and completed Chapter 1 & 2 before the next meeting.  We will start with Chapter 3. Bring your laptop, a hard copy of the book if you own one, and your enthusiasm.

The Ruby on Rails Study Group for Women is being coordinated by Liana Leahy,, and Susan McM. Tucker,

Feel free to forward this announcement to anyone who might be interested.

Workshop Update

We’re excited for the upcoming Ruby on Rails Workshop for Women event.  The enthusiasm of the ruby on rails community has exceeded expectations.

We’re proud that we’ve been able to offer childcare to our attendees who might not have otherwise been able to attend and due to a generous donation made by Julia Ashmun, the referral fee has been waived!

The focus of the event is to encourage women to participate in open source development.  So workshop coordinators made the request that men who wish to attend find a woman to sign up who might not otherwise have considered checking out a tech event.  There was never any intention to exclude men from the event, but rather enlist their help in broadening the community.

So in response to community feedback and to be as inclusive as possible, we’re opening the event up to anyone who would like to attend — girl geeks, boy geeks, and all geeks in between.  Just sign up here. Looking forward to the day!

Ruby on Rails Event

The Berkman Center at Harvard University in coordination with the Center for Research on Computation and Society is putting together a Ruby on Rails workshop for women on October 16th and 17th.

We are seeking to create an attitude-free, newbie-safe and mama- friendly tech event to encourage women to join the Ruby on Rails community. Men are warmly welcomed when they find a woman who wants to learn Ruby on Rails who will register and bring a guest.

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

For more details, read on

Girls in Tech Boston Event

This is a bit of short notice but nonetheless:

Girls in Tech | Boston

The Boston Chapter of Girls in Tech will be hosting a lifestyle panel discussion designed to explore the following issues:

* work/life balance
* career management
* leading a purpose-driven life


* 6:00 – 7:00 pm » Networking
* 7:00 – 7:45 pm » Panel Discussion
* 7:45 – 9:00 pm » Open Audience Discussion

Event Details

* Date » Tuesday, June 30, 2009
* Time » 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
* Location » 38 Cameron Gallery, Cambridge, MA

This event is FREE. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments will be served. Reservations are required.
More info here.

EVENT: Navigating Gender & Sex ID in the K-12 Setting


From The Dress-Up Corner to the Senior Prom: Navigating Gender and Sexual Identity Development in the K-12 Setting

Do you have questions about how to address issues of gender and sexuality in the classroom? In schools? In districts? How do you respond when first graders start a debate about “boy” colors and “girl” colors? What happens when 3rd graders start using “that’s so gay” as a put-down? How do you help your gender variant 5th grader navigate the complex social world in school? Gender Identity and Sexual Identity are aspects of everyday life in K-12 schools, whether these issues are part of the formal curriculum or not. School age children develop their own personal identities- and learn about culturally sanctioned identities- all the time. By middle school and beyond, the stakes get higher. According to the 2007 GLSEN National School Climate Survey, 86% of LGBT students reported being verbally harassed, 44% reported being physically harassed and 22% reported being physically assaulted at school in the past year because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. LGBT students are at risk; students who are perceived to be LGBT are at risk. And all students, regardless of their identity, need accurate information and appropriate guidance regarding these issues. On April 9, 2009, an 11-year-old 6th grade boy who attended a charter school in Springfield, Massachusetts hanged himself after enduring chronic bullying from classmates, including daily taunts of being gay. This kind of tragedy can be prevented.

QueerEd and the Office of Student Affairs are sponsoring a workshop dedicated to starting the dialogue about LGBT issues in K-12 classrooms, featuring clips from the the award-winning documentary, It’s Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School. ( The workshop will be facilitated by Jennifer Bryan, Ph.D. Dr. Bryan is a psychologist and consultant who specializes in helping educators consider gender and sexuality, as these issues relate to K-12 school life. ( We encourage educators with all backgrounds, identities, and experiences to bring their questions and join us for this important and interactive learning opportunity.

Light refreshments will be provided starting at 7:00 p.m.
When: Thursday, April 30, 7:15- 9:00 p.m.
Where: Larsen G08

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MENSPEAKUP, Tuesday April 28, 2009

This looks interesting. Anyone want to attend and blog on it?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall
Refreshments will be served
Please join us for the public launch of a new online initiative dedicated to showcasing the majority of Harvard men who care about ending sexual assault, promoting gender equality, and creating a positive dialogue.
This website is a student initiative and will serve as a platform for the community featuring psa clips, blog postings, and pledges of support from campus leaders and alumni.
The event is open to the public. Please join us on Tuesday and sign up on our Facebook Page

Supported by:

Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response

March 18th Mini-Conference – Mind Map

By Anita Patel, Junior Web Developer, Berkman Center for Internet & Society

The March 18th Mini-Conference had great discussions and led to a lot of varying thoughts and ideas. The speakers varied in areas of expertise:

  • Duncan Kennedy — considered a historical feminist framework
  • Eszter Hargittai — examined gender difference in perception of technology skills
  • Nancy Hafkin — questioned the international world: broadband access; SES issues; international branch developing countries
  • Judith Donath — looked at trust and identity. construction of gender… through the flexible are the constructions?
  • Dena Sacco and Diane Rosenfeld — dicussed legal issues in pornography, rape, crime on the Internet
  • Margo Seltzer & Elizabeth Stark –searched for models and experiences of visionary -gendered leadership

The thoughts gathered from these discussions were so diverse that the best way to represent them is through a mind map. So I made one. To view the Gender and Technology Mini-Conference Mind Map, click here

Kennedy presents 7 Threads of Second Wave Feminism

At the Gender & Technology Mini-Conference on March 18, 2009, HLS professor Duncan Kennedy presented 7 threads or topics in Feminism & Critical Legal Theory from second wave feminism (late 1970’s-Mid 1990’s). We’ve posted the video of his fifteen minute presentation and attached a graph of his framework.


7 Threads of the Second Wave

One of our goals for the mini-conference was to do some mapping of the theoretical space, and DK’s presentation provided a helpful historical sampling and much food for thought. We carefully selected the term “gender” to encompass the activities, areas of inquiry and scholarship that we hope to support with this Initiative, but we are also interested in understanding the impact of various schools of feminist thought on scholarship on gender in the digital space. At times these waves feel like a tapestry and at times feel like a snarl. We don’t know yet if these 7 threads are complete and/or are satisfactory, but they do mark a beginning and they indicate a possibility: how might a Second Wave Feminist framework apply to Gender & Technology studies?

Gender & Cocktails this Friday at the Enormous Room

Here’s a post from our friends at the MIT Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies. I’ll be there and I’d love it if you were able to take a break and have a cocktail as well. –RFB

Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies at MIT

Graduate Students’ Happy hour

Take a break and join us on Friday, April 3, 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the Enormous Room at  567 Massachusetts Avenue in Central Square.

Meet fellow graduate students from all participating GCWS institutions engaged in gender and sexuality studies, hear about our student programming, and participate in a discussion about how it might be enhanced.   The event is free  and refreshments are provided.  RSVP is required — please RSVP by Tuesday, March 31st,  to Andi Sutton at

How Working Couples Can Share It All: Getting to 50/50

Tuesday, April 7, 2009 5:00  7:00 p.m.
Radcliffe Gymnasium, 10 Garden Street, Cambridge
RSVP by April 6, to or at (617) 495-9143

A Conversation with the authors of Getting to 50/50, Sharon Meers (Harvard College 86) and Joanna Strober, followed by a discussion with Harvard working couples. Reception immediately following the discussion.

Sharon Meers and Joanna Strober are professionals, wives, and mothers with five young children between them. They understand the challenges and rewards of two-career households. They also know that families thrive not in spite of working mothers but because of them. After interviewing hundreds of parents and employers, surveying more than a thousand working mothers, and combing through the latest government and social science research, the authors have discovered that the entire family all reap huge benefits when couples commit to share equally as both breadwinners and caregivers. The starting point? An attitude shift that puts you on the road to 50/50plus the positive step-by-step advice in this book. Here are real-world solutions for parents who want to get ahead in their careers and still meet their family obligations.

Sharon Meers was a Managing Director at Goldman, Sachs & Co. until April 2005.
She serves on the advisory council of the Clayman Institute. Sharon and her husband, Steve, founded the Partnership for Parity at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Dual-Career Research Initiative at Harvard.

Joanna Strober is currently a Managing Director of a fund that invests in private equity partnerships at Sterling Stamos Capital Management.

Event Sponsored by the Harvard Dual-Career Research Initiative, Office of the Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Development & Diversity and the Harvard Human Resources Office of Work/Life