“Find a mentor and an ally who you can ask questions but will also support you if you do speak out and someone tries to speak over you.”


This post is part of the Women of Open Infrastructure series to spotlighting the women in various roles in the community who have helped make the Open Infrastructure successful. With each post, we learn more about each woman’s involvement in the community and how they see the future of Open Infrastructure taking shape. If you’re interested in being featured or would like to nominate someone to tell their stories, please email [email protected].

This time we’re talking to Amy Marrich on the OpenStack Foundation board. She tells Superuser about her role in the community and her advice for anyone who is considering a career in open source.

What’s your role (roles) in the Open Infrastructure community?

OSF Individual Board member, Chair for OSF Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, and Core for OpenStack-Ansible

What obstacles do you think women face when getting involved in the Open Infrastructure community

Women who are further in their career I think are more willing to speak up, while those just starting out may find things intimidating.

Why do you think it’s important for women to get involved with open source?

Women often look at and think of things differently, and the more viewpoints we have the better Open Source becomes.

Efforts have been made to get women involved in open source, what are some initiatives that have worked and why?

Mentoring programs such as GSoC and Outreachy have been successful as they are more structured and supported then internally supported efforts. I think the fact they are supported by external resources and interns are paid helps create more of a ‘work’ environment and also creates an ally to help the interns to get started.

Open source moves very quickly. How do you stay on top of things and what resources have been important for you during this process?

I think it’s important to be on the mailing lists as well as being on IRC with a bouncer, being able to read the backlog helps catch up on anything missed. The mailing lists provide valuable information and conversations. In addition, following people on Twitter gives you a wider view of different subjects and different projects.

What advice would you give to a woman considering a career in open source? What do you wish you had known?

Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask questions. Find a mentor and an ally who you can ask questions but will also support you if you do speak out and someone tries to speak over you.