OCTOBER 30, 2021

3 Open-Source Leaders to Recognize on International Women’s Day

By: Julie Hall, Free Geek Toronto volunteer

International Women’s Day is today!

To foster a world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive, International Women’s Day celebrates women’s achievements.

Free Geek Toronto would like to honour women-identified people in open source to commemorate International Women’s Day. Read below to learn more!

Megan (Byrd) Sanicki

Meagan has served as the Executive Director at Drupal Association, and has recently been the Manager of Research and Operations at Google’s Open Source Program Office. Megan also utilises an open source philosophy in her personal life with her volunteer work with Covid Act Now, an open source group providing data modelling to assist public officials in making informed decisions quickly.

Megan encourages others to participate in open source, saying that “Every contributor to open source is a leader, whether they’re leading others, leading the community, or just leading themselves. Don’t wait to be given permission and own your awesome.”

Netha Hussain

Netha describes herself as “Researcher. Medical doctor. Writer. Open knowledge enthusiast. Ailurophile. Woman.” Netha studied medicine at the Government Medical College in India, as well as completed a PhD in clinical neuroscience at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Volunteering in the Wikimedia movement since 2010, Netha has contributed to over 300 articles pertaining to healthcare and issues related to women.

Netha explains that “I find myself writing on topics that are important to women because I feel they are an underserved community, and it is important to me that Wikipedia, as such a vital repository of information, be reflective of all users, all voices.”

Nithya Ruff

Nithya has served on the Linux Foundation board for 5 1/2 years, and currently holds the role of Vice President of the Open Source Program Office at Comcast. In her current role, Nithya drives the strategy to open source industry and advise across over 200 projects, as well as mentors start-ups as part of Comcast incubation program.

Nithya explains her interest in open source, saying “It’s collaborative, open, transparent development. It empowers developers–and everybody!–to study software, at no charge, and to modify… and contribute back to it.”

There are many women in open source! Know a woman-identified person in open source that you’d like to recognize? Follow Free Geek Toronto on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and let us know!

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