RailsDevs has a gender diversity problem

Or, why are there so few women on RailsDevs?

I run RailsDevs, a reverse job board for freelance Ruby on Rails developers. If you scroll through the 180+ developer profiles on the site you’ll quickly notice something. There are very few people who identify as women. Fewer than 10 at this time of publication, actually.

This is not good. Hell, it’s downright bad. How can I claim that RailsDevs is creating an inclusive environment if all I’m doing is promoting a list of men?

One step is just acknowledging that and the next is acting on it. - Jemma Issroff on Remote Ruby

Jemma Issroff is co-organizer of WNB.rb, a community and monthly Ruby meetup for women and non-binary folks. She was recently on the Remote Ruby podcast talking about diversity (or lack thereof) in the Ruby community. This is her advice on how folks who don’t identify as women or non-binary can help the community as a whole.

I’m taking these words to heart. A little bit louder for the folks in the back: it is not OK that RailsDevs represents so few women.

I’m acknowledging the issue and here’s how I’m acting on it. These are the first steps of many as I learn how to create a more inclusive environment online. Also, I recognize that diversity isn’t limited to gender; it’s what I’m focusing on first.

Review resumes for women and non-binary folks

I’m offering resume review for Ruby and Rails developers who identify as female or non-binary. I’ll review up to three resumes per week in February and March and offer personalized advice on how I think they can improve their positioning and land their next job or gig. We can also discuss salary, rates, and negotiating tactics to get you compensated what you’re worth.

This will be free of charge, and the developers are free to have this conversation in public or a private channel of their choosing — whichever they are more comfortable with.

Send me an email with your resume if you’d like my help.

Feature more women in my newsletter

Every month I feature work from the Rails community in the ⚡️ Hotwire dev newsletter. I also spotlight a few developers who are looking for work. Moving forward, every newsletter will have representation from someone who identifies as female or non-binary.

If you are looking for a Ruby or Rails job or freelance gig then send me an email. I’ll work with you to hone your bio and get it in front of 1,400+ Hotwire developers and companies. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing publicly then I’ll privately introduce you to folks looking for your expertise.

For all of 2022, RailsDevs will donate 10% of its profits to women- and non-binary-focused Ruby and Rails communities. At the end of each month I’ll tally up everything from the public income report and invest that money into one group.

Investments will be in the form of newsletter sponsorships, meetup support, and donations. The receiving organization can choose which medium works best for them.

So far, I’m aware of the following groups. If you know of more, please let me know.

  1. WNB.rb
  2. WomenOnRails

This isn’t enough

This is only the beginning of my journey as I learn to create a more inclusive community. The beginning of one person on one platform. My goal is to raise awareness of the issue and help groups promote their cause. But I can only do so much alone.

We need help from everyone in the community. I challenge you to take part, no matter how small. Sponsor a newsletter, donate some of your time, advocate for someone.

Do something.