The Ada Initiative was founded early in 2011 when Val Aurora and Mary Gardiner decided to take the plunge, quit their jobs and found an organization dedicated to supporting women in open technology and culture. I had met Val a few months earlier and was very excited by their plans. When asked, I was very pleased to join the Advisory Board. It’s rare that I join advisory boards but in this case I was happy to do so.
Just over a year later TAI will be holding its second major event AdaCamp in Washington DC shortly, has been very active in bringing an anti-harassment mentality to open technology and culture gatherings, and has provided consulting assistance to a number of organizations. In the past few days TAI has been approved as a tax-exempt organization in the United States, an important marker in the start-up phase. The visibility of TAI is growing, and the Advisory Board has grown to 19 people representing a broad range of open technology and culture expertise. One of the additions is Lukas Blakk, also of Mozilla. In addition, Caroline Simard recently joined The Ada Initiative’s Board of Directors. I’m quite familiar with Caroline’s work at the Anita Borg Institute and at Stanford. She brings a great deal of expertise in both the research about women in the workplace and in the practice aspects of putting that research into practice.
TAI is growing in scope and in capabilities. Given that the initial launch period has passed successfully, I’ll be stepping down from the Board of Advisors. I continue to support TAI and its activities. With Lukas on the Advisory Board we will continue to have a powerful connection between TAI and Mozilla, and Lukas will have a good sense of when I can provide some particular type of support. It’s important to make room for new people. I can continue to contribute effectively in other roles, so I feel it’s time for me free up a space on the Advisory Board for someone new to step up, in line with TAI’s approach to volunteer service.
I look forward to seeing new faces at TAI, at the Advisory Board, and in open technology and culture in general.