Six Women at WordCamp Pune

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There’s an ongoing discussion/debate on women in technology in general and WordPres in particular. While the technology industry is as misogynist as any other, the WordPress community is known to be more inclusive compared to anything else. The speaker line-ups at WordCamps and other tech events, the ratio of audience members don’t reflect the actual number of women working with WordPress is what many of us feel.

Maybe that is because such events are male dominated and we pass of men’s t-shirts as unisex! To send a message across to women so that they see if this community or this particular WordCamp is any different and if they should take the effort and time to come to Pune, we spoke to six Women attending WordCamp Pune in various roles!

What role does WordPress play in your profession?

Priya It’s the easiest and most flexible CMS I’ve ever used. It made it easy for me to create websites and blogs without having to pay for expensive developer fees. My business, as a blogger and social media marketer, exists today thanks to WordPress.

Juhi My profession started with WordPress. I joined rtCamp as a Quality Analyst. I make WordPress themes and plugins better. As I learn more about WordPress, my interest increases day by day.

Sheeba I am a freelancer since the last 2 years providing web development & support services. Primarily, I use WordPress for most of my web development services. I found WordPress easy to understand and most important I have been getting great support from the WordPress community. Though I did not have any PHP coding experience, I still found that I could setup WordPress and learn along my way. And I have never looked back  and definitely thankful to WordPress to make my transition from a 9-5 job to freelancing so fruitful.

Nisha WordPress is very important in my professional career; because of WordPress I am where I am. My journey started as a Quality Analyst in WPoets technology testing sites and themes built on WordPress. Now I spent my free time testing themes on WordPress.org.

Ranjitha I work as a Web Developer and have recently started exploring and working on WordPress. I find it very exciting as there are plenty of tutorials, howto guides and help available for WordPress newbies and I never feel lost.

I also realized how big the economy around WordPress had grown. I want to know even the minute details of how WordPress works and want to become an expert in Plugin development and want to create and release my own plugins in near future.

Shilpa To say that WordPress has played a huge role , is an understatement, to say the least. It’s been absolutely fantastic – the whole being-part-of-a-community-feeling is something I have never experienced before , in any other platform that I have worked with.

Do you think the community treats you differently because you are a woman, for good or for worse?

Priya Not really. I do think we get some advantages as a result of being women (like being featured in a post on women in WordPress 🙂 ) but otherwise I think we get treated like any other professional.

Juhi I don’t think so. Why they should treat us differently? I have always been against of reservation. People should be treated on the basis of their skills not on the basis of gender, race etc.

Sheeba I have not felt nor sensed any discrimination which is another reason probably for me feeling more comfortable with this community. The community has been very supportive  & cooperative towards everyone approaching them.  As a women, I found community treating all equally and with respect and I found the overall setup and approach flexible.

Nisha I have not felt any difference because of my gender and I hope that community does not treat people differently based on gender or race.

Ranjitha As I have just started with WordPress, I do not have any direct experiences of same. This is one of the main reasons I want to be part of WordCamp Pune and want to Volunteer to interact with other WordPress community members in Pune.

What I feel is, regardless of the gender, people want to work with someone they enjoy being around. Luckily, I have never been treated differently just because I am a woman.

Shilpa If there are any women out there who might have faced discrimination , my heart goes out to them. I consider myself blessed to have been brought up to expect no special favours or tolerate any discrimination, by virtue of being a woman.

Does WordPress hold any special value for women?

Priya Only in the sense that it makes it easier for women who write blogs to express themselves. Also for women entrepreneurs to set up websites at a low cost. Otherwise I don’t think it holds special value to women or men.

Juhi No, I don’t think so.

Sheeba No, in my opinion, there is no need for it to hold any special value for women. We are just developers, quality analysts etc and I am happy it is this way. We don’t want to feel inferior by this treatment.

Nisha For me WordPress is special because I started my web journey with WordPress, I am not sure about women in general.

Ranjitha WordPress being a very easy to use CMS allows all women including professionals employed across different industries, work from home Moms, hobbyist etc find it really easy to use WordPress and start a blog & their own website.

WordPress.com is a great platform for new users to get started and then move onto their own websites when they are ready and confident.

Shilpa Does it hold any special value for men?

So, it looks like WordPress is no different when it comes to men or women and it’s the same with the community. Looks like the reason why women don’t participate as much as men in activities and events for some other reasons. In case you are reading this and stayed away till now thinking this is going to be another unisex event, maybe you can buy your ticket now!

Priya, Nisha and Shilpa are speaking at WordCamp Pune. Sheeba organises both the WordCamp and the local meetup group and Ranjitha is a volunteer. Juhi is attending a WordCamp for the first time.