For Organizations and Companies
Thank You to the Current Sponsors
We invite organizations and companies to offer internships and to sponsor the upcoming May 2017 round of internships of Outreachy. Outreachy is hosted by Software Freedom Conservancy with the special support from Red Hat and the GNOME Foundation.
Currently, internships are open internationally to women (cis and trans), trans men, and genderqueer people. Additionally, they are open to residents and nationals of the United States of any gender who are Black/African American, Hispanic/Latin@, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander. Please see full eligibility requirements for more details. Outreachy plans to expand to more participants from underrepresented backgrounds in the future.
Women are under-represented in FOSS development, even as compared with the number of women studying Computer Science in colleges around the world and with the number of women employed in proprietary software development. Outreach Program for Women has been a major factor in increasing participation of women in FOSS from 1.1% in 2002 to 11% in 2013 and increasing participation of women in Google Summer of Code from 7.1% in 2011 to 12% in 2016. Communities that make outreach efforts are the ones that are responsible for these increases.
The diversity data for the U.S. released by many tech companies shows that many of them only have 1-3% Black and 2-4% Hispanic employees in technical roles, while the population of the U.S. is 13% Black and 17% Hispanic. We don't have any data like this for free software participation, but we can tell there is a lack of racial and ethnic diversity at conferences we attend.
It's important that we reach more people with the information that the FOSS community is (by and large) mature and friendly, and that contributing to FOSS is valuable for both social and professional reasons. In this way, we are growing the community and improving our ability to reach even more people.
The program provides a collaborative environment in which newcomers from underrepresented backgrounds can get help working on their first contributions and a focused opportunity for them to dedicate a full-time effort to learning and contributing to FOSS. The program also assists people with finding mentors to help them with their projects. By participating in the program, interns develop a good understanding of the power of FOSS and skills necessary to continue contributing to it.
The program attracts many motivated and talented applicants. Most of our interns have had their work included in the software releases, with some of them completing major features during their internships. About half of the program participants stay involved with the organization they worked with past their internship, and 94 from among 368 past participants accomplished one or more of the following:
- 62 had full-session talks on FOSS topics at conferences, of them, 31 in 2015 and 32 in 2016
- 50 found employment or contract positions with sponsoring organizations
- 18 continued on to participate in Google Summer of Code
- 17 became mentors for Outreachy or Google Summer of Code
- 3 organized local technology initiatives - Meg Ford started Chicagoans Hacking on GNOME, Martha Chumo Chelimo started Nairobi Dev School, Satabdi Das started Women in Free Software - India
- Ekaterina Gerasimova and Meg Ford became GNOME Foundation board members
- Valerie Young became a Software in the Public Interest board member
- Yan Zhu was named among "Women in IT Security: Women to watch" by SC Magazine in 2015
- Tapasweni Pathak received a Systers Anita Borg Fall 2015 Pass-It-On Award
Victoria Martínez de la Cruz received OpenStack mentor of mentors award
The outreach efforts like this one also result in the improvements for all newcomers. For example, the mentors list that GNOME started with 9 mentors for the first round of the Outreach Program for Women is now a general resource that contains over 40 mentors. GNOME also improved how it engages Google Summer of Code students with the community based on its Outreach Program for Women experience, by requiring them to work with mentors on an initial contribution during the application period and by incorporating the required blog posts about their work on Planet GNOME. Making the community a friendly place for underrepresented people also makes it such for all newcomers.
Requirements for Organizations
There are three main requirements for organizations wishing to join Outreachy:
As Software Freedom Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) charity in the United States, all internships must forward the organization's mission to promote free and open source software in the public interest. While we encourage companies to provide internship opportunities to women, the program cannot be used for internal company internships. Participating free software projects can't be too tightly tied to any one company and must have a significant public community of contributors. All nonprofit free software organizations are welcome to participate. All work done by Outreachy interns should be public and done out in the open on public channels connected with the project.
Organizations must have funding available or arranged for from a dedicated sponsor for at least one intern.
Organizations must have mentors identified who understand the expectations for mentors and are available to put into the program a significant amount of time, such as at least 5 hours a week. Without great mentorship, this program will not be successful.
Perks for Sponsors
Sponsoring companies and organizations receive the following perks:
Recognition on the main program page, this page, and the round's page which is permanent
Link to the jobs listing on the opportunities page
- Ability to request heavy advertising of Outreachy in a particular geographical region, such as to local universities and technical women's groups, if sponsoring at Equalizer level or above
Please let us know by February 9 if your organization is interested in participating in the next round or your company is interested in sponsoring it.
The coordinators for the program are Cindy Pallares, Karen Sandler, Tony Sebro, Sarah Sharp, Bryan Smith, and Marina Zhurakhinskaya. You can reach all of us at an e-mail alias outreachy-admins AT gnome DOT org. Please let us know by February 9, 2017 if your organization is interested in participating in the next round or your company is interested in sponsoring it. The application for that round will open on February 16 and the application deadline will be March 30. The selection decisions will be posted on May 1. Internship dates will be from May 30 to August 30.
Please consider sponsoring the program at one of these game-changing levels:
Ceiling Smasher - $52,000
Equalizer - $32,500
Promoter - $19,500
Includer - $6,500
The sponsorship per intern is $6,500. You can choose to be a general sponsor of the program, with funds going towards the strongest applicants across all the organizations that participate and towards coordination and promotion work for the program. Alternatively or in addition, you can support a particular FOSS organization already participating in the program or bring on a new organization you have an interest in with your funds. Please see our requirements for organizations for more details.
Software Freedom Conservancy will invoice for the committed funds in May and should receive them soon thereafter. The sponsorship per intern includes $5,500 (USD) stipend, $500 travel allowance, and a $500 administrative fee for Software Freedom Conservancy. Software Freedom Conservancy will take care of sending the stipend payments to the interns in three installments during the internship period. Providing $500 of travel funding per intern helps bring participants to conferences to meet their mentors and build on the relationships they have with their organizations. It will be sent to the intern based on completed travel confirmed with a mentor as relevant and initiated within a year after the beginning of the internships. The unused travel allowances will be added to the program's general funds after that.
Once you have confirmed with the program coordinators that your organization satisfies the requirements for organizations, coordinators and mentors from your organization will need to join the program's communication channels and create a landing page.
Here is a sample proposal with similar information as on this page. You are welcome to use and customize it for approaching companies you think might be interested in sponsoring Outreachy.