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The Linux Foundation and the National Center for Women & Information Technology Partner to Develop Inclusive Speaker Orientation Course for Events

By 2016-11-098月 22nd, 2017Press Release

Course to prepare speakers at Linux Foundation and other technology industry events with background knowledge and practical skills to promote inclusivity in their presentations

SAN FRANCISCO, November 9, 2016 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced a partnership to develop an Inclusive Speaker Orientation Course to help prepare event presenters and public speakers with background knowledge and practical skills to promote inclusivity in their presentations, messaging, and other communications.

The goal of the course is to present content in a simple and practical way applied to the specialized needs of presenters, including crafting presentation messages, scripting discussions, presented media and subconscious communications. The course will be offered  in three 20-minute modules defined around NCWIT’s “Unconscious Bias” messaging, which encompasses the ideas of “Realize, Recognize, and Respond.”

The Inclusive Speaker Orientation Course will be available for free online. Beginning in 2017, Linux Foundation employees who are speakers at Linux Foundation events will be required to complete the course and it is strongly encouraged for all members of the community. It will also be offered openly, so other events may use it for their speakers, or individuals who are interested may enroll on their own. The Linux Foundation will continue to offer Ally Skills Workshops, which teach everyone simple, everyday ways to support women in their workplaces and communities, onsite at events, and will fulfill the inclusivity training requirement for speakers.

NCWIT serves as a developer of and clearinghouse for evidence-based tools and resources for increasing the meaningful participation of girls and women in computing. NCWIT is structured as a “change leader network” of educators, entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and social scientists who work to narrow the gap by addressing barriers.

“NCWIT recognizes the importance of increasing diversity in open source and also believes in making tools for change easily accessible,” said Terry Morreale, CTO and Associate Director at NCWIT. “We look forward to helping to increase awareness and knowledge of these topics to make the whole technology industry more inclusive.”

One of The Linux Foundation’s primary missions is to increase access to the open source community for all individuals. The Linux Foundation believes that development and promotion of this course will support its mission and purpose by further strengthening diversity and inclusiveness within the open source ecosystem. This follows other initiatives to increase diversity at Linux Foundation events, such as a strict code of conduct for speakers and attendees, onsite child care and nursing rooms, diversity scholarships, non-binary bathrooms, giving priority to panels with diverse groups of participants, partnering with community groups to encourage more women to apply to speak and more.

“It is important not only for the success of our events, but for the success and future of the entire open source ecosystem that we increase diversity, and make everyone feel welcome,” said Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin. “Partnering with NCWIT on this course will help ensure we continue to become more open and diverse.”

Additional details will be announced when all course content is finalized and the course is made available for registration in spring 2017.

About the National Center for Women & Information Technology

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) is a non-profit community of more than 850 universities, companies, non-profits, and government organizations nationwide working to increase women’s participation in computing and technology. NCWIT equips change leaders with resources for taking action in recruiting, retaining, and advancing women from K–12 and higher education through industry and entrepreneurial careers. Find out more at

NCWIT receives significant financial support from Lifetime Partner Apple, Strategic Partners NSF (the National Science Foundation), Microsoft, Bank of America, Google, Intel and Merck, as well as from Investment Partners Avaya, Pfizer, AT&T, Bloomberg, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Qualcomm. View all of NCWIT’s supporters at

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the organization of choice for the world’s top developers and companies to build ecosystems that accelerate open technology development and commercial adoption. Together with the worldwide open source community, it is solving the hardest technology problems by creating the largest shared technology investment in history. Founded in 2000, The Linux Foundation today provides tools, training and events to scale any open source project, which together deliver an economic impact not achievable by any one company. More information can be found at

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