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The recently held Open Source Initiative’s 2019 Board elections elected six Board of Directors to its eleven-person Board. Two were elected from the affiliate membership, and four from the individual membership. If it wasn’t incredible enough that many women ran for the seats,  they have won all the seats!

The six seats include two returning directors, Carol Smith and Molly de Blanc; and three new directors Pamela Chestek, Elana Hashman, and Hong Phuc Dang. Pamela Chestek (nominated by The Document Foundation) and Molly de Blanc (nominated by the Debian Project) captured the most votes from OSI Affiliate Members. The last seat is a tie between Christine Hall and Mariatta Wijaya and hence a runoff election will be required to identify the final OSI Board Director.

The run off election started yesterday, March 18th (opening at 12:00 a.m. / 00:00) and will end on Monday, March 25th (closing at 12:00 a.m. / 00:00).

Mariatta Wijaya, a core Python developer and a platform engineer at Zapier, told in a statement to Business Insider that she found not all open source projects were as welcoming, especially to women. That’s one reason why she’s running for the board of the Open Source Initiative, an influential organization that promotes and protects open source software communities.


Wijaya also said, “I really want to see better diversity across the people who contribute to open source. Not just the users, the creators of open source. I would love to see that diversity improve. I would like to see a better representation. I did find it a barrier initially, not seeing more people who look like me in this space, and I felt like an outsider.”

A person discussed six female candidates in misogynistic language on Slashdot, which is a tech-focussed social news website. The post also then labeled each woman with how much of a “threat” they were. Slashdot immediately took down this post “shortly afterward the OSI started seeing inappropriate comments posted on its website”.

Molly de Blanc and Patrick Masson said this was the first time they saw such type of harassment of female OSI board candidates. They also said that such harassments in open source are not uncommon.

Joshua R. Simmons, an Open source advocate, and web developer tweeted, “women winning 100% of the open seats in an election that drew attention from a cadre of horrible misogynists”

OSI President, Simon Phipps said that the OSI committee is “thrilled the electorate has picked an all-female cohort to the new Board”

To know more about these elections in detail, head over to the OSI official blog post.

UPDATED: In the previous draft, Pamela Chestek who was listed as returning board member, is a new board member; and Carol Smith who was listed as a new board member, is a returning member.

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