Whereas the number of women in biology and chemistry has improved a lot in recent decades, the number of women in Physics creeps up much more slowly. Meanwhile, in computer science, the number of women has actually be declining. As for the absolute values of those numbers, one need only look at a picture of a Linux Kernel Developers' Summit to realize that within statistical uncertainty, the number of Y chromosomes is the same as the number of people in the picture.Knop attributes this to the misguided belief of men in these fields that they are somehow smarter than the rest of the populace, and hence also smarter than women. It must be that way, because you don't see many women computer scientists, do you? It never occurs so them that their attitude might be the reason that many women don't try for a career in computer science.
While I've never worked in open source, I tend to agree with Knop's assessment. Now here's the million-dollar (or million-women working in computer science) question: How change this state of affairs?
Sure, it would be nice if open source developers would be more welcoming to women, but let's just assume that they're not that cooperative for a moment. There's certainly no way to force them, after all, these projects are their own to do with as they please. So how can women fight back?
What I would like to see is more open source projects started by women, with a quota of 50% or more women developers. Maybe a little community could spring up around it. Think of it as Sourceforge with more X chromosomes. There could be discussion forums for female software developers, and maybe a blog collecting instances of misogyny and of female successes. All it takes is a few women developers getting together, buying a couple of servers, coming up with a light-weight content management system, and you're off. No males required.