January 22, 2014 AT 10:00 am

How GitHub Hired More Women- In Part, By Encouraging Them To Talk #GitHub #PassionProjects

Above is the ninth video in GitHub’s series celebrating female role models in the tech community called Passion Projects. readwrite has the story on how this lecture series started and why it’s an important development in the tech world.

Silicon Valley certainly talks a lot about the dearth of women in technology, but relatively few companies seem to do much about it. Here’s one surprising exception: GitHub, the open-source collaboration site for software developers.

GitHub’s atypical experience with diversity owes a fair deal to an unlikely source—a humble lecture series called “Passion Projects” that features female technologists talking about the work that energizes them. As it turns out, by giving women in technology the spotlight, GitHub has also apparently demonstrated that it’s a great place for women to work.

CEO Tom Preston-Werner said that Passion Projects has had a real effect on recruiting. Over the last six months, a quarter of GitHub’s most recent 60 hires have been women, he said. Some hires wouldn’t have happened without Passion Projects. For example, the company hired Rubyist Rachel Myers shortly after her own Passion Projects talk.

It’s not just about the lectures themselves. Passion Projects is about showing the world that GitHub has made hiring women in technology a priority in a very public way. And women have noticed.

Read more and see the rest of the talks here.

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