Anyssa Ferreira Awarded the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship

Back in August, the WordPress Foundation began accepting applications for the Kim Parsell Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship not only serves as a memorial, but gives one woman in the WordPress community an opportunity to attend WordCamp US with financial assistance from the foundation.

AnyssaFerreira
Anyssa Ferreira
The WordCamp US website announced Anyssa Ferreira, a Brazilian designer, feminist, and WordPress community activist as the first recipient of the scholarship. Ferreira organized and spoke at WordCamp São Paulo in 2014 and designed the event’s website. She was the only woman to speak and volunteer at the event.

In 2015, Ferreira spoke at WordCamp Belo Horizonte on women working with WordPress in the Brazilian community. According to the post, Ferreira continues to play an active role encouraging women to get involved with WordPress and the technology field in Brazil:

She has worked to debunk the myth that women have no interest in WordPress and web development. She has explored why women were not participating, speaking personally with many female programmers, designers and other WordPress professionals about this important topic. She regularly invites women to attend her local WordPress meetup, and works to ensure that they feel welcome and wanted when they do attend.

Not only does Ferreira fulfill the scholarship’s requirements, she’s the type of woman Kim Parsell would love to meet and talk to in person.

Thanks again to Jen Mylo, the WordPress foundation, and Matt Mullenweg for not only creating the scholarship, but for providing an opportunity for people like Ferreira to experience the largest annual WordPress conference first-hand.

10 Comments


  1. This is great! Love seeing this Scholarship in action

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  2. Congratulations! This is awesome to read about!

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  3. I’m very happy that the Community recognizes, in this way, the efforts and merits of its members. Congratulations to Anyssa and her work.

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  4. The strange thing is, computers, programming, content creation and web networking all seem like good openings & settings for females.

    Indeed, “computers” were originally females. People who performed computational projects & routine duties, before digital electronics, were women who did it by hand and with mechanical ‘adding machines’. What happened? What can be done about it?

    ‘What’ happened is fairly well known. Just really why those twists & turns unfolded as they did … and why womens’ former dominance in numerical duties (and Information Management, more widely) did not reassert itself, is less clear or convincing.

    It could be that big parts of this particular gender-imbalance are ‘artifacts’ of circumstances & processes … and that as they arose unplanned & unwelcome (in the case of this field, which is not the case in all fields), they will also recede from the stage, as times change.

    Congratulations to Anyssa Ferreira, and WordPress.

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  5. Being in my late 60s, I well remember forty to fifty years ago when people (I being one of them) took to the streets, were beaten, jailed, attacked by police dogs, hit with fire cannons, and some even murdered in a struggle to bring about both racial and gender equality in the United States of America.

    Now we have an award where only one gender can qualify… and the vast majority of the community, made up of twenty to thirty-five year olds, supports it.

    Sigh.

    Such progress we’ve made.

    So much sacrifice, by so many, for so long, for (obviously) so little.

    Cry, the beloved country.

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    1. Now we have an award where only one gender can qualify… and the vast majority of the community, made up of twenty to thirty-five year olds, supports it.

      That statement really mischaracterizes this scholarship. Give this a read for a good description of what this is about.

      It’s about encouraging the participation of women in the WordPress community. Nothing more, nothing less.

      Rather than rehashing this all over again, feel free to read my comments from the last time.

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    2. Affirmative action is reverse discrimination, true.

      A single action, in isolation (this award) can’t establish that affirmative action policy & practice is in place. We would hardly be surprised, though, to find that it occurs at WordPress and across the industry.

      The Supreme Court has a landmark affirmative action case before it, now. AA has been widespread across the land for many decades (and indeed, per Mr. Trump, around the globe). It was never meant to go on forever.

      To be legitimate, affirmative action must be “justified”. There are criteria, measures, conditions and requirements that apply. Ad hoc or off-hand practices may fly under the radar … but if so, that’s what they’re doing.

      A vital measure of good affirmative action, is that it is effective. That it accomplishes the desired goal. This may be where WordPress et al are in trouble, with efforts to increase female numbers. Can they show that any favoritism practices actually remedy the gender-imbalance?

      The pragmatic dominant reality is probably simply that any & all affirmative action is now on the wrong side of history. We done that, been there, and now we’re moving on.

      Unless a company can show rigorously that a given practice – fudging the thumb on the scales – really makes a valuable difference, it will be hard to justify or defend. And heretofore, they may be increasingly ‘called on it’.

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