Hi Sam, Sam Tuke wrote:
This is a problem which past Boards and Membership Committees have no doubt worked on; perhaps those people can say more about their efforts and challenges.
Right - it's been a topic for board and MC discussions at the very least since 2015 (if my memory serves me). That year saw the formation of LibreLadies, had a number of diversity talks at the conference, and the board started working on a code of conduct. Also (but perhaps Sophie can fill in with more details), IIRC the year before we started to try & balance conference travel bursaries a bit better, to ensure participants from far-away places get a chance to attend the conference.
I understand that contributors with non-technical backgrounds make up a minority percentage of the Foundation's members.
I'm not sure about that. Additionally my impression is, the membership committee does a good job encouraging contributors to become members of the Foundation, so I believe that body is ~representative of our community (whether diversity among _contributors_ could be improved is a different, but equally important question). Because that's relatively easy to derive from the members list: I currently count at least 15 female members, which constitutes a bit more than 7% of our membership. That's more than the average opensource female developer ratio (good news, but probably due to our mix of also non-developer members), but much less than I would expect from industry averages in the professions that would likely be found among our contributors. Sticking that into the helpful diversity calculator (http://aanandprasad.com/diversity-calculator/?groupName=women&numSpeakers=10&populationPercentage=7), the situation we find ourselves in for this board election, and that started this thread, has a probability of 48%. Which is a problem, because for increasing diversity, you want representation. Beyond that, there's the obvious negative signalling effect. The upcoming board will thus be the first since 2011 without a female member. :/ In conclusion, I'm decidedly unhappy about the current situation (while other aspects of the candidate list are encouraging), believe that we must do better here, and said so in my candidacy statement. What's additionally sad, is that past attempts to move the needle where so frustrating for some participants, that they gave up, or simply left. All the best, -- Thorsten
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