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Thanks Thorsten; that's very helpful context. The 48% chance you referenced does indicate that the issue is still larger than this particular election. It's also worth noting that Gabriele, Italo, and others did a great job of reminding us of the opportunity to stand, and the deadlines.

As the election has a strict timetable, it seems that a procedural change would now be necessary in order to avoid a board devoid of women.

Were procedural changes possible, they could include extending the nomination phase, or keeping one or more seats open explicitly for a female board member in future. If such changes are impossible, then those ideas could be explored by the next board.

Thoughts from other Board members or Trustees? This might be the most direct stimulus to this subject for another two years.



On Sat, 30 Nov, 2019 at 15:14, Thorsten Behrens <> wrote:
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

 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
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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