Diversity Is Key?

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Andreas Mantke Andreas Mantke
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Diversity Is Key?

Hello,

there is the view that diversity is key for a successful community,
leading body etc.  This counts for open source communities and their
(leading) bodies too.

I had a look into the applications for the next TDF board and found
there the narration 'while our user base is amazingly diverse, and so is
our  community (...)'.

This makes me curious and I tried to find out, if the applications
reflects this narration.

First I had a look at gender of the candidates and thought that among
them would be more women than among the members of the German federal
parliament (Deutscher Bundestag):
https://www.bundestag.de/abgeordnete/biografien/mdb_zahlen_19/frauen_maenner-529508
709 members, 221 women and 488 men; about 31 % female members.
TDF board candidates: 12 candidates, 0 women, 12 men;  accurate 0 % women.
Thus the prediction about the gender relation of the next TDF board is
not that difficult. There will not be any gender diversity.

The newspapers and news pages  in Germany talk about a Swedish study
today that women are the better leaders, because of their soft skills.

I looked further around for amazingly diversity among the candidates.
But I don't get the information that among them is someone who is not
working inside the IT business. Is this an effigy of the current TDF
community?

Let's have a look at the affiliation of the candidates. One of them
declared him 'an independent candidate', something that alerted me and
made me suspicious. And I found this:
http://samtuke.com/tag/collabora/
and
http://samtuke.com/2015/12/goodbye-collabora-hello-phplist/

But the message of the declaration 'an independent candidate' could read
as: I'm the only independent candidate.

Let's have a look on the affiliation of the candidates: five or more (?)
of the twelf candidates have an affiliation with one company: about 41%.

It seemed this overcompensate the missing balance between female and
male board candidates ;-)

Kind regards,
Andreas



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Michael Meeks-5 Michael Meeks-5
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

Hi Andreas,

        As you know, I'm a fan of you & your work on improving LibreOffice.

        What you write is (I assume) intended as humorous, but doesn't seem a terribly fair characterization from many angles.

        I'm rather encouraged that lots of board members want to make TDF a safe place for diverse people to get involved and interact,
that seems like a good thing to me.

        I'm also -extremely- grateful for everyone who steps up to volunteer their time to help take part in our governance - they rock!

        In general it seems to me that "If you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, you surely will." - I'd love instead to
see concrete contributions and suggestions for positive change here. I'd like to talk some of those over with you, please don't
hesitate to give me a call.

        Hope all's well,

                Michael.

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Sam Tuke-2 Sam Tuke-2
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

In reply to this post by Andreas Mantke
Hi Andreas, thanks for highlighting the lack of gender diversity. 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.

I understand that contributors with non-technical backgrounds make up a minority percentage of the Foundation's members. Considering that candidates from the Board come from this group, doing more to encourage new members to join from our existing non-technical teams seems like a one good approach. A more diverse Membership makes possible more diverse Board candidates.

Regarding affiliation and your comments about my statement: I hilighted my independence because affiliation is a critical issue for many Members in this election, and also for statutory compliance.

To clarify the links which you posted and address your suspicion: from 2014 to 2015 I worked for 13 months as Consultant Marketing Manager for Collabora Productivity. Four intervening years working in a different sector have passed, during which time Collabora and I have communicated only on TDF lists, and briefly at LibreOffice conferences. During these years I've been an independent TDF member and supported the TDF Marketing Team as best I could. I believe my experience marketing LibreOffice, both professionally and voluntarily, would be valuable to the Board.

Happy to answer other questions in this vein which you or others may have.

Sam.

On 28 November 2019 20:45:35 GMT+01:00, Andreas Mantke <[hidden email]> wrote:
Hello,

there is the view that diversity is key for a successful community,
leading body etc.  This counts for open source communities and their
(leading) bodies too.

I had a look into the applications for the next TDF board and found
there the narration 'while our user base is amazingly diverse, and so is
our  community (...)'.

This makes me curious and I tried to find out, if the applications
reflects this narration.

First I had a look at gender of the candidates and thought that among
them would be more women than among the members of the German federal
parliament (Deutscher Bundestag):
https://www.bundestag.de/abgeordnete/biografien/mdb_zahlen_19/frauen_maenner-529508
709 members, 221 women and 488 men; about 31 % female members.
TDF board candidates: 12 candidates, 0 women, 12 men;  accurate 0 % women.
Thus the prediction about the gender relation of the next TDF board is
not that difficult. There will not be any gender diversity.

The newspapers and news pages  in Germany talk about a Swedish study
today that women are the better leaders, because of their soft skills.

I looked further around for amazingly diversity among the candidates.
But I don't get the information that among them is someone who is not
working inside the IT business. Is this an effigy of the current TDF
community?

Let's have a look at the affiliation of the candidates. One of them
declared him 'an independent candidate', something that alerted me and
made me suspicious. And I found this:
http://samtuke.com/tag/collabora/
and
http://samtuke.com/2015/12/goodbye-collabora-hello-phplist/

But the message of the declaration 'an independent candidate' could read
as: I'm the only independent candidate.

Let's have a look on the affiliation of the candidates: five or more (?)
of the twelf candidates have an affiliation with one company: about 41%.

It seemed this overcompensate the missing balance between female and
male board candidates ;-)

Kind regards,
Andreas



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Andreas Mantke Andreas Mantke
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

In reply to this post by Michael Meeks-5
Hi Michael,

Am 29.11.19 um 10:59 schrieb Michael Meeks:
> Hi Andreas,
>
> As you know, I'm a fan of you & your work on improving LibreOffice.

thank you. I know that.

But as you know there were some behaviors from key TDF members which
throw me out of the project. I worked only voluntary and since Feb. 2018
as pure volunteer.
I enjoyed the view on TDF from a pure volunteer since then with all
features ;-)
And I got a more balanced view (different from the view from the inner
circle).

>
> What you write is (I assume) intended as humorous, but doesn't seem a terribly fair characterization from many angles.

In some cases it's a bit of humor (not common for Germans?).

>
> I'm rather encouraged that lots of board members want to make TDF a safe place for diverse people to get involved and interact,
> that seems like a good thing to me.
>
> I'm also -extremely- grateful for everyone who steps up to volunteer their time to help take part in our governance - they rock!

It's always fine to have volunteers which stand for running the
governance. But I'm a fan of real and wide spread diversity among them.
If you have a look into the statutes of TDF
and the spirit between the lines you will see this as the DNA of the
foundation.
From my current perspective I would change § 8 IV S. 2 of the statutes
from 'one third of the members' to 'one member'. But this is only my own
opinion.

> (...)
>
> Hope all's well,
Yes and I got more time for spare time activities others than reading
emails, coding and server / website administration ;-)

And I had also to spend a lot of energy to get into new topics of my
payed job.

Kind regards,
Andreas



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Thorsten Behrens-6 Thorsten Behrens-6
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

In reply to this post by Sam Tuke-2
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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Sam Tuke-2 Sam Tuke-2
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

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.

Thanks,

Sam.

On Sat, 30 Nov, 2019 at 15:14, Thorsten Behrens <[hidden email]> 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 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
Simon Phipps Simon Phipps
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

I favour having one or two seats reserved for appointment by the board rather than by election, so that missing skills or representations can be temporarily addressed. OSI just did this, for example.


On Mon, 2 Dec 2019, 23:22 Sam Tuke, <[hidden email]> wrote:
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.

Thanks,

Sam.

On Sat, 30 Nov, 2019 at 15:14, Thorsten Behrens <[hidden email]> 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 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
Franklin Weng-3 Franklin Weng-3
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

In reply to this post by Sam Tuke-2


2019年12月3日 06:21:43 Sam Tuke :

> 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.
> Thanks,
> Sam.

IIRC in the current term the board has only few decisions regarding genders.  Currently I care more about the diversity of the community itself, i.e. to motivate communities in different countries, to include different fields of people like designing, marketing, politics, …etc.  We may need more spaces to make these people shining in the FOSS world.

Also, ages may be a more serious problem than genders especially in some local communities.  That's why I proposed the students program, to try attracting more young people into the community.

As for the board, I'm sure that it will eventually be diverse enough as long as 1) the composition of our community members are broad enough, and 2) we don't block the interactions between the board of trustees and the BoD and the MC.

--
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The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
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Lothar Becker Lothar Becker
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Thanks all for the input for this issues. 

I think the gender issue is realy serious but I agree also with Franklin that there are additional issues of diversity we face. That was my intention with my mail three days ahead of the end of nomination. 

Having said that it is my strong believe that now - as the set of candidates is fix - it is not so much an issue of theoretical discussion but more an issue of practical doing and initiatives of the then elected members of the upcoming board. 

We all then should reach out, hearing and understanding these parts of the community (or the missing/rare ones e.g. members from a missing continent like Africa) and then acting in their benefit. If it then turns out that we need a special role in sense of gender spokesperson in which seat so ever, then thats it, or if we should reach open source events in Africa to meet and encourage them, or have an international scholarship programm for getting young contributers, we could decide even with this new board. This is our responsibility then, if elected. 

To stopp the process of election here I think that is a very complicated idea. To hear and discuss a new way of nomination and seats with the community for the next one In 2 years to avoid this current situation, hearing and discussing these in the sense of having more transparency between the bodies board, mb and members, I think this is a realy crucial task for the new board, which I hope to help with.

All the best
Lothar

Von meinem iPhone gesendet

Am 02.12.2019 um 23:48 schrieb Franklin Weng <[hidden email]>:




2019年12月3日 06:21:43 Sam Tuke :

> 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.
> Thanks,
> Sam.

IIRC in the current term the board has only few decisions regarding genders.  Currently I care more about the diversity of the community itself, i.e. to motivate communities in different countries, to include different fields of people like designing, marketing, politics, …etc.  We may need more spaces to make these people shining in the FOSS world.

Also, ages may be a more serious problem than genders especially in some local communities.  That's why I proposed the students program, to try attracting more young people into the community.

As for the board, I'm sure that it will eventually be diverse enough as long as 1) the composition of our community members are broad enough, and 2) we don't block the interactions between the board of trustees and the BoD and the MC.

--
Franklin Weng, Member, Board of Director & Certification Committee
The Document Foundation, Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin, DE
Gemeinnützige rechtsfähige Stiftung des bürgerlichen Rechts
Legal details: https://www.documentfoundation.org/imprint

Cor Nouws-3 Cor Nouws-3
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Re: Diversity Is Key?

Hi all,

Lothar Becker wrote on 03/12/2019 08:01:
> Thanks all for the input for this issues.

Same feeling here.

> I think the gender issue is realy serious but I agree also with Franklin
> that there are additional issues of diversity we face. That was my

Indeed, which what I do not want to suggestion any order (or lacking of
that) in importance.

> We all then should reach out, hearing and understanding these parts of
> the community (or the missing/rare ones e.g. members from a missing
> continent like Africa) and then acting in their benefit. If it then
> turns out that we need a special role in sense of gender spokesperson in
> which seat so ever, then thats it, or if we should reach open source
> events in Africa to meet and encourage them, or have an international
> scholarship programm for getting young contributers, we could decide
> even with this new board. This is our responsibility then, if elected.

That was my idea too. There will be occasions where the board is able to
share work with a team, special group. In these situations it is good to
try to involve people from women and other groups that are under
represented.
Then gradually this will grow a situation where a wider variety of
people is active and willing to stand for a position in board, MC, ..

> To stopp the process of election here I think that is a very complicated
> idea.

If not impossible ;)

> To hear and discuss a new way of nomination and seats with the
> community for the next one In 2 years to avoid this current situation,

In general I've a stronger believe in enabling, lowering barriers, etc.
than in forcing by rules, but..

> hearing and discussing these in the sense of having more transparency
> between the bodies board, mb and members, I think this is a realy
> crucial task for the new board, which I hope to help with.

.. I hope to be with you there ;)

Greetings,
Cor

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