#140 Compiling a list of Fedora contributors from underrepresented groups interested in speaking opportunities
Opened 6 months ago by bee2502. Modified 6 months ago

Summary

Compile a list of Fedora contributors from underrepresented groups interested in speaking opportunities and make it available via a page on Fedora D&I Team docs

Proposal

We can create a new page in Fedora D&I Team docs where Fedora contributors interested in speaking opportunities can add their name, Region, FAS ID/ contact details, interest areas, and links to any past speaking experience (if available).

This proposal has two primary supporting reasons:

Event organizers can find speakers : One of the major feedback we received from previous FWD organizers was that they found it difficult to find speakers. This aims to tackle this problem as organizers can use this list to easily contact contributors interested in speaking opportunities.

More speaking opportunities for contributors from underrepresented backgrounds : Since the page would be visible on the internet, event organizers from Fedora community as well as beyond can use this list to contact these contributors for speaking opportunities.

Encouragement for new speakers : Research has shown that female speakers are more hesitant than their male counterparts. Having such a list can provide new speakers with role models and encouragement needed to take the first step.

Outcome

Easier for event organizers can find speakers
More speaking opportunities for contributors from underrepresented backgrounds
Provides encouragement and role models for new speakers

Metadata Update from @bee2502:
- Issue tagged with: needs feedback, new change, type - events, type - outreach

6 months ago

+1 to the proposal! I feel this should be placed somewhere near the Fedora events docs (resource pack, maybe?). Since this typically transcends gender barriers.

I think it's a great idea!

That's a interesting proposal, but I do think it would need clarification on what would be the scope and what would count as URG (under represented group) for that proposal.

For a start, I am quite sure not all people from a URG would be equally thrilled to be listed, e.g.sexual/gender minorities (and before someone say "also GDPR", that's already covered by article 9, point 2.e and 2.a). While I guess there isn't much easy solution, it doesn't sound great in theory.

More importantly, what is the reference we would use to decide what is under represented, and where. There is categories that would be pretty much universally URG (eg., women), and some where "it depend a lot", like question for black, indigenous and people of colors (BIPOC). Given we pushed to send a letter regarding BLM, I do think that matter (pun not intended).

For example, I do guess most Fedora contributors from India would fall under the BIPOC umbrella if they were in the USA, and so be under represented in the US tech scene), but trivially wouldn't be underrepresented in the India tech scene for that (even if people could be for others reasons, of course).

Should the list account for that, and so, how (especially since remote events are the norm for now).

I also know by experience that not everybody agree with the vocabulary being used (especially when applied to oneself), so there is a tension between assigning non universal categories, and having some useful way to search for people. Should the the list be designed to deal with that, and if so, in which direction ?

I also wonder if there is a way to avoid people to be too solicited on "being X in tech", as I know a few people who find that annoying. I guess people could/should indicate their preferences on that, as I guess some people are happy, and some are not. But again, how much complexity would it add ?

@misc It's an interesting question. Like with a lot of our initiatives before, I don't think we should let thinking too deeply about terminology let us lose the sight of the bigger goal and instead go for a MVP first.

One way to do it according to me, we should not filter it anyone and leave it upto contributors themselves if they want to be added to the list or not. So basically, a self-nomination process. Of course, people might argue that someone not from any underrepresented group might add their name there then.. but I choose to believe that Fedora contributors are inherently good enough to not take advantage in this way.

Another way to do it is to start small i.e. create such a list for only female contributors first and then scale it. But ofcourse this might again lead to the problem you mentioned when we decide to scale this to different underrepresented groups.

I am +1 for first method and 0 for second. We can decide on the basis on how the team votes and further feedback.

Metadata Update from @jflory7:
- Issue priority set to: needs review (was: awaiting triage)

6 months ago

Related to data privacy/ what data will a contributor add to this list:

I think contributors can just share the FAS ID and then their email contact would be FAS-ID@f.p.o. For location, I think they can just share the region i.e. EU/APAC etc or timezone if the contributor is willing -- I think this information is available in FAS anyway so we dont have to worry about the privacy issues.

Nice idea. Thanks for brining it up -

I have 2 questions here -
1. For "More speaking opportunities for contributors from underrepresented backgrounds : Since the page would be visible on the internet, event organizers from Fedora community as well as beyond can use this list to contact these contributors for speaking opportunities."

Will not be a person feel hesitant to get himself/herself registered in a list on internet from underrepresented backgrounds? For example - There are many LGBTQA members who don't wish to disclose their identity. How can we mitigate this challenge?

Encouragement for new speakers : Research has shown that female speakers are more hesitant than their male counterparts. Having such a list can provide new speakers with role models and encouragement needed to take the first step.

Are we saying that all the female speakers are going to be in the underrepresented list? who are the role models here and how we plan to provide encouragement?

These are some questions which we can think of as a next step.
Ofcourse, if we see a benefit to start with this list and then solve these questions, we can certainly start it.

@amsharma thanks for the feedback, here are my initial thoughts on the questions

Nice idea. Thanks for brining it up -
I have 2 questions here -
1. For "More speaking opportunities for contributors from underrepresented backgrounds : Since the page would be visible on the internet, event organizers from Fedora community as well as beyond can use this list to contact these contributors for speaking opportunities."
Will not be a person feel hesitant to get himself/herself registered in a list on internet from underrepresented backgrounds? For example - There are many LGBTQA members who don't wish to disclose their identity. How can we mitigate this challenge?

Privacy is a big concern always. In the list, we ask people to add only the FAS ID (no name) and region (which is already in FAS eg. EU/APAC etc) so the contact details would automatically be FAS@f.p.o email address and we are not collecting any new information. Other than that, the list is voluntary and people self nominate themselves by submitting a PR to our docs repo, so community members can add themselves only if they feel comfortable doing so.

Additionally, I understand your concern that individuals who want to add themselves to the list might feel singled out as someone from an underrepresented group. However, since we don't ask community members to mention which underrepresented group they belong to, I feel that this backward link doesn't exist? eg. from a FAS ID, I cannot really identify who is LGBTQ+

One another solution is that we open up the list to only all contributors and mention that it is encouraged for people from underrepresented groups to add themselves (instead of exclusively mentioning that this list is only for them). However, this might not bring as much visibility to speakers from underrepresented backgrounds vs the previous solution but something is better than nothing and I am open to discussion on this as well.

Right now, based on the previous years FWD feedback, organizers found it difficult to find speakers for their FWD events and I feel like having such a list will make it easier for the organizers too look beyond their traditional sources and also bring visibility to speakers who might get such global opportunities otherwise eg, FWD.

Encouragement for new speakers : Research has shown that female speakers are more hesitant than their male counterparts. Having such a list can provide new speakers with role models and encouragement needed to take the first step.
Are we saying that all the female speakers are going to be in the underrepresented list? who are the role models here and how we plan to provide encouragement?

Since the addition to this list is self-voluntary, of course we cannot say that 'all' X are going to be in this list. From my perspective, the role models here is everyone in this list - they have each overcome challenges based on their background and are successful Fedora contributors - for someone new to community or afraid of public speaking, this can break stereotypes on what a traditional speaker should look like and hopefully help them gain encouragement. I dont plan any other steps at the moment to provide mentors/encouragement.

These are some questions which we can think of as a next step.
Ofcourse, if we see a benefit to start with this list and then solve these questions, we can certainly start it.

well justified, thanks @bee2502
We can certainly start creating this list. What is the action plan here?

Thank you for the initial idea @bee2502 , It would be a good idea to include only their FAS ID and @fp.o email as users primarily have the option to set their privacy of their FAS accounts.

I'm +1 to the idea of self-nomination and providing a page on Resource pack, or are we planning for adding it as a separate doc inside the D&I docs umbrella.

I think the next step is to create a new page in our team docs with a short description about what this is, why we are doing this and how you can add yourself to the page. We should then add this link to event organizers resource pack. Anyone wants to work on this?

Metadata Update from @bee2502:
- Issue untagged with: needs feedback
- Issue tagged with: help wanted, improvement

6 months ago

I'm not sure If I have the bandwidth to take this one, But if we don't get someone to work on this, I would love to take this for the next weekend.

hahaha @nasirhm u already have a lot of tasks on the plate.. dont burn yourself out.. we can always work on this at docs session at FLOCK proposed by @jflory7

hahaha @nasirhm u already have a lot of tasks on the plate.. dont burn yourself out.. we can always work on this at docs session at FLOCK proposed by @jflory7

Thank You @bee2502 , Looking forward to the NEST* (Our FLOCK is now in a NEST) Hackfest session

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