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The DCI working group was chartered in part with providing recommendations to the TSC to improve diversity, civility, and inclusion at Hyperledger.

After about 1 year of activity the DCI working group offers this list of recommendations, observations, and artifacts.

Survey

One of our first chartered deliverables was to quantify the diversity of our open source community. We learned two things in this process.

Surveys are not effective

We compared process and results with Cloud Foundry and found that both organizations saw about 10% response rate to community surveys.  Based on feedback from Swarna Podila about her experience with Cloud Foundry and on recommendations from Jim Gordon's presentation to the group, there are alternatives to surveys that could be more effective.  One is to focus on allowing community members to self-report information in community profiles and the other is to focus on unstructured conversations with new and existing contributors.  For reference, we've seen other communities create processes for having informational interviews with community members that have generated very useful insights about the inclusiveness of those communities and how to improve them.

Our contributor population is not diverse 

A proper statistical review of our survey could not be conducted and so it is hard to say much with certainty. However, reviewing the raw numbers, and even considering the limited response rate, it is hard to reach a conclusion that Hyperledger represents a diverse contributor body.

Raw results are available here: 

https://www.surveymonkey.com/results/SM-CVCBTVTR7/

Report:

Hyperledger Survey Results_final.pptx


Some selected data:

RESPONSES

Female/Woman

13.27%

Male/Man

84.69%

Transgender

0.00%

Gender non-conforming

0.00%

Prefer not to say

2.04%

ANSWER CHOICES

RESPONSES

Heterosexual/Straight

89.80%

Homosexual/Gay/Lesbian

1.02%

Bisexual

1.02%

Asexual

0.00%

Prefer not to say

8.16%

ANSWER CHOICES

RESPONSES

Black

4.08%

Asian

29.59%

Caucasian

54.08%

Hispanic/Latino/Spanish

5.10%

American Indian/Alaskan Native

0.00%

Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander

0.00%

Middle Eastern/Arab

0.00%

None of the above

3.06%

Prefer not to answer

8.16%

Recommendations

  • Governing board responsibilities
    • DCI is best realized through top down initiatives and support  
    • The board should create milestones and goals (establish baseline metrics)
    • The board should engage contributing companies to fulfill diversity goals
      • Take stock of members D&I efforts and raise awareness of such efforts, and align at scale. 
    • Partnership for pipeline
      • Consider partnerships with Historically Black College and Universities (HBCUs) and organizations (e.g. Girls Who Code) aimed at increasing diversity pipeline. Partnerships could be centered around recruitment, engagement in hackathons, and training. 
  • TSC responsibilities
    • Experience communicated from Cloud Foundry indicates that pigeonholing DCI discussions to side channels is not effective, so we recommend regularly bringing topics, speakers and other DCI-related discussions to the TSC calls, the main established cross-community call with a critical mass of people already joining.  The exact format needs to be sorted out, but could involve a standing 30 minute item every other week or every other month.  That would give space for guest speakers and in depth discussions.  A separate DCI Work Group call would still make sense in order to coordinate the Speaker's Series and to identify other relevant topics to bring to the larger group.
    • Address survey feedback
      • Meeting times are difficult: e.g. Promote more asynchronous meetings
      • Difficulty finding agenda: e.g. Simplify the wiki UI or standardizing messaging in communications ahead of meetings.
  • Maintainer responsibilities
  • Staff responsibilities
    • We often know where there are roadblocks for contribution and what could be done to fix them.  For example, Tracy & Swetha gave a great talk at Hyperledger Global Forum that covered several tips, recommendations and suggestions.  It is not currently clear though who in the community should be responsible for making those improvements. We recommend a process where projects that want to be more inclusive can opt in to receive support from staff in auditing and updating their contribution infrastructure.  For example, with the support of staff, the Fabric documentation project recently mapped out and documented a process for how to start a translation project and within the space of a couple of months 4 new translation efforts were started.
  • Raise the profile of the diversity and inclusion focused efforts in the community:
    • DCI Messaging has been very visible at hyperledger events. The best practices established here should continue.
    • Incorporate DCI agenda directly into TSC Meetings (noted similarly above). 
  • Continue the Speaker's Series to drive engagement and bring in good ideas:
    • Various working groups have seen success with guest speakers in reinvigorating their communities. Similarly we see opportunity bringing in guest speakers to better engage the community. In particular recruiting diverse speakers to present on open source and technical topics should be of general interest to the community.
  • Update the CoC




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