[OpenStack Foundation] [Diversity] re: Diversity Workgroup APAC 2015-08-27

Lauren Sell lauren at openstack.org
Tue Sep 15 20:21:38 UTC 2015

Hi everyone,

I’ve been talking with Roland about the survey and wanted to share a couple of quick updates. The Foundation is planning to help distribute the diversity working group’s survey via SurveyMonkey the week of September 28th (after we wrap up promotion for the User Survey). We recommend surveying the entire Foundation membership database, since response rates are generally not very high for surveys, and to give all the members a chance to participate. I also suggest we add a comment field in the survey, since it’s an opportunity to collect anonymous feedback versus simply collecting demographics, which we already do today via the Foundation Individual Member profile.

To that point, I also wanted to share the latest pull of Foundation Individual Member profile data, because it gives us a good baseline for gender and geo data. I’m not sure if we can slice the Individual Member data by ATCs, but it would also be interesting to get that baseline. We can figure out the board / TC / UC / staff / etc. pretty easily on our own since they are small groups.

The below data is current as of September 3, 2015, when we had 30,087 individual members. 

*Note this question was not available during initial member signup in September 2012 and became available starting in 2013
*20,582 (68%) of individual members have responded to this question as of September 3, 2015

Male: 18,151 (88%)
Female: 1,884 (9%)
I prefer not ot say: 512 (2%)
Let me specify: 35 (<1%)

*The Foundation has members in 173 countries
*The question asks for the member's current address and has been mandatory since launch
*The top 10 countries by percentage of members:
United States
Great Britain
Russian Federation

I’ve attached a CSV with the percentage of members in all 173 countries. Ideally we can upload or archive this data on the diversity wiki, noting the date. 


> On Sep 11, 2015, at 6:58 AM, Roland Chan <roland at aptira.com> wrote:
> Regarding the risk to decision quality:
> The diversity working group will be tabling a report of the survey results at the board meeting in Tokyo. This report will be freely available afterwards. Response rates are definitely the biggest risk to the validity of the data, and indeed our entire ability to measure success, and this will be reported upon.
> Interpretation of the data will occur in public in the meetings of the working group and on this list. To the extent conclusions are be drawn, they will be drawn in public. Similarly decisions on the execution of diversity programs will be made in the open and all comments on those are welcome.
> I agree that there is risk from low response rates. I disagree that this increases the risk of poor decision being made in the future because we are cognisant of the risk. Having said that a diverse range of views can only increase decision quality and I welcome criticism.
> Regarding the scope of the survey:
> Originally, I was thinking along similar lines, that we should survey only the first phase priorities. However, over time I changed my views. Firstly, and least importantly, a single survey is more efficient.  Secondly, if we are to establish a baseline, it behooves us to establish it across all the areas we have identified are being of concern. The data may show something unexpected and we should alter our actions to suit.
> Roland
> On Fri, 11 Sep 2015 9:17 PM Eoghan Glynn <eglynn at redhat.com <mailto:eglynn at redhat.com>> wrote:
> > Hi all
> > Is it just me or does anyone else find this a bit disturbing.  Surely the
> > goal is to structure the openstack community to be inclusive rather than
> > spending time prying into people's unrelated private lives so we can use
> > the data as part of a science experiment.
> > My religion or sexuality has nothing to do with openstack.
> Hi Geoff,
> I sympathize somewhat with your view. I argued up-thread for removing
> the question on religion, and FWIW I think the survey should concentrate
> on a small number of characteristics that are both innate to the person
> and also outwardly visible, such as:
>  * gender presentation
>  * race
>  * geographical location
> IMO people are unlikely to object to sharing such information about
> themselves, since it's quite obviously apparent anyway in their daily
> lives.
> Also these are the kinds of characteristics on which discrimination/
> exclusion, whether conscious or unconscious, is most likely to be based
> (because these characteristics are so outwardly visible).
> I'd be a bit concerned about interpreting the data if we include more
> intrusive/personal questions *and* many of respondents decline to answer
> those specific questions, while answering other questions. There's a
> non-response rate above which those data become unreliable (i.e. we
> can't necessarily assume that the data gathered from the respondents
> are suitable for accurately extrapolating across the community, as the
> non-respondents may skew disproportionately one way or the other, since
> they're essentially a self-selected sub-group).
> Cheers,
> Eoghan
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