On 29 Apr 2018, at 10:42, email@example.com wrote:
Although I´m not a voting member bu as along time use and supporter of (open)SuSE, and in the interests of diversity, could I ask for a breakdown of the voting membership and board by gender and racial origin. If the results are as I suspect, what are board´s plans for addressing this?
And don´t start with the nonsense about “unbiassed” and “meritocracy.”
First of all, data on voters doesn't exist, those are anonymous voters from the whole community.
I found that idea to be really curious. I don't really understand how do you make community that memeber of any gender or ethnic group can join more diverse? It's based on person's will to join. We encourage everybody, and whoever joins is equal member.
I also don't understand how you make democratically chosen board to be diverse, that would require for voting process to be rigged in favor of people with some specific racial origins (because some of them were underrepresented) and gender (same thing), that's not democratic at all then.
Some people look beyond gender and racial origins and want people with skills and ideas to run the project.
It certainly would be interesting to have diverse board, but with democratic approach, it's just not viable.
LCP [Stasiek] https://lcp.world
PS: Didn't have a chance to reach you Ana on IRC, congratulations :D
There is plenty of evidence for the presence of unconscious bias in almost all decisions people make. The simplest is that people, when they’re voting or deciding on appointments or hiring (which would include selecting board members) they tend to choose people who they perceive as “like themselves.” Meritocracy tends to emphasise this as most people believe they have their status and position through personal merit rather than benefiting from bias. There are plenty of indicators in use of language and other things both of people’s social and racial context and their gender. This can’t be avoided but making people aware of their biases (and feedback when these have apparently influenced decisions) helps in minimising it’s effect: everybody is capable of learning if they want, and I assume this audience are interested in fairness and learning.
The second is more insidious and difficult to address: the culture of an organisation. Torvald’s abrasive and abusive behaviour would deter anyone who isn’t thick skinned and equally abrasive. This self-selection preserves and propagates the culture and behaviour. OS will have an organisational culture and behaviour which may be having this effect - I don't know as the OS culture suits me. That is something which the board could investigate and address.
Here are some readings in this area: https://www.berkshireassociates.com/balanceview/bid/284452/discrimination-an... http://www.law.virginia.edu/pdf/faculty/ImplicitBiasinOrganizationsandAdvers... https://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=&http...
And before anyone objects about manipulation of the “free and fair” democratic system, the research shows that natural democratic systems are neither free nor fair but contain multiple biases and discriminations. All I’m proposing is that these are uncovered and discussed.