A Time for Action — Innovating for Diversity & Inclusion in Open Source Communities
Another year, another press story letting us know Open Source has a diversity problem. But this isn’t news — women, people of color, parents, non-technical contributors, cs/transgender and other marginalized people and allies have been sharing stories of challenge and overcoming for years. It’s can’t be enough to count who makes it through the gauntlet of tasks and exclusive cultural norms that lead to a first pull request; it’s not enough to celebrate increased diversity on stage at technical conferences — when audience remains homogeneous, and abuse goes unchallenged.
Open source is missing out on diverse perspectives, and experiences that can drive change for a better world because we’re stuck in our ways — continually leaning on long-held assumptions about why we lose people. At Mozilla, we believe that to truly influence positive change in Diversity & Inclusion in our communities, and more broadly in open source, we need to learn, empathize —and innovate. We’re committed building on the good work of our peers to further grow through action — building bridges and collaborating with other communities also investing in D&I.
This year, leading with our organizational strategy for D&I, we are in investing in our communities informed by three months of research. Qualitative research was conducted across the globe, with over 85 interviews as either part of an identity or focus groups, including interviews in the first language of participants, and for areas of low-bandwidth(or those who preferred not to speak on video) we interviewed in Telegram.
Qualitative data was analyzed from various sources including Mozilla Reps portal, Mozillian Sentiment Survey, a series of applications to Global Leadership events, regional meetups, a regional community survey, and various smaller data sources.
For five weeks, beginning July 3rd, this blog series will share key findings — challenges, and experiments we’re investing in for the remainder of the year and into next. As part of this, we intend to build bridges between our work and other open source communities research and work. At the end of this series we’ll post a link to schedule a presentation of this work to your community for input and future collaboration.