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Movement Strategy/Recommendations/Iteration 1/Diversity/4

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Recommendation # 4: Adopting Body Quotas for All Governing Bodies


Q 1 What is your Recommendation?


That a quota of 40:40:20 be adopted for all governing bodies of the Foundation and its stakeholders, where 40% must be female, 40% must be male, and the remaining 20% must be chosen as representatives of other diverse communities (without respect to male/female the remaining 20% should draw on community members from various age groups; with disabilities; of varying language groups; from indigenous communities, the LGBT community, various racial and ethnic communities; of different socio-economic levels, etc. [See caveat below in timeframe implementation section.]) which the Foundation serves.

Q 2 What assumptions are you making about the future context that led you to make this Recommendation?


That without a mandate, power structures will continue to default to male for generations. [1]

Q3. What will change because of the Recommendation?

  1. Studies in a broad range of endeavors -- academia;[2] business;[3], [4] media;[5], [6] and politics[7], [8] -- have shown that quotas requiring gender diversification have changed attitudes about women and public policies, reduced negative atmospheres, and led to more equal opportunities for the entire workforce.
  2. The Foundation staff and leadership is more diverse than the project and affiliate leadership, thus the recommendation may have little impact on foundational organization. Direct change would be that after some specified date the board, officers and leadership of every affiliate must include men, women and diversity targets. Applications for new Affiliates must meet the 40:40:20 requirement for the founders/organizers. The admins, bureaucrats and project committee leaders, like ArbCom, should strive to adhere to the quota on every wiki project. The indirect result may be that for a period of time, the only nominees/candidates for leadership posts are those who will expand the diversity targets.
  3. It is hoped that by diversifying leadership, greater equality and more balanced policies will be adopted. While the Foundation has no control over who may volunteer to edit and thus cannot mandate that the actual volunteers be diverse, establishing leadership which is more representative of society could foster a more welcoming environment for recruiting diverse voices and expanding the available educational material on a more representative, global scale.

Q^. How does Recommendation relate to the current structural reality? Does it keep something, change something, stop something, or add something new?


At present, any 3 people can form a user group and there are no considerations of diversity required for affiliate or project administration/leadership posts. This proposal would require that gender and diversity imbalances be addressed going forward. Stakeholders wishing to obtain grant funds from the WMF must confirm their compliance with the policy to secure funding. (May require modification of grant agreements).

Q4a. Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?


Studies have shown (see above) that there is resistance to quotas for a multitude of reasons, but that implementing them benefits the collective good. There may well be fallout and vocal opposition.

Q4b. What could be done to mitigate this risk?


Community awareness campaigns, education on the benefits, and transparency in policy implementation.

Q6. How is this Recommendation connected to other WGs?


In a fashion, it relates to Community Health, as if it creates a more welcoming and balanced environment, it would be expected to improve our overall health. It relates also to Roles and Responsibilities, as well as Resource Allocation in that the grant structure would need to change.

Q7. Does this Recommendation connect or depend on another of your Recommendations?


Yes, Inclusive language in bylaws, policies and communication

Q^. What is the timeframe of this Recommendation in terms of when it should be implemented? 2020, 2021, etc. Does it have an urgency or priority? Does this timeframe depend on other Recommendations being implemented before or after it?


Implementation needs to be staggered, as it is unreasonable to expect existing projects, user groups, etc. to reach the desired quota targets in the same timeframe as newly organizing groups.

  1. After 1 January 2021, all newly applying User Groups and Affiliates must meet the target quotas and existing user groups must present an action plan in their 2021 reporting to the WMF for reaching target quotas by 2030. Simultaneously, grant funding should change to indicate adherence to the policy.
  2. By 1 January 2023, all existing projects must demonstrate improvement toward achieving the quota targets.
  3. By 2030, quota targets should be met by all governing bodies of the Foundation and its affiliated stakeholders and projects.