Our communities generally do not reflect the diversity of profiles of our global society and suffer from a lack of renewal in the most active contributors and positions of responsibility. The alarming gender gap in contributors can be attributed to several causes, among them the lack of a safe environment, as evidenced by numerous reported cases of harassment over the past years. People feel isolated when facing problematic behavior issues because our systems do not readily provide for incident reporting and follow-up in easily-findable procedures.
This lack of safety in the current culture of many Wikimedia projects limits the work of the existing community and is a barrier for new people to join. Diversifying requires different types of contributors and different innovations in collecting and creating free knowledge. These may not be entirely aligned with today’s projects, but still have a place in the Wikimedia Movement. We must ensure that we have a welcoming and usable environment where contributors and new communities can safely flourish. The effects are not restricted to the online communities, but reach into external social media channels, off-wiki communities, workgroups, and organizations: more often than not there are the same conflicts and biases with the same people and views missing from the table.