After the completion of first round of applications, the sum of applications did not exhibit the level of diversity that sufficiently represents the movement, bring in new voices and ensures a healthy disruption of the status quo. To try and remedy this, the existing Working Group members have been tasked to diversify their groups. In August and September, they are mapping the gaps, identifying additional profiles and expanding the groups; the application form for the Working Groups remains open. The Diversification Template provides a basis for the Working Groups to reflect on the blind spots and devise a remedial approach.
The Diversification Template has been provided to the members of the Working Groups to facilitate the process of increasing diversity and promoting participation across all stakeholders of the Wikimedia Movement. This diversification template intends to broaden the discussion, ensure representation and bring difficult/important questions to the table. Members of all Working Groups have experimented with the diversification template and have agreed that there are obvious gaps in the present composition of their group. These gaps are identified using the generic matrix provided in the template and Working Group members have taken it as homework/action point to recommend to the Core Team a list of names (individuals or organisations) who would be able to bridge these gaps. In an effort to facilitate initial meeting and agenda setting for the Working Groups two onboarding meetings were hosted by the Core Team (7 August and 9 August 2018). Initial meetings of the Working Groups began after these onboarding meetings with the agenda of: a) selecting interim coordinator b) recommendations regarding the diversification template c) support expected from the Core Team. 26 August, 2018 was set as the deadline for recommendations regarding the diversification template.
At the time of drafting this report, all the Working Groups have been successful in organising a minimum of one call to discuss the diversification template and select interim coordinator for coordination purpose.
The diversification template has been used in the Working Groups’ discussions for an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the movement. The current composition of the Working Groups reiterates the biased representation of diversity in the Wikimedia movement. A clear recommendation that has come up during these discussions, is for the Working Groups to engage with community members who can represent issues and have experience on diverse field of expertise (partnerships, finance and administrative responsibilities). Identifying such individuals could potentially create a list of volunteers who can be reached out at various level of the strategy process and any other plans for the growth of our movement.
The discussions around the diversification template have confirmed that the existing Working Groups need increased representation of:
- Community members, affiliates and representatives of global organisations who have worked with the themes of the WG
- Volunteers and advocates of marginalised identities (indigenous knowledge communities, LGBTQ+, emerging communities...)
- Experts who might be of help as an advisory body to steer the WG
The diversification template has not only been about identifying gaps and attempts to bridge them. These conversations have led to other important discussions such as size of the Working Group, capacity building and problem solving skills in the Working Groups. The discussions emphasise that to be part of a Working Group is a significant commitment (time and energy) and any participants/members of a Working Group (coming out of recommendations of the diversification process) should be able to exercise the foreseen rigour of participation.
There will be two main challenges facing the Core Team when considering the recommendations:
- Ensuring that the diversification template does not only favour visible absentees (language, affiliates and geography) but enables equitable representation.
- Achieve a balance between volunteer, affiliate, staff and external members in the composition of WGs.
To mitigate these challenges the Core Team will be evaluating the diversification recommendations provided by the Working Groups and offer constructive feedback to improve the diversity of the Working Group and outreach process.
- Identify connectors and get their expertise and support
- Use existing data and contacts (e.g. from strategy salons last year)
- Accept future applications as they come in. Consider to open another call for diversification
- 26 August 2018 - 26 September 2018: Outreach efforts to invite new members for Working Groups
- 27 September - 10 October, 2018: Onboarding and introductions with Working Group members