Talk:Wikimedia Chapters Association/Resolutions/2012 SG recruitment

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Person before location?[edit]

Sorry, but this is one of the old issues - but still, I don't agree it can come before. As I wrote in the mailing list before, I think that the whole process need to be out-sourced. To hire company that will legally define the organization, planning the first steps and the process, and recommendation about the place of registration. If the WMF hired Bridgespan to build the FDC from scratch, even to contact the chapters, and build the whole system, I don't see why we don't and continue to play with committees that shown us that this way not work. I don't think it make a sense to select a person, without knowing salary, without knowing from where he and his family will need to work from, and without any model of what he need to do as part of the job he applying to. --Itzike (talk) 22:47, 10 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Location is one of our political sticking points that has caused us significant delay. If you feel we can choose an office location (Berlin? London? Paris?) with a simple vote, then please go ahead and propose a resolution and we can immediately register a non-profit in that country. Discussing this over with Stefan and others, it is entirely reasonable to unlock office location from the recruitment process:
  1. Any SG is highly likely to have a home country different from the WCA office location. As we expect the SG to travel frequently to visit a range of chapters, this is of direct benefit.
  2. We can ask candidates how they would like to establish a central office location and the reasons why, this will avoid eliminating candidates prematurely on the basis of where the Council has arbitrarily chosen a country to locate an office. The SG can present a researched case, and budget, to the Council for the country of the central office after they are in position (in the first month I would suggest).
  3. Salary can be defined as being at "a competitive executive rate" for the SG's home country rather than just for Belgium or London or wherever the office happens to eventually be.
  4. A legal location, potentially based in the same city as any legal advice we obtain during recruitment is a separate issue from office location and need not carry the same political debate as office location has done to date.
I am concerned that if we continue to have circular debate about location, I doubt that any of us will have the energy to get on with making the WCA more than a dream, I certainly will not. With our first member of staff in place, everything else follows. Thanks -- (talk) 02:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And BTW, WMIL, (together with other chapters) is willing to help finance it. And last time I talk with Sue, she said they can help. And I think every dollar (or Euro..) that will be spent on this process will save us much more money in the future. --Itzike (talk) 23:03, 10 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I like the idea of bringing on an outside consultant to help address some of these issues; as Itzik correctly points out, our current approach has unfortunately not produced the results we were hoping for when we established the committees. Overall, I don't think that we're going to make progress if we continue to expect that everything will be done by the WCA council members, most of whom already carry significant workloads in their own chapters. Kirill [talk] 23:08, 10 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, this is why I have proposed a single part-time and experienced consultant over six to eight weeks as I mentioned in my email to Council Members. The work to be done by Council Members is relatively minimal in the process. I do not see how we could have no Council Members having a say in the Job Description or taking part in final interviews. Once a Secretary General is in place, establishing an office, a financial process and proposing a budget to Council Members will suddenly not be reliant on the work of volunteer Council Members and be far more cost effective than asking a transitional firm of consultants to do it. Thanks -- (talk) 02:50, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Fae has now added a note that WCA would move forward with incorporation before the SG is appointed, and has suggested Mid-November as an incorporation date. That sounds more like the original plan, where incorporation was the first and most important step in the process. If a location is to be selected by mid-November, I think a public discussion and WCA resolution needs to be started promptly. John Vandenberg (talk) 23:11, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It is not necessary to know the location at this point, although it would be great to have finally a decision. We were very close in Washington but suddenly concerns came up; they were met immediately, but some felt that we should wait. But it would be sad if this question would delay the hiring. One cannot complain about a lack of progress on one field when mixing it up with all those others. Searching for a location can be a part of the job of the SG - hardly the other way round, the location will not automatically provide us with a SG. Ziko (talk) 11:33, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

A question to WM CH, WM IL and WM DC (all of whom have voted against this resolution): Your argument seems to be that we need to incorporate the WCA before we can hire a SG (or any other position). Are you aware that this resolution is not about hiring a SG, but about using an outside consultant helping us to set-up the hiring-process? It will take months before the WCA will have a candidate that it can hire - enough time to incorporate, is it not? Why do we need to incorporate before we can even start talking with someone about how we might go on with finding a suitable candidate? As mentioned on chapters-l, I was among the group phrasing the resolution 2&3. It clearly says that the budget committee will present a recommendation for a place of incorporation. That was, because we felt there were some gaps in the recommendation by an external agency, which did not consider the financial situation enough. It neither says the budget committee sorts out the issue nor does it mean anything about an order of decisions. But if incorporating seems to be so important for you: Why don´t you go ahead and incorporate the WCA right now? At this moment, it doesn't really matter if it is in Israel, the USA or Switzerland (or Belgium, or Argentina, or any place, as long as it is not Germany). Let´s get this over with. I would think the SG will review the place of incorporation, and then decide whether she likes the place or she doesn’t. If she doesn’t, than she will change it, and she will than let us all know. Because that is her job. --Mglaser (talk) 22:49, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • The place of incorporation and office location are two different issues. The former should be moved on immediately; the latter can wait until there is a real need, and that may not be for a couple of years. The wages for the SG can be on a contract basis, with him responsible for administering his own taxes in whatever country he lives. If we incorporate in Belgium but the employee does not work in Belgium there is no responsibility for Belgian employment taxes. The same applies for other countries. Eclecticology (talk) 08:20, 16 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Physical office[edit]

May I ask why a physical office is necessary, given the significant additions to costs that travel, accommodation, and rent will be to any WCA budget? And I'm still fuzzy on what value this infrastructure will add to what individual chapters already do. Tony (talk) 06:22, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It may well be that there will not be a physical office nominated for some time. We have every intention of piggy-backing on the offers of use of facilities that many existing chapters can provide. However once the Secretary General is in place, having a fixed location for administration and coordination would be of great benefit, even if the SG themselves is not physically there most of the time. (talk) 09:32, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks for your response, Ashley. If there were a concentration of chapters or Wikimedians in one part of Europe, say, I can imagine there could be some conceivable advantage in the expense of setting up a physical office, rented and serviced. But the chapters and Wikimedians generally are spread around the globe, and we're part of a movement that is quintessentially defined by online activity. I'm not seeing the advantages of gathering people in a single location to (mostly) sit at computers reading, thinking, typing, and Skyping—this they can do from their own homes, without the need for expensive relocation.

    There are indeed compelling reasons to model the WCA's "office" as essentially an online set-up: (1) it's much more cost-efficient (and is probably advantageous in terms of taxation); (2) it offers significantly more flexible employment (who's going to move continents to take up a 0.4 FTE position for a year?); and (3) it avoids the group-think insular culture that can grow in a physical office, particularly given its need to serve and stay grounded with far-flung chapters from many cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

    We have Skype—even Skype video when both sides have a good connection. Chapters are full of people who are at home on the internet, since in many ways they provide a bridge between the wiki and real-life worlds. The needs of the WCA are likely to be optimised by tapping into short-term and part-time expertise in and outside the movement—and many ideal candidates will not be interested in a disruptive move into an uncertain environment. It's also quite a risk to take on full-time people (presumably for decent contract periods), move them into a foreign environment, and expect them to morph into a happy family. The huge expense and administrative constraints of a physical office are better partly allocated to valuable chapter activities themselves, and partly to bringing staff and WCA members together at specific face-to-face meetups. And I'm surprised to hear that the secretary-general won't even work in the office. How is this known already? Could we have a preliminary statement of the types of functions and levels of employment for the WCA staff? If not, further doubt is cast over why a bricks-and-mortar office is the superior model. Tony (talk) 10:47, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

    • I would like the WCA to leave the SG plenty of flexibility on how to establish the "office", though this approach is undermined if we insist on establishing an official location city before we send out the SG job specification. I agree, we should be very smart in the ways we make use of the virtual environment for meetings and discussions. It is not my intention to exclude options too early and this topic, along with the potential for more than one "official" location, would probably be a great one to probe candidates for the SG post on how they envisage their necessary use of technology to engage globally. You will note that the resolution is only to recruit the SG, how the support infrastructure will grow, including some necessary administrative staff, is to be one of the first tasks for the SG to propose. By the way, I have no idea how much time the SG would spend in the "office", we have no consensus on it, so anything I say about that is idle speculation. Thanks -- (talk) 17:32, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Hello! In 8 days WCA want to finish the SG job description. I don't see anywhere how much he/she will earn. It's a very important point. So, I have some questions. I missed in this process more participation and communication.

  • First, connected with the other question made here, location. The salary is not the same in Germany, in Kenya or in Spain.
    • Salary has been a highly debated question for the WCA and this resolution attempts to unlock us from that issue. The advice is to advertise on a market competitive rate for the specification. Many global organizations have tables of salary bands for staff that vary by country and we need to adopt the same approach depending on the "home" country of the SG. For example a SG who spends 30% of their time in a central office location (London? Berlin?) but resides in Madrid, would be offered a package based on market rates in Spain. -- (talk) 09:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • Secondly, I read that WMDE will pay the transitional cost. Which cost? I'm sorry but I don't understand very well which cost they are.
    • See below in the answer to John Vandenberg, this is only the costs of a consultant supporting the recruitment process. -- (talk) 09:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • And another more important question, who and how SG will be paid and by who? WCA has not a legal/official constitution nowhere, and somebody should pay the SG salary, who and with which money?
    • A legal identity for the WCA will be established before any offer is made. When we previously looked into this for various countries, setting up a company to be named in an employment contract should take less than a week. As the first round of candidates is planned for November 2012, it would make sense if this is in place by then. The legal identity need not be the long term "location" for the WCA office and any later administration support.
    • With regard to "which money", I am working on the basis of forecast funds in both the budgets for WMDE and WMUK. From these alone I can count on reserves of more than €120,000 which is sufficient to cover necessary wind-up costs of the WCA, primarily paying off the Secretary General under a likely employment contract. This is the minimum sufficient contingency plan, it is not a WCA budget; that will be the first task of the SG to create and get a consensus for, something that as volunteers we have failed to do in any timely fashion. -- (talk) 09:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • "The WCA Council supports the following plan of action previously agreed with the consultant" Who is the consultant and who chose it?
    • Stefan Levko is the consultant. He is an individual rather than a large firm, which reduces his overhead significantly, and he comes with directly relevant Wikimedia related experience from recruiting directors for WMDE. Pavel Richter (WMDE CEO) recommended him based on his experience and I interviewed him by phone for this recruitment support activity for a few weeks. -- (talk) 09:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
  • "final presentations/interviews with Council Members and expert advisers" Where, when and how? And who are the expert advisers and who choose them?
    • The details are to be defined. However, my view shared with Stefan is that all Council Members can get as involved in the process as they wish, all stages are as open as possible to the community (respecting personal confidentiality) and the final interview panel is open to all 21 Council Members. The "expert advisers" are anyone that Council Members wish to have present or represent them, such as their chapter Chief Executive or a translator. -- (talk) 09:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I agree with Itzike "the first step is to define the organization". Thank you for your answers. --Millars (talk) 07:59, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I agree that the cost of the "temporary consultant" should be explicit. Will the consultant be a specialist engaged on a contract for this task only, or will WMDE be providing one of their own staff members in-kind to undertake this task? John Vandenberg (talk) 08:15, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I interviewed Stefan Levko on 21 September, based on Pavel Richter's personal recommendation from his work with WMDE. Based on the schedule put forward in this resolution, we estimated a total of €3,000 to €4,000 for his time to support a 6 to 8 week recruitment process. This will be covered by WMDE as noted in the resolution. Stefan is an independent consultant, not a staff member of WMDE. -- (talk) 09:58, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for this explanation and the amendments made to the resolution to record the budget estimate into the footnotes of the proposal. John Vandenberg (talk) 23:17, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]


Fae, when I handed the stick to you I have also provided the names of two HR firms which I already briefed and got offers from. Has this direction been investigated as an alternative to Stefan Levko? Tomer A. -- Talk 13:24, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Tomer. Yes I did look at these, and received several later emails. I'll write a bit more after this weekend (just preparing for CEE so not much time to look back over the email history). My lack of enthusiasm was based on the WMUK experience of agents being not necessarily more effective than using our own channels but being a magnitude more expensive. You will note that this option is actually included in the resolution as optional step "4A" which would (probably) include bringing in recruitment agencies such as -- (talk) 17:15, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Hey, I do not completely understand the difference between Stefan Levko and these agencies. At least one of them was a one-(wo)man-show. Tomer A. -- Talk 18:54, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Tomer, were the two offers you obtained approximately the same cost as Stefan Levko? Did you provide these two offers to Fae? John Vandenberg (talk) 23:19, 11 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
As far as I remember, it was higher. I do however suspect that these proposals included more than what is suggested here. Tomer A. -- Talk 13:15, 17 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
What concerns me, also, is the potential conflict of interest in giving a contract to Stefan Levko, who is strongly affiliated with WMDE and the German WP. I'd prefer someone a little more independent. Tony (talk) 01:10, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I am unsure how we could find anyone with Wikimedia experience who at the same time had no relationship to any chapter or the WMF. I am sure that Pavel Richter could help with an explanation of what steps WMDE is taking to ensure there is no influence over the outcome of any recruitment process and how Stefan is not under any influence. This was a consideration and I did talk this over in a call with Pavel before considering Stefan. -- (talk) 06:44, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well, WMDE has a strong interest in getting the WCA off the ground; that is the reason why in our 2013 draft budget, we set aside 200.000 Euro for the WCA work. And that is why I suggested to use the services of Stefan in supporting the hiring process, because I know Stefan for some time now, and I think he is a very good help (and a nice person working with, btw). So, of course, WMDE will take a strong interest in the whole hiring process, and I hope that Fae and Stefan do publish reports here on meta on a regular basis, so that we all know what is happening. Besides this, I do not expect or ask for any additional information, neither from Stefan nor from anyone else.
If it is a problem that WMDE is paying his bills, I am more than happy to transfer the money needed in advance to any other chapter and let them pay the bills (if this is possible for Stefan from a tax perspective). But please note that Stefan is continuing working with WMDE over the next couple of months on other projects, so he and I will be in close contact anyway--Pavel Richter (WMDE) (talk) 11:20, 13 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you for the cash—donors' money, and I guess ultimately FDC money. A few cynics have suggested that WMDE has left the Toolserver high and dry, diverting what would have been its funding to an extraordinarily generous allocation to the WCA. I'm not endorsing that view, but simply passing it on. I hope some chapters don't see this largesse as leverage for WMDE to exert dominance in the WCA—bought power, as it were. Tony (talk) 15:15, 13 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Tony, can you please elaborate and substantiate your statement, especially (but not only) with some links to the "cynics" you are referring to, as well as to a source where I can understand that and how we at Wikimedia Deutschland left the Toolserver "high and dry", after we spent hundreds of thousand of (donor) Euros on it over the last years, and are continuing to do so for the foreseable future, together with the help of other chapters and (maybe) the WMF? I know, you are not endorsing these views, but being the one who is passing them on, it is your responsibility to back them up. Thank you :-)--Pavel Richter (WMDE) (talk) 17:42, 13 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

WCA needs to canvass chapter opinion now, and accordingly hire a team of P/T contractors with diverse skills[edit]

Pavel, I hadn't intended to make the Toolserver the main theme here. While everyone's grateful to WMDE for its pioneering support for it over the years—not to mention Wikidata and other innovations—the reduction in financial support for the TS has been the subject of bitter complaint by DAB and others; I believe it's not entirely resolved, as you imply ("maybe"). The fact that at the same time the WCA received a strikingly large initial allocation in the recently released WMDE forward planning is a coincidence noticed by a number of people, as was the explicit assumption that member chapters will donate 5% of their income to the WCA. I didn't think it's necessary to name people who've observed this (whether on- or off-wiki), since the parallelism is there for all to see—although I concede not the reasoning behind it.

Of related concern is the apparent rush to put the cart before the horse, as it were, by an expansionary emphasis on hiring a single person (and setting up elaborate physical infrastructure) without knowing what the members want. The priorities and some of the processes and timelines can and I believe should be first established by the council members, not by outsourcing these fundamental decisions to a somewhat isolated SG.

This is why I'm surprised that draft discussion papers haven't already been developed and sent around to members, outlining choices and canvassing opinion: that would be a surefire way of garnering global enthusiasm as a way forward before contracting out expert assistance in several (probably part-time) areas. One has only to peruse the WCA's preamble and purposes for the inspiration. I see "openness, sharing, subsidiarity, solidarity, trust, plurality, effective teamwork, and collaboration form core principles", and "diversity in language, culture, philosophy, and approach are an important asset". So what would the member chapters like in the first instance? At a guess:

  1. the organisation and funding of explicitly targeted language translation services for chapters to enhance their ability to present key texts to the movement, and to be able to present to their own members and communities important WMF text;
  2. professional help with the development of common "standards of accountability and participation";
  3. the development of common guidelines and modules for conducting chapter activities, especially education outreach;
  4. the expansion of the WCA's onwiki presence, probably with a blog for facilitating "the exchange of experiences, ideas, and knowledge" (again, translation assistance and part-time professional help?);
  5. a mechanism for productive liaison with the two chapter-selected trustees (Q and As, etc?).
  6. coordination with WMDE's recent outlay of €145K for "international dialogue".

Have the chapter members been asked for detailed opinion based on a set of suggestions? Much of this can be negotiated by email over the next few weeks; if you're going to hire anyone, I'd be inclined to get someone to coordinate this on a short-term contract, and soon—to do the mechanical communications, to interpret, code, and present summary opinions and suggestions from many sources, and to back-and-forth a bit with a refined set of priorities as determined by Ashley, Ziko, and whoever else is prepared to assist.

Translation doesn't come cheaply, but is important given the practicality of English as a global language. No one wants to see chapters, particularly those in the developing world, feeling excluded because of the dominance of European languages. The impending seismic shift of post-school education online opens opportunities for the WCA to take the lead in the professional production of YouTube videos for all sorts of chapter-useful purposes, in multiple languages. It's very challenging, but exciting too. We should feel optimistic, but let's get the basics on the table for the member chapters first. Ashley and Ziko, your leadership in this respect would be most welcome.

€200K plus WMUK's kind appropriation (20K, was it?), plus more from other chapters (if you can get it by enthusing them) would be sucked up in a jiffy on these areas. I believe the WCA should not pre-commit to head-hunting a first-world executive full-time employee: the range of skills required is too great, and employment flexibility is necessary at this stage. Tony (talk) 12:48, 14 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Long email, just correcting one point, we are not head-hunting a first-world executive. I have no idea why you would make that assumption. Thanks -- (talk) 08:02, 15 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Proposals for location[edit]

I would argue the case, strongly, that getting on with recruitment can be unlocked from the discussion on "location" of the WCA. However, as many representatives seem to put this as a priority before we can even start recruitment, I would like any Council Member with concerns to make a proposal here for the location(s) they would support. This can then become the basis of a resolution that can run in parallel with the recruitment process. If anyone fancies writing up a resolution, please go ahead rather than waiting for me. :-) -- (talk) 08:53, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

  • I would support any location where the initial office can be co-located with a large and established chapter such as in Germany, UK or France. This will have immediate benefits of known accountants, lawyers and administration services. -- (talk) 08:53, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]
This is not the correct venue for discussing incorporation location. Please move your proposal to Talk:Wikimedia Chapters Association or Chapters' noticeboard or somewhere similar. John Vandenberg (talk) 09:22, 12 October 2012 (UTC) (and remove this section)[reply]
LOL, refer to the comments on the resolution itself, and the discussion above which are mainly about location rather than recruitment process. You are welcome to move this section and add a link to whatever page on :meta you personally believe is more appropriate, I hardly have the energy to argue the toss. I would just like to see a well managed discussion of the issues relating to this resolution so that we can reach a rapid consensus, you are welcome to find a way to make that happen. Cheers (from a mobile, stuck at the airport) -- (talk) 13:09, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Ah, here is the relevant discussion page:

Talk:Wikimedia Chapters Association/Place of registration

Dead since June because discussion went to a private email discussion not on a mailing list that I am aware of. John Vandenberg (talk) 16:29, 12 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Unfortunately I cannot prove a negative, though I can assure you that the WCA has a core value of conducting as much of its business as possible in public. The only email discussion that was not public or on the Chapters list over the last couple of months has been simple notifications for Council Members to vote and a few replies on that matter. In practice everything important has been public and the majority of it on :meta, as is my firm personal preference. If you cannot see the discussion, then it is far more likely that the discussion is not happening rather than it being kept secret from you. Thanks -- (talk) 08:41, 3 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
May I make a note that also the chapters mailing list is non-public? Effeietsanders (talk) 13:26, 3 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, I'll consider the benefits of not using it in the future. As stated, my preference is for :meta. -- (talk) 17:59, 3 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Two suggestions[edit]

Colleagues, I don't want to appear to be gratuitous, but all the same I think two things should be pointed out—perhaps even put on the informal agenda—concerning the WCA as it is currently constructed.

  • The first is that the WCA seems to be proceeding down a high-expense, first-world route. Even though WMDE (i.e. German donors and the FDC) are forking out generous amounts at the moment, ultimately the costs should be shared with chapters in developing countries (I've seen a 5% "tax" mentioned). I don't want to think that those who pay call the tune, if those who pay are drawn from a small set of privileged countries. Are strategies likely to be developed to ensure that the WCA is truly international in its culture, including the avoidance of being overwhelmingly Euro-centric?
  • The second is that, with few notable exceptions, the WCA is male-dominated. Given the extreme gender ratio of many of the movement's editing communities—approaching 90–10 in some cases—will the WCA be equipped to represent and encourage female participation in the movement? What kind of signals should the WCA be sending out about gender?

Tony (talk) 06:26, 3 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Hi Tony, do you have any evidence for your claims about "first-world" bias of the WCA, I would like to read and think about it more?
As the Chair, I just do not see any promotion of first world interests over any other. I am unsure how you are defining 'first world', would you say all 21 current members are 'first world' chapters? As every Council Member has an equal vote and equally loud voice on the Council, this weights the politics of the Council towards the smaller chapters and who will eventually pay the most towards funding the WCA (nobody has paid anything yet) has no bearing whatsoever on how the Council Members vote, or what resolutions they put forward through the Chair. It would be worth taking this into consideration when deciding whether it is fair or true for you to pursue a thesis (or news story) that the WCA has a bias to large or rich chapters.
As for representation of women, I remain concerned and I am open to positive suggestions for appropriate action. The Chapters are responsible for putting forward their Council Members and though the WCA can raise the general issue of representation of women in our community, and encourage more women to participate, I am sure a quota system or other means of positive discrimination would be highly controversial. Two of the current WCA CMs are women, which is slightly less than the proportion of women in our community generally. On the subject of diversity, I would like to see more openly LGBT folks on the Council, as far as I know I'm the only openly gay person taking part (meaning we can claim more than 4% of the Council is gay, hurrah!). I suspect even the fact that an openly gay man is the WCA Chair will be encouraging for LGBT people to get more involved in Chapters. There are many issues of representation and diversity that can be raised as the WCA matures and the WCA might be in a good position to take a lead. I know that in the near future we shall be encouraging women to come forward for the Secretary General position. Having a diverse selection of candidates for SG, including a high proportion being women, would itself be a good demonstration of diversity and a fair measure of the effectiveness of the recruitment process.
‡ I am not saying there are no other LGBT folks on the Council, we are in a world where it may not be wise, safe or practical for LGBT people to be publicly open about their sexuality, and I have no intention of putting pressure on Council Members to come out if they have such concerns. -- (talk) 13:26, 4 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
So we share being male and gay. But experience of life has taught me that what divides men and women is an order of magnitude great than what divides gay and straight. My personal view is that encouraging women to play important roles in the WCA, not to mention the chapters themselves, should be a high priority. Paragraphs could be written to summarise the reasons, but that's a broader issue for a different talk page. Tony (talk) 13:09, 5 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]