Wikimedia CEE Meeting 2019/Programme/Submissions/Diversity and Inclusion at Wikimedia Organisations, Events and Projects

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Title of the submission

Diversity and Inclusion at Wikimedia Organisations, Events and Projects

Type of submission (lecture, panel, workshop, lightning talk, roundtable, poster)
  • Panel
Author(s) of the submission

Claudia Garád, Cornelius Kibelka


User: Claudia.Garad, User: Cornelius Kibelka (WMDE)


Wikimedia Österreich & Wikimedia Deutschland

  • Diversity
Abstract (up to 100 words)
How will this session be beneficial for the communities in the region of Central and Eastern Europe?

This panel aims at showcasing some ideas on how we can foster diversity and inclusion in our projects, events and organisations. From creative incentives such as postcards at CEE spring to more bureaucratic efforts, such as inclusivity in bylaws: There is much we can learn from each other in terms of making our movement a welcoming space for existing and new volunteers.

Special requirements

Please schedule the talk for Friday, as one of our panelists will only be available that day!

Slides or further information

Interested attendees[edit]

If you are interested in attending this session, please sign with your username below. This will help reviewers to decide which sessions are of high interest. Sign with a hash and four tildes. (# ~~~~).


  • Claudia: Please just have in mind that this is an open conversation with multiple penalizes. There are so many different experiences and perspectives on workaround diversity and conclusion. My name is Claudia and I am the executive director of Wikimedia Austria, and there is Cornelius Kivelka, and we decided to host this panel. We wanted to have at least one occasion where people can come together and exchange their experiences and also like I think one of our main goals is to encourage all of us to sync a bit more broadly about that turns.
  • I really loved the presentation of Camellia and Rosie that was just giving that stay on the level of the project which is super important, which is our core business. * But actually like there are so many more years in the Wiki vs the very small amount of talk about diversity, inclusion, and equity and that's a term that comprises a lot of it and even more that comes from the Strategic Direction which will become more and more important in our future.
  • I will talk about Austria, Cornelius will talk a bit about events, Bojan from our hosting organization Wikimedia Serbia who will talk about their LGBTQ+ program running here. We have Daria from Wikimedia UK who will talk about government and diversity which is related to the things I will talk about. Yesterday during dinner we discovered that Andrej from Romania also has some interesting perspectives. We also invited Kiki, she is originally from Albania, but she lives and works here at Serbia. But unfortunately she couldn't be here with us on Friday, but she will join us at some point during the conference and feel free to talk to her. She's just an amazingly inspiring person and she has so much to share.
  • Claudia: I will start these panel conversation if is that ok with everybody. I am very interested in the broader discussion. I have realized we have so much passion for diversity, inclusion, and equity in the movement. We restrict ourselves are often the projects and, at the same time I know, from painful experience, that this is exactly what I have the least power. This is actually not the easiest way to make a big impact. Where I have a lot of impacts is in the organization. I have an impact on how we run our organization, the signal that is sent as an organization to all kinds of groups that we want to have in our community, to become editors, to contribute content, to create content, to give us the expertise.
  • But we also need to see how the language we use impacts the topic of inclusive language and that was one of the first things that I thought about. I use German, which is a highly gendered language. In the German language, Wikipedia very much moves forward and it should be a role model there with things that you can't do under projects because they are there different rules there. They're still different dynamics and quite often you cant actually be a quick mover in your organization when other parts of your community are not ready for the change.
  • Bojan: I am an office manager at Wikimedia Serbia and I will be speaking of gender diversity and inclusivity project. I think it all started 4 years ago when women from Serbia, Albania and Kosovo, had a Women Wiki edu camp, despite the political situation, as maybe some of you don't know but there's a quite political tension between Serbia and Kosovo. That was a great step. I also came to Wikimedia in 2015 and as an openly gay person, I wanted to do something for my community. I remember that I didn't know how, because I do only finance and administration. I didnt know how to edit Wikipedia but I haven't heard about Wikimedia Commons and I learned it by myself. I wanted to have some small LGBT projects in Serbia.I started with Mickey Mouse's pride. Its international Projects and I'm permitting Serbia now, consist of taking pictures of Pride and LGBT events in Belgrade and cities around. At first I remember to write article about some people and I give it to organization's and they're like ,,oh it's not so important for Wikipedia" so I had to find constantly reasons and arguments why should that article be on Wikipedia and why is it important for the community. Nowadays it's much easier. I have help from the organisations like Defenders Initiative for human rights and the other LGBT relationships and we got 40 articles on the editor. For the first time we had trans people and non-binary people involved in our community activities and I think that this project will be much bigger especially now when we know that EU pride is going to happen in Belgrade in 2022.So speaking of other Wikimedia projects I have to mention a couple of points on the team of Human trafficking with Red cross of Serbia and Unity organizations. Also we have a senior project in collaboration with Belgrade City Library. For the next year we plan to have a project Wikipedia female who is organised by female students from universities and they're going to organize edit and write articlesabout women. In the future we also want to include more Roma people because discrimination against them is still on the high-level so that's all speaking of Serbia project. If you have any questions, ask.
  • Q1: The last thing you mention about the Roman population, do you have a plan already how to engage them? Do you have a starting how to get them involved in activities?
    • Currently no, but we should find some Roman activists who will be interested in working on wikiproject. Because I know that Wikipedia Serbia didn't have anything about LGBT issues when I didn't work there and just because I'm openly gay from the start, me as an activist I wanted to do great for my community and also my job. Finding volunteers from the Roma population who will be interested would be great in that goal.
  • Q2: Did you have any clear steps that you were taking to prove notability or how did you have this discussion with existing community? How did you manage to get to the established quantum LGBT plus topics in your project or non-existent before?
    • I remember it wasn't like a hard time for me because I have to find like a lot of newspaper articles, web articles about LGBT issues information, for example, why is that a trans girl was so much important for the trans community in Serbia. They were all like because people on Wikipedia who actively edits every day or are mainly straight white man and I had to explain why someone important for my community.
  • Daria: I work at Wikimedia UK. Interestingly I'm also a board member at London based charity called Share. It's a learning disability charity so I have a few experiences that's all might be drawn in later in the discussion. But focusing on Wikimedia UK, first I think working in within like programs of an affiliate, working on diversity and inclusion, can be not so easy for the UK. Working on it came from what we want to do as an organization and what we want to represent and that ties very strongly to our strategy. We have 4 program goals. One of them is very much focused on that and of course, it's a little bit on its own content on different Wikimedia projects, where it about identifies areas of inequality and trying to redress that on Wikipedia. It's also building partnerships to increase access to underrepresented cultural heritage. I also think I'm looking at our strategy right now I think what's interesting is we also have like one of our key objectives is to ensure that our own policies and practices support diversity and inclusion. And this makes a lot of sense to me. it's very important, it's in this sort of showing leadership. You're supporting what you want to see in the wider community. I hope that makes sense. For example, we are investing a lot at the diversity of our board. * Interesting it's a bit like a feedback loop the board is the other people for setting the strategy, so if they have a lot of wide range of opinions to draw from they will set a strategy that is also quite focused on online diversity. I would think so, for example like in UK it's we're made up of four countries and some of which have been at the moment some of which have been attacked and depressed and over with England so a lot of the other nations are underrepresented in the narrative. It's important to have somebody from Scotland. We're really making sure that the gender balance is insured on the board because of how that then influences the quality and the sort of opinions that are the decisions are being made on the board.That it's a constant process. It's not like you've ticked some boxes and then you can settle in and have achieved diversity. it's like a constant work and there are no many things that can be made to make it even better. For example when you're trying to increase diversity in participation it's it's quite important drawing people in to make them feel like they belong somewhere.I'm not sure if this is making sense but for me what * I'm saying is that the activities to try and change things can go quite deep, so that's kind of like one piece of this puzzle.
  • The other piece is something that I also wanted to show, that I hope it is useful, are we've been doing a lot of thinking in the UK to work out what diversity means in the UK context. I think that that depends on the community. It's not the same for everybody.
  • We have a very rich colonial past and a great track record of writing people out of history. It's something to explore and it can be quite uncomfortable as well and like really saying like who has been written out and what we can do to redress this. So that's what is happening in the UK contact. Tt might be different for others but * I think I just wanted to give the example to like thing for you what it means for you. Is there any questions?
  • Q3: Regarding the board composition in Europe that you are a member of, how do you manage to do this is exactly? If our community is predominantly male and white and that means most of our Association members are also male and white and how do we get other people elected at the same time maintaining democratic?
    • That is why i was talking about constancy. We were doing every single thing about coaching and like really even when people are applying for positions. Advertisement is focused on what we're saying that we're looking for.
  • Claudia: I think we often have a problem if you want to get new voices to the table and new people in. So that's probably sometimes even harder, inviting people that you serve you already have to pull harder to you. Also, let you know that that's an extra step to make to imagine who else should be here I don't know in the next five years.
  • I'm going to give you view you a lot different from before. I am sad to see that the majority of people here come from Communities with established affiliates, with people with the fillets, with employees that have a lot of time. For those of you who haven't been to my presentation, I think it was basically about diversity by Design. That was because I don't have time. I come from user groups with 5 members out of which just three are in Romania and two of them are really really busy, just like me and where are you really don't have time is liking so diversity. So what we can do is find the really small changes that can be done that cost nothing or nearly nothing that can make it interesting for more people to participate in our projects. Don't make events for a single topic unless there is a very good reason for that. You can bring new people to your events without specifically target them. Maybe enough if you choose the subjects wisely. You know it's not always enough but it will help, from my experience.