Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees/Call for feedback: Community Board seats/Reports/2021-02-19 Wikiwomennetzwerk
Wikiwomennetzwerk is a mailing list for users read as female within the German Wiki community.
Four attendees took part in the conversation.
Ranked Voting System
One attendee found the system complicated. Another found it to be a possible solution.
All attendees agreed, that quotas, though it might be impossible to represent all groups, might be a good start for more diversity and might speed things up, especially as it is a simple way to make things happen. One idea came up, that the idea of regional seats and an overall gender quota might be a good combination for the most important criteria of diversity as a start.
Call for types of skills end experience
One attendee found this a reasonable solution. Another opposed, as skills should not be overrated on community-selected seats of the board. Another attendee remarked though, that the terms are too short to train persons with insufficient skills, so a certain amount of skills might be helpful for optimal use of the term. Another attendee proposed an advisory council to the board, delivering skills whenever needed, keeping the board seats thus open for any community members.
Vetting of Candidates
The same attendee proposed an advisory council to the board here too, delivering skills whenever needed, keeping the board seats thus open for any community members.
A community selection process to ensure diversity was seen with some doubt by all attendees, as election results turn out to be only as diverse as the electing community itself.
Election of confirmed candidates
“Why is a community vote on trustee candidates important?” Paid staff only can not deliver the required knowledge on communities, volunteers, and their work. Community votes warrant, that this knowledge is provided always.
Direct appointment of confirmed candidates
In theory, this seemed to all attendees the best way to establish a set of rules and criteria, which might lead to a perfectly diverse and skillful board. All agreed though, that this would cause a massive loss of trust in the board itself, such a "Top-Down"-solution would be emotionally impossible to realize with the communities.
An attendee pointed out again the above-cited combination of a gender quota combined with regional seats. Another recommended an over proportional representation of emerging Wikimedia communities for a while (e.g. 4 or 5 seats) as only this might help to make things change in the long run. Especially as there is some danger that, combined with skills, the board might end up continuing classical role models then (e.g. a male White IT-expert and an African female as Diversity expert). An attendee proposed, that every region should be tied up to a seat.
This idea was not in favor, as -compared to the idea of regional seats-, diversity was clearly ranked as more important than wider defined skills.