Improving Diversity at OpenMRS volunteering

In previous conversations we had talked about the need to have a diversity of profiles for people who are interested in volunteering in Openmrs.

Could you please share with us how can we do to make woman and non-devs more visible within the community?

@jennifer @jwnasambu @janflowers @terry @irenyak1

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cc @irenyak1

Great Questions

Currently we have a number of big discussions ongoing on Talk where we need input from everyone. this includes:

  • Documentation Forum where we reviewing all OpenMRS documentation meets Tuesdays 1pm UTC. @jwnasambu leads this

  • Development of the Operations plan for 2019. OMRS18 in Nairobi spoke, and we listened… Join us for discussions during the SO call every Thursday at 5pm UTC. our next topic is OpenMRS Strategy Discussion 2019-02-21: OpenMRS 3.0: Where and How We Play These conversations in particular are defining and shaping the way we will be operating in the coming year more feedback is always welcome! @jennifer leads this

  • Review of the OpenMRS product management activities. Establishing better ways to gather and prioritize requirements, designing software, release management , testing and quality assurance, defining a roadmap strategy. These discussions are held on Mondays at 3pm UTC during our PM call. @c.antwi and needs all the hands she can get to move these series of activities forward.

  • Security management and Advisory: this is an up and coming topic and we will be looking to engage community members to help us ensure our software is free from attacks . This will will be discussed in the next few PM calls.

Please join us on one or all of these calls and put your hand up!.

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Thanks @carina for this, please endeavor to always join these calls that @c.antwi has mentioned.

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Thank you all

What about GSoC?

If Google Season of Docs ever is implemented, it would be a great program with incentives. It was mentioned here in the past: Google Season of Docs (GSoD) - Ideas. It would help the community a lot and brings in people of non-technical skillsets.

I know this is not a popular opinion, but I think I’m in a good position to express it. You all know I’m very straightforward, so please don’t be offended or take it personally.

IMO, the more decision are taken in calls, the less inclusive we are.

I cannot join any of the scheduled calls. My timezone is ridiculous, I work fulltime and have a family and a house to keep. Even if it wasn’t during the middle of my night (as it’s for the majority of the community), I still wouldn’t have the possibility to shift everything in my day to attend the calls. I don’t think I’m the only volunteer in the community who has other commitments - I always think I’m extremely privileged here - and if everyone can shift things to attend it, how diverse are we anyway?

If we want a diverse crowd to participate on discussions, I think the way is making less calls and more written communication. It’s less invasive, it caters better for people who learned English as a second language, and it allows time-poor people to join the conversation. Or do you really want me to not be part of the security advisory decisions?

While I appreciate that calls are faster and sometimes necessary, but maybe we should consider that they are exclusionary by definition. Even if we say ‘anyone can join’, reality is that most of us feel like we shouldn’t.

When I went to the 2017 conference, I was asked why I didn’t think of myself as part of OpenMRS leadership. My answer was a little bit vague, but I said I didn’t feel like community leadership at all, I didn’t identify with the label. I think the latest drive to move more and discussions to calls instead of doing it here in talk showed me what is probably the reason: I’m not there when community decisions are being taken.

I digressed a lot, but if we want to improve people’s long term involvement/volunteering and their responsibility, that’s what I think it needs to be done.

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I agree with much @cintiadr wrote, except that I believe that she is an exemplary leader and one of the most valued members of the community.

I agree that we should have a better blend of written and voice discussions. The timezones, languages, and connectivity do make calls challenging for many. Beyond Talk discussions and Chat (IRC, telegram, etc) are there other technologies which foster positive back-and-forth channels, and are more inclusive? Should we tag community members – highlighting a more diverse group?

+1 to taking the conversations beyond calls. Even when we take notes during calls, how often does everyone look through them? How can we highlight the main points and questions raised during calls so that others can add their thoughts via Talk or IRC (or other)?

I’m interested in trying a few different approaches with the community strategy discussions - and they’d probably work for other topics.

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Thinking about the other aspect of @carina’ s question, how do we make woman and non-devs more visible within the community, what about this idea of having “Diversity Peers” and updating the profiles on the Diversity Wiki page.

What are some ways that we can identify Diversity Peers and add their profiles to that page? Beyond the Wiki, how else can we share their contributions?