Increased diversity is crucial to the future of open source. A range of contributors from varying backgrounds brings broader experience to the table, which makes for healthier projects — and ultimately better software. To make Fedora a more diverse community, the Fedora Council (our new governance and leadership body) has an open position for a Diversity Adviser, and we need your help to find the perfect person for this role.
What does a Diversity Adviser do?
The Fedora Diversity Adviser will lead initiatives to assess and promote equality and inclusion within the Fedora contributor and user communities, and will develop project strategy on diversity issues. The Diversity Adviser will also be the point of contact for Fedora’s participation in third-party outreach programs and events.
What’s happening now?
We’re forming a search committee to find the most awesome and incredible human being for the job — and this message is the invitation to join that committee.
In earlier conversations, we’ve talked about the various benefits of asking someone within the project to fill the role vs. inviting someone from the outside, with experience in open source and communities but not necessarily deeply with Fedora. There clearly are benefits and disadvantages either way, and we’re open to either one. We’d like the search committee to include both perspectives (as well as of course different backgrounds and expertise with minority groups). That way, if we choose someone external, we can feel confident that people with a longer history within the project back the choice (and, indeed, were part of making it); and if we choose someone from within Fedora, that we also have the benefit of outside perspective in doing so.
How can I help?
If you’re interested in helping with the search, please email me at email@example.com with answers to the following questions (and/or anything else you’d like to say). I’ll share responses confidentially with other members of the Fedora Council, and we’ll form the committee from there.
- Why do you believe diversity and inclusion are important for Fedora, and why do you want to join the search team for Fedora’s Diversity Adviser?
- What specific minority group(s) or issues can you offer insight about? What perspectives, experiences, or knowledge about diversity and inclusion could you share as a member of the search team?
- To give us further insight, feel free to provide names and contact information for up to three people who can speak to your passion, interest, or experience with diversity and inclusion.
Please send responses by March 31st, 2015, so we can get the search underway. We will leave actual details of how the search will work up to the searchers. It may end up that someone with interest in being on the search team will also be the best candidate; the Council doesn’t see that as a problem. And, it may be that the committee will want to continue to exist after the search, in an advisory role or as part of an action team, but we also don’t want to raise barriers by making that an initial obligation.
Note that the Diversity Adviser currently an unpaid, volunteer position. I personally hope we can change that in the future, but we also wanted to take the steps we can now to make progress. This is not a token role; it carries full participation in Council consensus for any and all project issues relevant to diversity.
Please share this invitation with anyone you think might be interested, both within Fedora and outside of Fedora in relevant communities. Thank you!
Cover Photo — Lápis by Cleide Isabel CC-BY-SA 3.0
M. Edward Borasky (@znmeb)
Is the “Fedora Diversity Advisor” a paid position with hiring and firing authority?
Paul W. Frields
Hi Edward, the post states this is an unpaid, volunteer position currently, although it might not be so in the future.
To put things in perspective, note that there are no positions with hiring and firing authority within the Fedora Project. We’re just not structured that way.
Of course, Red Hat sponsors many people to work on Fedora, but for most people, it is not their full-time job even then, and only a very few managers oversee teams dedicated to or even largely focused on Fedora.
I am not in the running. I am not of sufficiently diverse experience with my 55 years in IT.
I am very glad though, to see the end-user community have a spokesperson represent them within different projects.
Some thought might be to clone the person. The “his or her” clone could be an expert in servers, another within data security, a third with desktop interfces, etc. In this regard, a good idea would be to look at the Fedora spins and see if one person has the background to represent the target group represented by that spin.
Just curious, how many people your are looking for?