[OSGeo-Discuss] Rewording the diversity argument

María Arias de Reyna delawen+osgeo at gmail.com
Fri Oct 13 00:23:22 PDT 2017

On Fri, Oct 13, 2017 at 9:01 AM, Marc Vloemans <marcvloemans1 at gmail.com>

> Dear all,
> Please notice that the concept of diversity is not about equal
> numbers/quota's. That has and will backfire as it misses the point and
> easily degrades individual achievements.
> It is essentially about 'inclusiveness'!
> I am trying to be sensitive to the European way of approaching the matter
> versus the American way. 'Diversity' as a term carries different
> connotations/values/interpretations for different cultures.
> Therefore I rather talk about 'inclusiveness' as everyone has felt left
> out at least once. So is able to relate to how that feels.
> Are we inviting and welcoming everyone that adds value in some way or is
> genuinely interested in OSGeo?
> Do we truly have the 'open' culture we pride ourselves on (e.g. past email
> treads attacking individuals could suggest differently)?
> Please, lets work on that, keep each other sharp and avoid window dressing.
> Kind regards,
> Marc Vloemans

I agree that maybe the word diversity may be too cultural-related and maybe
we should avoid it as we may not be talking about the same things. Maybe
some native speakers can create a glosary of terms we can use when talking
about diversity and inclusiveness?

I know what to use in Spanish, but sometimes I am not sure how that
translates properly. It's like, can I say "black" if I am just being
descriptive? Because "afroamerican" may work fine in America, but what
about black people in Europe who has never been to America? "Afroeuropean"?
Why the difference? It is always confusing to me because I always get
different advices here.

Also, I think that being just welcoming and open on a pasive way is not
enough, which is how OSGeo has behave until now (or at least from my point
of view). That's the classic argument when men are asked about the lack of
women in tech. "We don't forbid them to come. If they would be interested,
they would be here. We will be happy if they join." And that's not how it
works. In my opinion, we have to be actively welcoming and inclusive at all
times. The slippery moment we forget, we are making people move away.

Op 13 okt. 2017 om 08:23 heeft María Arias de Reyna <delawen+osgeo at gmail.com>
> het volgende geschreven:
> Hi Ger-Jan (and all),
> On Thu, Oct 12, 2017 at 6:00 PM, Gert-Jan van der Weijden - Stichting
> OSGeo.nl <gert-jan at osgeo.nl> wrote:
>> Hi Board member candidates (and fellow voter members),
>> = And one to all of you:
>> Some of you talk about being an inclusive organization.
>> For the geographical and probably cultural aspect of inclusiveness, do
>> you think the Board should have it's roots in as much continents /
>> languages as possible, so preferably 1 Board member from every continent
>> (not counting for Antarctica, ha!)
> I am no friend of quotas. At least everytime I have been offered things
> just because I was a woman and they needed a female because [reason not
> related to my real value] it made me feel really bad. Why would I want to
> be somewhere (a board or whatever) where everyone knows I am there not
> because I deserve it but because something I didn't even choose? If I
> accepted, no one was going to hear my voice, I would have been unable to do
> anything for real. No, thanks.
> Said this, on an ideal world probably we would have in average one person
> for each continent or language or culture or ethnicity or gender or
> whatever criteria you want to split people into.
> Would we achieve this by forcing quotas? We could but, I rather prefer to
> get more diverse people engage and enthusiast with OSGeo so in the end they
> will become natural leaders. Making an effort to help diverse people more
> comfortable in OSGeo and encourage them to participate more? Yes. Giving
> visibility to diverse people that are doing great things inside OSGeo?
> Sure. Making an effort to put someone in some position just because we have
> to fill a quota? No, thanks.
> _______________________________________________
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> Discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> https://lists.osgeo.org/mailman/listinfo/discuss
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