Make It Official: In Praise of Official Programs for Diversity & Inclusion

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 9:00 am–9:30 am

Deb Nicholson, Software Freedom Conservancy


Diversity and inclusion programs with metrics, funding and official support from the top perform better, last longer and are more impactful. Well-articulated goals help projects tout successes, which in turn inspires more participation—so let's make it official!

Once the hard work of choosing strategies to increase diversity and improve inclusion is done, set aside some budget. It's not fair or sustainable to ask employees to do diversity work "on the side." New hiring protocols, outreach programs and promotion systems take time and training to implement if they're going to succeed. Dedicating resources to inclusion programs creates an environment where it is ok for employees to be transparent about the time and effort they're spending, which is crucial for collecting honest metrics.

Making diversity part of your company or project's success story, demonstrates sincerity and commitment that will help you attract more people that share those goals and will gladly work to achieve them.

Deb Nicholson, Software Freedom Conservancy

Deb Nicholson is a free software policy expert and a passionate community advocate. She is the Director of Community Operations at the Software Freedom Conservancy where she supports the work of its member organizations and facilitates collaboration with the wider free software community. She is also a founding organizer of the Seattle GNU/Linux Conference, an annual event dedicated to surfacing new voices and welcoming new people to the free software community. She lives with her husband and her lucky black cat in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

@conference {221790,
author = {Deb Nicholson},
title = {Make It Official: In Praise of Official Programs for Diversity \& Inclusion},
year = {2018},
address = {Nashville, TN},
publisher = {{USENIX} Association},