Board/Minutes/2021-02-S2S/Addressing lack of gender diversity in OSM community

From OpenStreetMap Foundation

Notes by participants. Might be enriched.

This session took place in parallel with "Takeover protection". A summary was provided to the other group.


Board members

  • Allan Mustard
  • Eugene Alvin Villar
  • Mikel Maron (facilitator for this session)
  • Rory McCann

The rest of the board members participated in the parallel session.


Also present: Dorothea Kazazi (administrative assistant)

Collaborative notes

  • relatively low numbers in survey.
  • doing moderation and list issues with Local Chapters and Communities Working Group (LCCWG).
  • how to welcome more women and non-binary, culture shift.
  • first step is support LCCWG subcommittee, to have good expectations of behavior on list. Encourage more conversation.
  • encourage more to join the project itself.
  • lots of institutional barriers to participating, some we can control, some we can not.
  • not exclusive to OSM, should talk to other projects and see what worked for them.
  • what can we do proactively? representation is empowering and encouraging. what ways can we make sure women are seen as participating.
  • OSM vs OSMF. we have more means to encourage participation.
  • could increase board size to include more non-males.
  • how can Board with no women speak to issue preventing participation?
  • everyone on board could talk to friends individually, so they understand more what issues are.
  • female OSMF members could ask their friends to join.
  • 8-9% is ok in comparison to IT sector (3% in general in US). Cartography is better. So don't be discouraged but strive for more participation.
  • strategy for attracting women. need to go to where the mappers are and directly outreach.
  • all on Board, directly mentor women and nonbinary folks to talk, understand their interests, and find ways to support them.
  • we can do a better job to be welcoming, and protect space from bad interactions.
  • outreach on who could be good prospective board members. actively recruit.
  • not only focus on women and non-binary on the board, but also as osmf members.
  • start off with dialogues, and then maybe build up to a public statement.
  • make sure to include trans and gender non-conforming folks, to help frame.
  • address other aspects of diversity needed: linguistic, neuro-diversity.


  • support effort to moderate [mailing] lists.
  • outreach to have direct dialogue, snowball survey.
  • parcel out list of folks to reach out, everyone is going to make 2-3 phone calls.

Action items

  • Mikel to create hackmd to collect names [for calls].
  • Each board member to have 2-3 conversations, keep notes together, and then report back out.