At our last staff meeting we were asked to share practices, projects or initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion in an individual or team’s current work. The list was great benchmark on how to embed diversity and inclusion tools into the work environment so I wanted to share a list of examples as told by Mozilla Foundation employees.
Practices and Ideas
Building inclusion in team meetings by starting and ending with “openings and closings” that allow participants to name what they need from others, what they want to work on, and how each person did. Another idea is doing an “around the horn” moment during a meeting where everyone speaks so that all participants have a chance to make their voice heard.
Introduce Code of Conducts or Ground Rules at the beginning of convening’s and large group gatherings. It’s a great way to set the context, expectations, and identify good/bad behaviours.
Thinking of diversity and inclusion as the missing link in working open. See: Coraline Ada Ehmke’s brilliant writing on this + Audrey Watters’ thoughts too.
Jointly drafting and agreeing upon ground rules, team expectations, decision-making and working through conflict are essential so more than being heard, people act together
Reach out to and engage potential partners outside of the organizations comfort zone that allows us to bring new faces and people into our work, who wouldn’t have been otherwise.
Identify what diversity at events mean to us and how we can purposely work to engage those diverse audiences at events like Mozfest.
Be intentional about clarifying roles & expectations, and reaching out to people for feedback.
Understand how to engage all voices, including those of introverts. See Susan Cain’s Ted Talk about “The Power of Introverts”.
Actively and/or intentionally reach out to invite people to invite them to things (meetings, demos, etc.) instead of a general “everyone’s invited” approach.
“Silent Etherpadding”. Also known as silent working and collectively adding to a document at the same time. It allows for diverse communication and interaction styles to be integrated into a meeting. In this practice you get ideas and perspective from all people.
Incorporating user research and testing as essential steps when building prototypes. It means you challenge your assumptions about what solutions people want, how they’ll use it, etc.
Projects and Tools
Creating job descriptions that show our commitment to diversity as demonstrated in this article featuring Coral Projects ‘nearly flawless job description.’ In the article it talks about using tools like textio that remove unintended biases and clichés.
The Open Web Fellowship recently had 443 from 91 countries. The team enlisted a group of cross-programs reviewers who underwent a blind audition process with the applications where they would review applications without knowing names, genders etc. and list their top submissions.
The Open News team invited a small group of community members to review session proposals for the upcoming SRCCON event. They intentionally built a volunteer group to fill in gaps we might have as a team and help us consider diversity along a lot of axes, not just gender and ethnicity, but also professional background and organization size, for example.
Hive Chicago went through a Request for Proposal strategy project using a Human Centered Design framework: used stakeholder input to frame the design challenges and running over 30 interviews with a diverse spectrum of stakeholders based on inquiry questions (starting with a survey to see if these lines of inquiry are even valuable to other as a check on our understanding) to get unbiased input on best practices, etc. rather than specific suggestions for what we should change.
The Coral Project worked hard for a diversity of voices in the Beyond Comments event last month – and that meant not just in terms of race and gender but also in background and experience. They wanted to make voices that aren’t usually part of the conversations feel welcome – they had activists, community organizers, commenters talking to technologists and newsroom staff, and made a clear code of conduct for the event to make people feel safe. They also made sure to include a diversity of faces and experiences in the personas.
This Code of Conduct exercise developed by the Mozilla Science Lab at the Working Open Workshop helps anyone create a code of conduct that they can use at any event.
Use chat systems that make it easy for all contributors (staff, community, volunteers etc.) to join, even if they are less technical. Mozilla Foundation has implemented Mattermost as a recent tool to allow our chat to be more inclusive.
Using Github to coordinate projects and tasks in the open and encourage a healthy discourse.
Engage in fellowship programs, like Kairos Fellowship, which is a six month on-the-job training program for emerging digital campaigners of color.
Use tools like the happiness packet to appreciate open source contributions.