- The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Currently, a new iteration of discussions is taking place.
- Most likely, new comments will not be taken into account by Working Group members in their work of developing the Recommendations. You are free however to continue discussing in the spirit of "discussing about Wikipedia is a work in progress". :)
Your working group writes this will apply to Wikimedia Foundation and stakeholders. Could you specify stakeholders here? There are definitely a whole range of stakeholders who are fully independent of the Wikimedia movement over which we don't have jurisdiction. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 09:29, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
You use the words female and male. Could you please change them into women and men. Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 09:31, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- They can also start working on how to change Wikipedia men into women, so they can fill the quotas proposed here. Also, sysops and similar positions should always be chosen primarly based on the candidates competence, not just on their gender to fulfil quotas. That's insulting.--- Darwin Ahoy! 16:16, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- Not all male/female individuals are men/women. Please don't unnecessarily exclude many of our contributors. --Yair rand (talk) 16:48, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
In the current status quo there are quite a few bodies with a balance between women and men. The board of the Wikimedia Foundation has such a balance, for example the affiliates selected two women to be appointed. The chair of the Wikimedia Foundation is a woman. Within the Wikimedia Foundation the C level positions are dominated by women. Chapters with staff have predominantly women as ED. The problem of diversity is not within those bodies but within the communities of editors and contributors with a huge gender gap. What do you propose about the gender gap in the communities? Ad Huikeshoven (talk) 09:36, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- It seems to me that you are making four important assumptions: 1) that quotas are legal under the local laws where various affiliates operate, 2) that gender is the most relevant identity group factor that needs a remedy, 3) that quotas will attract more new (particularly female) content creators rather than repel existing content creators, and 4) that quotas will be legally and or socially acceptable in 2030. Could you please explain your reasoning regarding each of these assumptions? Thanks, Hlevy2 (talk) 15:17, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
This redlink is not listed in the recommendations. Perhaps the answer should be changed to "No"? Ainali (talk) 10:13, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- Dear God, please no quotas. Just no. As long as a group of users are dedicated Wikimedians, they should expect support from WMF without regard to race, gender, or any other consideration than "Will this group benefit Wikimedia?" Seraphimblade (talk) 15:52, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- How can we fulfill quotas in admins/crat elections, is beyond me given that they stand for the post one-at-a-time in all major wikis. Also, software settings allow us to change genders at will and nobody knows about my socio-economic background ..... Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:35, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
The end of anonymity & confidentiality?Edit
"The admins, bureaucrats and project committee leaders, like ArbCom, should strive to adhere to the quota". So are you also stating that anyone who wanted to hold one of these positions would have to declare their (based on the list in the "Recommendation"): age; disability; language; sexuality; racial and ethnic group/identity; and socio-economic level? If so, to whom would they provide this information? If not, how could the "Recommendation" be enacted or enforced? EddieHugh (talk) 20:06, 10 August 2019 (UTC)
- (+1) Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 12:30, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- Hear hear. MER-C (talk) 19:01, 11 August 2019 (UTC)
- (+1).--Vulphere 10:09, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. This is what worries me the most about this proposal, along with a lot of other things. Do the people writing these proposals even understand how we choose administrators, bureaucrats and arbitrators? filelakeshoe (talk) 18:42, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. filelakeshoe says what I would have. This sounds more like an idea formed by a distant pointy-haired boss who's blindly implementing what his bosses want regardless of the foreseeable consequencess. Jéské Couriano (v^_^v) 00:25, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1 I am concerned that forcing everybody to declare an identity is going to scare off more women and minorities than the current system does as it would open the door for (more) gender- and race-based harassment. If memory serves, on enWikipedia it's already been observed that stating that you are a woman on your userpage increases the amount of vandalism you receive in your userpages. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:23, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1: Following the recommendations, WP:ANON and personality rights do no longer appear to hold for admins and others with advanced rights. And this can even no longer be easily faked if we follow this recommendation as well as then all admins have to appear in person for training sessions: Training in conflict resolution will be compulsory for admins, ArbCom members.. --AFBorchert (talk) 14:39, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1. Asking someone to disclose their identity for something important may be normal in the real world, but this would be an unacceptable barrier for Wikimedia and would ensure a dearth of diversity in important positions for years to come; not to mention that this is already a problem in the real world (e.g. discriminatory hiring). The proposal constitutes a bad compromise and it would be better to actually try to increase diversity among all contributors. Jc86035 (talk) 15:53, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1, it seems the privacy angle was overlooked in these recommendations, see also Talk:Strategy/Wikimedia movement/2018-20/Working Groups/Diversity/Recommendations/6#Very significant conflict with user privacy principles. --MarioGom (talk) 16:41, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1, I would be against quotas in any situation, but even more when filling the quotas involves disclosure of personal details (and some way to confirm those are true). This recommendation is not feasible, and should be scrapped for good.--- Darwin Ahoy! 16:46, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1, I really can not see how it would be successfully implemented within our mouvement. At best, we could provide guidelines for elected positions and staff positions in formal organizations Anthere (talk)
- +1 like anthere. --ThurnerRupert (talk) 03:10, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
Intended scope: what are leadership positions?Edit
The recommendation states, "The admins, bureaucrats and project committee leaders, like ArbCom, should strive to adhere to the quota on every wiki project. The indirect result may be that for a period of time, the only nominees/candidates for leadership posts are those who will expand the diversity targets." Is you recommendation that when English Wikipedia (for example) selects admins, bureaucrats and ArbCom members, the 40:40:20 quota be applied regardless of the size of the qualified candidate pool?
If a WikiProject within English Wikipedia (for example Military History) elects a coordinator, how would the 40:40:20 quota apply?
When campus coordinator for Wikiedu.org outreach are selected (and only one coordinator is needed on each campus), how would the 40:40:20 quota apply?
If people in the candidate pool do not want to disclose their self-identified characteristics to the public (for example in an Request for Administrator proceeding) how would that be handled?
Are there identity criteria other than gender that are more relevant to assuring diversity? Thank you. Hlevy2 (talk) 15:00, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- To be really divers we should appoint all administrators from other projects, preferably thos who do not understand the project they administer. That would be fair to everyone. --126.96.36.199 22:47, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
New Projects or User GroupsEdit
The timetable recommendation recommends that this begin to apply to newly-formed Projects or User Groups. Why does the Working Group believe that this is feasible? Suppose a indigenous American group wants to start a Wikipedia in their almost forgotten language. A group that consists of four male native speakers and one white female linguist applies to start a new native language encyclopedia project. Does this meet the 40:40:20 quota? Even after advertising for more volunteers, these five are the only people committed to launching the project? Does the WMF veto the project?
Suppose that a new user group forms to promote coverage of the sport of Netball, which is only played by women. The user group drew up a charter that specifies that at least 50% of the board must be active athletes. As a result of the first election, all nine members of the board are women. The main purpose of the group is to provide photographs and content to other WMF projects (which is a priority under the Partnerships Working Group recommendations.) Does the WMF veto the user group?
Would it be preferable to give each new project or user group two years to establish themselves before making the 40:40:20 quota applicable to them? Hlevy2 (talk) 15:43, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
- Good point. So, what are the consequences if a group does not meet the 40:40:20 rule? Will the group be forbidden to install new admins, unless there will be a female or minority candidate? Will current admins be de-administratorized in order to meet the 40:40:20 rule? Is it better to have no ArbCom than an ArbCom with 90 procent male members? Ziko (talk) 12:58, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
- I had the same question about User Groups. The proposal is headed as being about governance and I can see how quotas would work fairly easily in most instances where formal governance is concerned. People who serve on the WMF Board or on the Boards of chapters need to be publicly known anyway and in many countries quotas or thresholds are already allowed or even encouraged under charity law. So I don't see a big issue there. However User Groups can start off small and often have a narrow focus on a single language or culture, so even setting aside all the issues raised on this page about disclosure of identity, it is hard to see how many of them would be able to follow a 40:40:20 rule. In many countries it is a criminal offence to be gay, and in a few places capital punishment applies, so it might prove difficult to meet any quotas relating to that. So I think there is scope for moving this forward in the aspects of governance which are already public; but I think trying to apply this to User Groups in many instances just won't work. Mccapra (talk) 11:21, 21 August 2019 (UTC)
- @Mccapra: What would a chapter that has very few women skilled to serve in the board, or has skilled women but none/very few want to serve in the board, do? I also find quite insulting for women that people would approach a woman asking her to fill a role not because of her skills and competence, but because of her gender, as there is a quota to fill. This kind of tokenism is horrible, and should not be part of these recommendations at all.--- Darwin Ahoy! 11:50, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
- We might not want to do it, for a variety of reasons. My point was that at least in these public positions, I can see how it could be done if we wanted to do it; in the case of Users Groups, I can't see how it would be done even if we did want to do it. The other thing is that in the USA, the UK and elsewhere the chapters are charities or publicly registered as NGOs of some sort. There is long established guidance in these sectors from the regulators in several countries encouraging bodies to take specific steps to include historically under-represented groups. If Wikimedia chapters don't so this they will be increasingly at odds with the guidance the regulators are themselves producing. In our case, if a chapter that did not have any women available to serve on a board (which I imagine would be a fairly rare instance) it could co-opt members from outside the movement bringing relevant skills and experience. All of this is very normal and common in many organisations. Mccapra (talk) 13:03, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
- In many, if not most, cases, regulators encourage more diverse representation but outright ban quotas for organisations and charities. Quotas require a specific abrogation of discrimination law, and many countries are reluctant to give it. Remember the key facet isn't "are there any women", it's "are there any women who: want the position; are sufficiently skilled for the position and are not disconcerted by the possibility that they are selected to fill a quota position (a constant concern where they exist). And of course, are there sufficient to meet whatever outcome you desire to. Depending on the group, you could end up needing to draw in quite a few outsiders. I participate in a charity that works to get more women into senior management roles. They (and many like them) are damning when it comes to use of quotas. Nosebagbear (talk) 13:22, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
- Stakeholders sounds always good, but what are the en:Stakeholders you are talking about?
- google is a stakeholder: are we telling them how they have to function? 👍 .oO
- Readers are stakeholders: please go away, you are the 41st male here
- donators are stakeholder: same thing: please take your money back and leave?
- Autors are stakeholders
- 1st: how do you check to which group someone belongs?
- 2nd: how do you achieve the 40:40:20? stopping male Autors to join? How?
- Admins aso.: are Stakeholders (or governing body? don't know what that means) - as well as members of the Supportteam: how do you want to check what group someone belongs to and how is the procedure of seleciting? We have only 10%(?) of women editing. So smaller suppport-team, less admins or forcing women into these groups no matter what?
- "various racial and ethnic communities; of different socio-economic levels" - define!? I'm half bavarian, half hessian, living in Saxony and I'm millionaire. Does this qualify? Or only if I move to Kenya? Is pretending to be homeless the better socio-economic level? there is written "See caveat below" - I don't know what that is or where to find ist. A link would be helpfull!?!)
...Sicherlich Post 16:22, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
The world already IS diverseEdit
The world already is diverse. This idea is made mainly by people that living in stark diverse countries as the Unites States. But this did not is so in all parts of the world. As always there have to be a fair representation. As long not the half of the members of local organizations are female, why they should deserve 50% of the positions? Is it fair, is it democratic, that for example with a local chater with - we say - 80% males and 20 % females to have 80% are representes by the half and 20% by the half? And it will become funny on the Wiki projects. It starts with our rule, that everybody can be anonymous. So now al have to say what they are - and then give a proof? And what happens with SysOps? Have male SysOps to resign, that there will be a correct quota? Would be funny, at de:WP we would have then not longer enough SysOps. The fairy tales, that then there will be enough female writers will stay a fairy tale. This idea really could destroy our projecs. It just shows one thing: (not we will support female contributors but) we are unhappy with the males, they are the false people. Thatnks for nothing. These people, females and males, lead us to the point we are today. This should be respected, not coursed! -- Marcus Cyron (talk) 17:21, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
I am from outer spaceEdit
were do I have to make contribution? This whole suggestion is just -censored-. You (who?) will not get any new userette, by kicking the old ones out. --188.8.131.52 22:39, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
And Censorship at work: Error: This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed. If you believe your action was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Antivandalism
OK - I know now what it is all about: Its just fake information what we at the diverse world are receiving from San Francisco or Washington. --184.108.40.206 22:42, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
If there is ever a point at which someone is told they cannot run for a position because they are part of [x] group, we have completely failed the Wikimedia mission. Thus, I cannot support this recommendation. Vermont (talk) 22:42, 12 August 2019 (UTC)
Quotas and adminsEdit
Quotas can be useful if many people compete for a small number of available positions like, for example, a board. In case of admins we have a different situation. In most major projects we have a declining number of admins and growing backlogs. At Commons we have still deletion requests from March. We should be grateful for any qualified volunteer who is willing to take the mop and runs for adminship. We should encourage more people to go into this direction but we shall not stop anyone from becoming an admin just because this would be in conflict with a quota. The next point, of course, is that any quota would be in conflict with WP:ANON. Not everyone is ready to reveal their gender, sexual preferences, age or any special identity. --AFBorchert (talk) 14:57, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
You only link studies showing a positive effect. If this was an article on Wikipedia this selective approach would violate neutral point of view. Just a single quick search led to the same amount of studies showing a negative impact:
- "gender quotas negatively impact firm value", "A mandatory gender quota is beneficial for the newly promoted female managers, but bad for women in general as long as they don’t bring along the same qualifications and experience"
- "The quota led to younger and less experienced boards, increases in leverage and acquisitions, and deterioration in operating performance"
- "if highquality women cannot be found, the quotas may backfire and reinforce negative stereotypes, resulting in a “patronizing equilibrium” with fewer women investing further in their careers"
- "quotas risk promoting less-qualified individuals, who are likely to perform poorly"
- "forcing radical gender balance on corporate boards is associated with increased board independence and reduced firm value", "strongest in small, young, profitable, non‐listed firms"
- "compare pre- and postmandatory compliance in Norway and find that the gender quota produced negative effects on profitability for companies", "increasing relative labor costs and employment levels and reducing short-term profits"," The boards appear to be affecting corporate strategy in part by selecting like-minded executives."
- "if they are applied in industries where discrimination against women is thought not to be a problem, then the organisation’s performance can deteriorate significantly", "gender quotas should not be blindly implemented"
I'm not saying I'm against quotas in general. But this kind of "proving one's argument" needs to be criticized. Also: Wikipedia is not comparable to a company with an HR department. There are no formal applications before being allowed to write an article. No salaries, no profit for stakeholders (although the WMF seems to think there is) - but there is anonymity. So all those fancy studies are basically worthless, since they'e not applicable to this project. --StYxXx (talk) 15:25, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- Thanks for this StYxXx. I'm disappointed by the work of the group. It seems pretty easy to find such studies. Why are they not mentioned on "Q4a. Could this Recommendation have a negative impact/change?"? ...Sicherlich Post 15:30, 13 August 2019 (UTC)
- In general (also regarding other "recommendations"), it is my impression that the working groups invested few time in exactly that question. Ziko (talk) 13:01, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
- Agree. There are hundreds of high-quality-sources that criticize gender quota. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 14:04, 14 August 2019 (UTC)
This proposal assumes that men/women/other are the best, if not only, advocates for their gender. That is a dangerous assumption. There are numerous examples of women being their gender's worst foe, as well as men advocating sincerely & effectively for women. While I am a member of the "oppressive" white Western male group, based on my experience as a father of two girls & knowing their interests, I believe one of the most useful improvement to the English language Wikipedia would be to bring en:Menstruation to FA status: my oldest daughter is approaching puberty & has many concerns about her body's changes, & having a resource like that which she could privately consult would be far more helpful than any number of biographical articles on women. (Sometimes us men are paying attention.) -- Llywrch (talk) 17:10, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Hello, I read in the document: "At present, any 3 people can form a user group [...]". I was puzzled and looked it up here (my emphasis):
- "Is your group ready to accept new members and already include at least three Wikimedia editors in good standing? Groups which have a closed or limited membership model may require more discussion and review. Groups which do not have at least three active members who are also active Wikimedia editors in good standing will not be approved."
So, the expression "any 3 people" could be seen as a little bit misleading. And the practice seems that there may be small groups of founders but that the groups of participants are usually much larger. Ziko (talk) 21:05, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
To whom does this apply and how to enforce itEdit
Hello, I read the document again and tried to figure out which bodies and groups are actually affected by the proposal. Some parts of the document (my emphasis):
- (Quote A) "That a quota of 40:40:20 be adopted for all governing bodies of the Foundation and its stakeholders [...]"
- (Quote B) "officers and leadership of every affiliate must include men, women and diversity targets"
- (Quote C) "Applications for new Affiliates must meet the 40:40:20 requirement for the founders/organizers. The admins, bureaucrats and project committee leaders, like ArbCom, should strive to adhere to the quota on every wiki project. The indirect result may be that for a period of time, the only nominees/candidates for leadership posts are those who will expand the diversity targets."
- (Quote D) "While the Foundation has no control over who may volunteer to edit and thus cannot mandate that the actual volunteers be diverse"
- (Quote E) "At present, any 3 people can form a user group and there are no considerations of diversity required for affiliate or project administration/leadership posts."
- (Quote F) "By 2030, quota targets should be met by all governing bodies of the Foundation and its affiliated stakeholders and projects."
If I try to make sense of this, my conclusions are the following:
- Although the document uses the very broad term "stakeholders" (A, F), it seems that the volunteers are not meant (D), and also not the readers.
- The Foundation has only one governing body (A), the Board. In the "affiliates" (= chapters, them. org.s, user groups), there might be other kinds of governing bodies. We would need clarity which bodies are meant and which not, e.g. audit committees or committees that organize an event.
- The quota must be applied also to all staff members ("officers", B) of Foundation and affiliates.
- The quota must be applied also to certain volunteers with special rights in the Wikimedia wikis. The document mentions explicitly admins, burocrats, but not stewards. Also, the document mentions "project committee leaders, like ArbCom". It is not clear which "committees" within a wiki are meant; what about the jury for the biannual writing contest of German Wikipedia?
My other question is about the implementation and enforcement. What will happen to an organisation or wiki that does not comply with the quota? Will they loose funding, or will they even loose their affiliate status, or, in the case of a wiki, be shut down?
The document talks about "funding". So imagine a small language wiki, with seven members, six of them male. All seven are members of the related Wikimedia user group. The small community asks for funding in order to organise a one day event in order to recruit new editors. Will the funding be denied?
Who will evaluate the situation in an organisation or wiki? Who will decide whether it meets the quota requirements? Will office holders be mandated to reveal their real life identity in order to check the gender (or sex?) of a person? Will official documents be required to prove that you really are transgender, Protestant/Catholic/Muslim/Jewish/etc., handicapped, foreigner? Please note that e.g. the German government does not register the "race" of their citizens.
Which are the exact criteria to make you a "diverse" person? Who decides for which country or language community which criterion is relevant? Would being a Catholic in Sweden make you a "diverse person"? Does being Eastern Frisian / Northern Frisian in Germany or Frisian/West Frisian in the Netherlands make you "diverse"?
What are the consequences for the election processes?
- If there are only male candidates for a "governing" body, would the WMF prefer no ArbCom or chapter board to be established at all?
- If a woman announces her candidacy, will she automatically be elected?
- If there are two candidates, a man who gets 10 votes and a woman who gets 9 votes, will the woman be elected instead of the man?
By the way, I also stumbled over this sentence:
- "Implementation needs to be staggered, as it is unreasonable to expect existing projects, user groups, etc. to reach the desired quota targets in the same timeframe as newly organizing groups."
I wonder: isn't meeting the quota requirements difficult also for new groups?
So you see that I find a lot of important questions not answered by the document. Who is supposed to comply to the quota? Who decides? What are the consequences of not complying? Ziko (talk) 21:53, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
- One curious effect is having WikiWomen affiliates forced to have at least 40% quota of males in their boards in order to comply with this recommendation.--- Darwin Ahoy! 23:52, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Qualified candidates issueEdit
I think that 'diversity candidates' and 'qualified candidates' are usually not the same people.
- It is hard to convince a qualified candidate to apply for a 'diversity' position. They want to be elected for their qualification, not for their gender/ethnicity/race etc.
- In Wikimedia Ukraine we had a candidate with an unusual profile (female, ethnic minority, not well known to the online wikicommunity) apply to the board. She was very unhappy when she was presented as an ethnic minority female. Instead, she was very happy when she was presented as an expert in media (which was her area of expertise). She would have never applied for an ethnic minority female position, but she was glad to work with us as an expert.
- It might happen that feeling a quota will lead to election of a person who is not qualified/trusted.
- In Ukrainian Wikipedia ArbCom I personally tried for a few years to get at least 2 women for 5 seats. In reality many qualified women declined because it was too toxic. In one year the second best woman had less than 50% community support, not because she was a woman but because the community thought she was not qualified for this position. Thus this quota would have led to an election of a candidate the community would not trust.
To sum up, the more you stress you need a diversity gap filler, the least qualified candidate you get. That does not sound right — NickK (talk) 09:07, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
No Male Candidates until Quota ResolvedEdit
En-wiki has 1150 admins, and if 80% of them are male, that gives 920 males and 230 women (in actuality we have quite a few where they have quite rightly withheld that data - already discussed above).
So to get to 40% we need 600 female admins (370 new ones). The recommendation states "The indirect result may be that for a period of time, the only nominees/candidates for leadership posts are those who will expand the diversity targets."
We've elected about 24 admins in 20 months. That means we would lock men out of applying as admin candidates for 308 months - just shy of 26 years.
That sounds reasonable. Nosebagbear (talk) 10:06, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- See also #Quotas and admins. I think quotas do not make sense for large bodies without a limit of membership, specially when we do not have an excess of candidates. --MarioGom (talk) 10:22, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
A technical questionEdit
In order to fulfill these quotas you have to know to which groups anybody applying for a governing body belongs.
Asking a candidate applying for a position about his sexual preferences, ethnic background, disabilities (to name a few criteria) would clearly violate the law in at least some countries.
--Heinrich Reuhl (talk) 10:38, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
- See #The end of anonymity & confidentiality?. --MarioGom (talk) 10:40, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
Hello, I had the opportunity to attend a discussion on this recommendation today at Wikimania. I think that quotas at some levels may be useful, but implementing quotas at every level of wiki administration and governance would not be practical and should not be recommended.
In Canada, the federal cabinet is currently gender-balanced despite there being less women MPs than men. While this is somewhat controversial, it was done to acknowledge and promote diversity by showing that the top levels of the political part of government are open to all.
However, once you leave the upper political level, the public service is not organized through explicit quotas. Branch management committees are often not gender-equal, due to the differing number of women/men at the more operational levels of government. Staffing, while being equal (actually female dominated overall), is not necessarily equal for each team and work unit. So to, it would be completely impractical to require that every wiki's advanced rights holders maintained the 40/40/20 ratio, as these ratios are not present at the working level. Diversity in these administrative and leadership roles should be measured against known levels of working-level participation, not statistics of the world's population.
Efforts should be focused on ensuring that men/women/other diverse groups have equal access to administrative/leadership roles, rather than mandating participation at that level far beyond what is seen at the working level. – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:26, 16 August 2019 (UTC)
There's reason for concernEdit
I'm not a fan of hard quotas; as mentioned elsewhere, it's a somewhat archaic notion from the 1980s and 1990s that many subsequent studies have shown didn't really pan out the way it was expected. On the other hand, having just returned from Wikimania, and having observed that there *are* blocks in the way of women who would be interested and willing to participate in leadership roles in certain areas of the movement, I'm more ambivalent about this point than I was even two weeks ago.
My biggest concern is that the 40% ratio may put a lot of pressure on those women who publicly identify as women to take on leadership roles that they don't particularly want, and that it could have a paradoxical effect and discourage women from sharing their "personal status". I've already seen it in several areas; there are quite a few women who choose not to publicize their womanhood because they have observed that the WMF/leadership/other groups have been actively pressuring women to assume roles of responsibility, and they don't want to go there. I'd suggest that the ratio of women community members interested in leadership roles (broadly construed) is roughly the same as the ratio of men editors; the fact that there are more men than women currently participating in most areas of our community will skew the ratio of women to men leaders. By targeting a ratio that is far higher than the presence of self-identified women both globally and in most of our communities, that pressure on women to assume such roles will only increase.
I want more women to participate in every area of the Wikimedia movement, not just in leadership roles. I want them participating at every level, from fixing typos to chairing boards and everything in between - on projects, in organized groups, and in any role that they want. I want them to receive support and opportunities for development. I want them to never experience discrimination *because they are women*, or to be prevented from reaching their full potential in the movement *because* of their womanhood. But I don't want to see good projects go down the tubes because they haven't managed to attract the mathematically correct ratio of women to other participants (or less likely, to require that groups include an arbitrary ratio of men just to meet the quota, either), or to wind up in a situation where women feel pressured to take on roles they don't really want "for the sake of X". It's a difficult balance, I realize; encouragement to try new roles and recognition of one's ability is usually a very positive experience, but it's not helpful to the movement if anyone feels that their perceived value is because of their gender identity instead of their personal abilities. I'm concerned that fixed quotas are more likely to lead to the latter than the former. Risker (talk) 18:02, 22 August 2019 (UTC)
- +1, --ThurnerRupert (talk) 03:10, 8 September 2019 (UTC)
This was a courageous move, I want to thank the working group for proposing this knowing there would probably be a lot of aggressivity.
There is a kind of segregation - white male privileged - on our projects. This impacts the way knowledge is wtitten and build on our projects, and it leadds to whole gaps of knowledge not being covered. You can't end segragation without Rosa Park going to sit in front of the bus. Quotas are permitting just that, having more diverse people accessing to positions of leadership.
In my experience, when a level of 30& of representation is achieved, things change "naturally", and quotas are not needed any more. Nobody says it is going to be for ever, or that it will lead to fewer admins. Usually quotas set directions, and the way they are implemented are probably more important in that they are setting up a conversation within people who have been avoiding it. I think there should be a substancial financial enveloppe for projects / chapters / user group / people achieving this process without being obliged to. A susbtancial "diversity" prize set up and given during wikimania with a 50 000 dollar enveloppe to continue in the good direction. And this prize should be attributed by the community with their vote, to achieve more visibility on waht works and what does not.
Something big and radical is needed to change the direction. In my eyes, this is the role of the WMF. the WMF represents a counter power to the communities, and vice versa. A democratic system needs counter powers at every level to stop ludacrous decisiosn from being implemented, even if this is impopular at the time being.
In history, votes for women have ussually been attributed after years of radical activism from the top of the governing bodies (it was the case in England, America and France between 1918 and 1945). One country where this was not the case, Switzerland, did it through a democratic process and this is why it only occurred in 1971. Democracies sometimes are not always good places for equal opportunities and progress.
They sometime need a big push to swallow the medecine. This is waht we need : a push. Quotas are just that, a temporary push in the good direction. We will not wait 30 years for the projects to stop segregation by magicNattes à chat (talk) 07:50, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
- Hi @Nattes à chat: - quite a few of us have raised issues with quotas (both practical and ideological) in the above sections - if you're heavily pro-quota, could you take a look and see if you can provide solutions to them, as currently they look to be some mix of impractical and catastrophic. Nosebagbear (talk) 08:35, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
- Comparing quotas for more participation to suffrage rights is hyperbolic. At any case, your personal experience is (sort of) immaterial and I will be inclined to read scholarly literature in the domain. AFAIK, it has been firmly established that female quotas (in workplace et al) have failed in near-entirety. Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 15:28, 4 September 2019 (UTC)
While I appreciate the recommendation to some extent (and the working group's intentions and aspirations to the fullest), it feels like the group foregoes the question on negative impacts. The answer suggests that the only negative feedback foreseen is that of 'opposition'. Now lets assume that there is no opposition (which I don't think is long term negative impact to begin with - as it's transitory), could any negative impact be imagined? I could think of some for sure (certain bodies that are unpopular to begin with may have an even harder time to find members; some demographics may be overburdened and feel forced to participate in more committees and bodies than they would otherwise feel comfortable with (especially considering the shift in ratio that would be required); an image may arise that women on bodies are only added because of their demographics, not because of their own quality, etc. These potential impacts are just a few from the top of my head, do not necessarily have to happen at all (I'm far from an expert), and may well be mitigated. But I feel that this discussion would much benefit from a more thorough approach towards question 4, and any outcome with these considerations may result in a broader acceptance as such. Effeietsanders (talk) 20:58, 9 September 2019 (UTC)
- +1. Unfortunately I have to say the lack of consideration (or outright dismissal) of potential negative effects seems to be a running theme throughout this group's recommendations. the wub "?!" 23:18, 13 September 2019 (UTC)
- quotas for any affiliates? even the very small ones?
- The recommenation is present as a target to reach but the calendar may suggest as an obbligation, especially for new every new affiliates.
- sanction for non-compliance?
- how to count
- each board member goes in a category?
- or a board member can be in several categories?
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of Wikimedia France, Pierre-Yves Beaudouin (talk) 11:17, 14 September 2019 (UTC)