Record gender information for Individual Members

Bug #1268031 reported by Stefano Maffulli on 2014-01-10
10
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
openstack-org
Undecided
Jimmy McArthur

Bug Description

The form to register new members of the OpenStack Foundation doesn't ask for gender information https://www.openstack.org/join/register/. Given the effort to increase gender diversity within the community we may want to start by tracking this datapoint. We may want to add a way for members to specify (optionally) their gender. We may want to keep in mind the fluid definition of gender, too.

Jimmy McArthur (jimmy-l) wrote :

Regarding this "We may want to keep in mind the fluid definition of gender, too." Can you specify how you'd like to handle this?

Changed in openstack-org:
assignee: nobody → Stefano Maffulli (smaffulli)
status: New → Incomplete
Stefano Maffulli (smaffulli) wrote :

I'm not sure this is a 'best practice' but recent I read we may want to ask "I identify my gender as:" and as options offer
[] Male
[] Female
[] Other (specify) -> opens an entry form
[] Prefer not to say
I'll ask around for more feedback and update the ticket.

Stefano Maffulli (smaffulli) wrote :

The form should be one choice (mandatory field) among:

I identify my gender as:
[] Male
[] Female
[] Other (specify) -> opens an entry form
[] Prefer not to say

We should also display a note saying that we collect the data to track and improve diversity within the OpenStack Community and that the information supplied will not be disclosed publicly except with the cases approved by the Foundation's Privacy Policy.

Anne Gentle (annegentle) wrote :

Stef, could you speak more about the entry form? Here's the language GNOME uses for the Outreach Program for Women:
https://wiki.gnome.org/OutreachProgramForWomen
This program is open to anyone who was assigned female at birth and anyone who identifies as a woman, genderqueer, genderfluid, or genderfree regardless of gender presentation or assigned sex at birth.

Honestly though, we only care how they identify, nothing else. So you can remove Other and use Male, Female, Prefer not to say.

Stefano Maffulli (smaffulli) wrote :

@annegentle: not sure I understand your request to "speak more about the entry form". Can you please clarify?

Tom Fifield (fifieldt) wrote :

Just noting "Prefer not to say" is not the same as "identifies as transgender". I believe we could add additional categories to avoid offending people.

There is a write-up on this issue here: http://www.hrc.org/resources/entry/collecting-transgender-inclusive-gender-data-in-workplace-and-other-surveys and many other places arount the web.

They recommend:

Option 3 (least restrictive):

    Gender? ____________

For some real-world experiences of people using such forms, check the comments section on this post:
http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/06/how-can-i-make-the-gender-question-on-an-application-form-more-inclusive/

Another one

My preferred pronouns are:
[] he [] she [] they [] _____________

Cindy Pallares (cpallares) wrote :

+2 for the pereferred pronouns one. It could also be like this

I identify my gender as:
[ ] Female
[ ] Male
[ ] Non-binary
[ ] Prefer not to say

Cindy Pallares (cpallares) wrote :

Or...

[ ] Female
[ ] Male
[ ] Non-binary (specify) -> opens an entry form
[ ] Prefer not to say

Anita Kuno (anteaya) wrote :

Personally when joining or registering for a new community, questions about my gender can be enough to prevent me from joining so I would prefer that this field is optional, even if "prefer not to say" is an option. I wouldn't even want to talk about my gender with a new group.

If this field is something I can amend in future, like affiliation, then once I got to know the community, I would feel comfortable going back after initial registration and editing this field.

Also, the thought occurs to me that someone may identify one way regarding gender at the time of registration and then later in their life may self-identify another way. Having this field editable for the life of the membership might acutally allow for more honesty as people evolve and grow within the community and within themselves. It would be nice if our information gathering supported that growth.

I can see how this information is important. I also know that my inital response to questions about my gender is to lie and say I am male, when asked to provide this information before I know the community.

Thanks Stef,
Anita.

Stefano Maffulli (smaffulli) wrote :

I prefer not to use open text field because that will lead to garbage entries and hard to use data.

Let's clarify that the scope for this modification is to enable the Foundation to track progress in fostering gender diversity among members. We need to track gender information in the most effective way, limiting the possibility to alienate anybody. That's why I think the field should be mandatory. Anita raises a good point though: maybe a reassuring text explanation on the form saying that selection 'prefer not to say' is totally fine and we love to get that, too?

I don't know about the preferred pronouns: would that make translations more complicated?

"Non-binary" sounds too geeky to me. While 'other' may sound offensive/weird (I'm not a native speaker), probably we can use another term for the 'specify'. How about something like "None of the above" or "Let me tell you"/"Let me specify it"? I like the "Let me tell you" because I feel like it empowers the member to own their own gender definition.

My current proposal is a mandatory field specified like this:

      I identify my gender as:
        [ ] Female
        [ ] Male
        [ ] Let me specify -> opens an entry form
        [ ] Prefer not to say
     It's perfectly acceptable if you choose not to tell us: we appreciate you becoming a member of OpenStack Foundation. The information will remain private and only used to monitor our effort to improve gender diversity in our community.

Do we have consensus on this?

Cindy Pallares (cpallares) wrote :

Stefano, non-binary is an accepted umbrella term to include a wide spectrum of genders.

http://gender.wikia.com/wiki/Non-binary

But I can see how in a developer community that could be misunderstood. I just think "other" sounds very un-inclusive.

Hi All, Aptira is a sponsor, supporter and advisor to the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras organisation (http://www.mardigras.org.au/), one of the world's biggest LGBTQI organizations. I'm pretty sure they would know current best practice for this and would be happy to ask them for their guidance.

Anita Kuno (anteaya) wrote :

I can live with what you offer in #10, Stef, as a starting point. Then perhaps do some recon on it after a bit of time passes to evaluate if it is gathering usable data.

I particulary like the "I identify my gender" phrase, I feel that places the ownership of identify on the respondant, where it belongs.

Another thought crossed my mind in terms of gathering diversity data, PTLs may know how many of their regular contributors are female (probably no idea on the drive bys). Would it be worthwhile polling the PTLs to ask them to offer their evaluation?

Thanks Stef,
Anita.

Jimmy McArthur (jimmy-l) wrote :

This is in progress and in place on our dev server. Should make it out to the next deployment, based on the structure defined in #10

Changed in openstack-org:
assignee: Stefano Maffulli (smaffulli) → Jimmy McArthur (jimmy-l)
status: Incomplete → In Progress
Jimmy McArthur (jimmy-l) wrote :

Hi. This feature is now active and in production. It's a requirement for all newly registered users or anyone that edits their user profiles moving forward. We followed the options outlined by Stef here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/openstack-org/+bug/1268031/comments/10

Changed in openstack-org:
status: In Progress → Fix Released
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