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From Jim Jagielski <>
Subject Re: on "meritocracy"
Date Thu, 28 Mar 2019 15:11:27 GMT

> On Mar 28, 2019, at 10:20 AM, Naomi Slater <> wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Mar 2019 at 14:35, Jim Jagielski <> wrote:
>> So what are you proposing? What actionable corrections can we make
>> that don't turn the concept of "it doesn't matter who you are, it is what
>> you
>> do that counts" on its ear?
> this thread, if you go back to the start of it, was my attempt to start
> that conversation. I have repeatedly given suggestions (both on this
> thread, and on other threads) for things we could do

I see them, but we have to admit that they are spread out over various
threads and emails. I hate to ask, but could you consolidate	them all
into a single doc/email?

>> If we are actively (or passively) discouraging diversity, then it is
>> a problem, of course. Are we?
> yes. of course we are. ~5% of our committer base are women. 1 single
> person, that we know of, is Black. compare these to the figures for the
> industry as a whole and there is literally no other conclusion you can come
> to

I disagree that such lack of diversity can be attributed to us discouraging it.

> can you explain to me where that other 15% of women are? why do we not
> count them amongst our committers?

I don't know... maybe they aren't driven or attracted to contributing to
open source projects. Maybe the kinds of projects within the ASF
are not the kinds that attract them

All this assumes that the diversity at Apache should match the "tech
industry in North America". But why? The jobs in the tech industry
are wide and varied... are the roles here just as wide and varied?
Plus, you are talking about jobs vs. "what we do" and they are
different things. I would submit that there are some fundamental
differences between contributing to open source and working in
the tech industry... and these differences may be significant.
Maybe one reason is that men find it important to constantly
prove themselves and contributing to open source is a good
way to do that; women are more secure and don't need such
frivolity? (I am NOT saying that this is the case, BTW. My
point is that there might be reasons NOT due to discouragement)

> again. I have made a number of suggestions for starting points in this very
> thread. and have not gone into more detail, because frankly I am exhausted
> trying to get people to even acknowledge *we have a problem* -- something
> that is exemplified by your not-so-subtle hand-wringing about "teh social
> justice warriors" in your last email

Your last sentence proved my point... :(
> (if you're looking for reasons women might not want to contribute to
> Apache, perhaps this serves as one example...)

As does this unfortunately.

> I want everyone and anyone who wishes to contribute to Apache to
>> be able to do so, be warmly welcomed, and be acknowledged and rewarded
>> for their actions and contributions. I think we are all in agreement
>> here.
> then why do you dismiss criticism of the systems we've put in place to
> supposedly work towards those goals? criticism that is sorely needed

Again, my point is that the systems are not the issue, but rather the
implementation of them. If they are broken, we need to fix them. I
don't dismiss the criticism. I want to understand the criticism.

I don't expect you, or anyone, to take my claims at face value.
But nor do I take anyone's claims at face value either...

We agree with:
   Is the ASF as diverse as the population? No.
   ... as the tech industry in NA? No.
   Would it be good to be more diverse? Yes.

We seem to disagree with the root causes behind #1 and #2
and maybe about what "success" would look like for #3.
But these are not unsurmountable disagreements. I am sure
we could and can find common ground. Certainly more information
and data would be very useful!

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