R Consortium announced four months ago the formation of the R Community Diversity and Inclusion Working Group (RCDI-WG), a focal point to address diversity and inclusion issues in the R community. It’s been great to see the interest and participation from the community, with over 50 individuals representing working groups, events, meetups, and projects coming together to drive forward sustainable diversity standards and practices.
The group has begun working on the initial deliverables outlined.
Code of Conduct
One of the working group’s key deliverables was a sample code of conduct that organizers can use for their conferences, meetups, and other events. We consulted the Ada Initiative’s and Geek Feminism’s guides for codes of conduct, and based our work on the existing R-Ladies code of conduct, which itself is based on Geek Feminism’s code of conduct.
Speaker Diversity working group
Conferences are at their best when everyone participates. The Speaker Diversity group focuses on collecting and disseminating tips that can help conference and event organizers increase the diversity of their speaker lineup through conscious recruitment and retention. Through curated articles, conversations with event organizers and participants, and our collective experiences, we aim to tease out strategies that have worked in the past and highlight behaviors that can lead organizers away from achieving their speaker diversity goals.
Recently the group drafted an initial version of an article outlining five major area that organizers can focus on to help increase the diversity of their event’s speaker lineup. In short, M.A.P.S.S (Mission, Advertise, Pipeline, Selection, Sharing) outlines strategies that can be taken, at each phase of planning an event, to help achieve a diverse and inclusive speaker lineup. If you are interested in exploring how to increase speaker diversity at conferences and events, join in the conversation on the email list or follow our progress in the Github repository.
Conference best practices checklist
One challenge conference organizers highlighted is ensuring that while organizing a conference in good faith of trying to drive diversity and inclusivity, often some items were forgotten or overlooked.
This inspired the workstream for driving the Conference best practices checklist. The aim of this checklist is for it to be a non-exhaustive but illustrative reference system for organisers of conferences (and even events). Conference organisers can use this to help them build out a tasklist, stimulate conversation within their organising team, or publish their alignment with it to help speakers, attendees, and sponsors make an informed decision about whether to attend.
It’s great to see progress on bringing the greater R community together to create a welcoming space for everyone, no matter their race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity and expression, socio-economic status, nationality, citizenship, religion, sexual orientation, ability, or age. We welcome everyone to review the meetings and deliverables, and join the mailing list to further drive the conversation