Survey on diversity
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Description

One of Promo's goals (T5782) is to help make KDE a more diverse community. To do that, we need to know what the community looks like now. In this task we will build a survey we can submit to as many contributors to KDE as we can to find that out.

Proposed Introductory Text (Draft 1)

Hello,

Welcome to KDE's survey on diversity. The goal of the survey is to give us an overall view of the kind of people that make up our community. This is not for everybody who uses KDE, but more for people that are to some degree active within our community. This survey is part of a the bigger goal of attracting people to our community that we are not reaching. To do this, the first step is to figure out who we currently appeal to and what the glaring absences are. For this we need hard data and that is where this survey comes in.

Naturally, the survey is anonymous and your participation is voluntary. Your IP will not be recorded and you are free to quit at any given moment or to not answer certain questions.
Results will be stored offline in a local database and only the people designing KDE's marketing strategy will have access to them. Results will be analysed solely as grouped, not individual responses. Furthermore, as the aim of our team is to expand our community into groups that are not present in our community, we will be looking more at what is missing than what we have.

Filling out the survey should approximately take __ minutes.

If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to contact Paul Brown at paul.brown@kde.org or Ivana Isadora Devcic at isadora@kde.org.

By clicking "I understand" you confirm that you are a part of the KDE community and that you have understood how your responses will be handled.

Part 1: Brainstorm Topics

  • Ethnicity (?)
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Country of origin
  • Languages
    • 1st languages
    • Other languages
  • Sexual orientation
  • Level of formal education
  • (What else?)

Part 2: Write questions

  1. How old are you?
  2. What gender do you best identify with? (From here)
    • Man
    • Woman
    • Transgender
    • Transsexual
    • Genderqueer
    • Genderfuck
    • Non-gendered
    • Agender
    • Genderless
    • Non-binary
    • Trans Man
    • Trans Woman
    • Third Gender
    • Two-Spirit
    • Bi-Gender
    • Genderfluid
    • Transvestite
    • Other __________
  3. How do you identify your sex?
    • Female
    • Male
    • Intersex
    • MtF Female
    • FtM Male
    • Other __________
  4. What country were you born in?

...

Part 3: Create survey

...

Part 4: Promote survey in...

Part 5: Collect answers and analyse data

...

Related Objects

paulb created this task.Nov 21 2018, 12:36 PM
paulb triaged this task as Normal priority.
rgomezantoli added a subscriber: rgomezantoli.EditedNov 21 2018, 12:55 PM

Two thinks to discuss for include:

  1. Languages and level of them
  2. Work (or use of KDE software) sector

On the broad spectrum: sexual orientation.

Just for the sake of brainstorming (stupid/funny included): hair colors, preferred shower time (e.g. morning vs night), number of siblings, sibling rank (e.g. oldest, youngest), are you adopted?, do you pee in the shower?, current country, political preferences, music preferences, movie preferences, book preferences, sport preferences, videogame preferences, number of pets and their species…

paulb updated the task description. (Show Details)Nov 22 2018, 10:47 AM

Two thinks to discuss for include:

  1. Languages and level of them

Good one

  1. Work (or use of KDE software) sector

Are you thinking like private vs public sector vs student vs unemployed? Or more like type of industry (software, hardware, publishing, health industry, etc)? I think the latter would make for a very long list and may not be that useful.

What about making it simpler, as in, area of expertise science/technology vs humanities?

On the broad spectrum: sexual orientation.

Good idea

Just for the sake of brainstorming (stupid/funny included): hair colors, preferred shower time (e.g. morning vs night), number of siblings, sibling rank (e.g. oldest, youngest), are you adopted?, do you pee in the shower?, current country, political preferences, music preferences, movie preferences, book preferences, sport preferences, videogame preferences, number of pets and their species…

I like this idea, maybe select some and not all, because it would make the survey a bit long

paulb updated the task description. (Show Details)Nov 22 2018, 10:59 AM
apol added a subscriber: apol.Nov 22 2018, 5:44 PM

I've always felt weirded out when I'm asked for ethnicity and I wonder why it matters the sexual orientation of our users. Is our communication really going to be different in meaningful ways because of such results?

paulb updated the task description. (Show Details)Nov 22 2018, 6:15 PM
paulb added a comment.Nov 22 2018, 7:03 PM
In T10107#168517, @apol wrote:

I've always felt weirded out when I'm asked for ethnicity and I wonder why it matters the sexual orientation of our users. Is our communication really going to be different in meaningful ways because of such results?

Well, that is not the point of the survey. The survey is to find out whether the KDE community is or not diverse. My guess is "not much", but I don't have the data. This survey will (hopefully) tell us for sure.

Obviously we will later have to develop activities to try and solve diversity imbalances. Then we will know what information will be useful, but all of that falls out of the scope of this task.

rgomezantoli added a comment.EditedNov 23 2018, 11:17 AM
  1. Work (or use of KDE software) sector

Are you thinking like private vs public sector vs student vs unemployed? Or more like type of industry (software, hardware, publishing, health industry, etc)? I think the latter would make for a very long list and may not be that useful.

What about making it simpler, as in, area of expertise science/technology vs humanities?

I think about the second, and yes, perhaps is a very long list, but only your three is short and don't cover all areas.

Thinking something like:

  1. Computing area
  2. Engineering area
  3. Biology
  4. Tech science
  5. Biology science
  6. Sociology
  7. Laws
  8. Management/executive
  9. Artist

Is not long and cover a lot of areas.

rooty added a subscriber: rooty.Nov 23 2018, 12:30 PM

yeah but based on this information it's hardly impossible to build a profile of each person being surveyed and extrapolate their identity - you don't even need sexual orientation or a country of origin, ethnicity + gender + age may even be enough (along with the languages they/we speak); if you really want to do a survey you have to make it more opaque

suffice it to say, i think it's an invasion of privacy guys
besides, who cares about sexual orientation unless there's a problem with harassment and even then, blanket stating that we're a diverse and open community is hardly going to help on a case by case basis

paulb added a comment.Nov 23 2018, 1:24 PM

Is not long and cover a lot of areas.

Okay, @rgomezantoli , but I, for example, don't identify with any of those areas. My guess there will be a lot of people who feel the same.

yeah but based on this information it's hardly impossible to build a profile of each person being surveyed and extrapolate their identity - you don't even need sexual orientation or a country of origin, ethnicity + gender + age may even be enough (along with the languages they/we speak); if you really want to do a survey you have to make it more opaque

suffice it to say, i think it's an invasion of privacy guys
besides, who cares about sexual orientation unless there's a problem with harassment and even then, blanket stating that we're a diverse and open community is hardly going to help on a case by case basis

You are missing the point of this survey, @rooty.

Firstly, we are not interested in building profiles, we are not interested in each register, each row in the table, we are interested in the fields. That is, we want to look at the columns. We could mix all the fields up, and the result would be the same. We want to know how many people there are of ethnicity A, how many of B, and how many of C; not that subject A is of ethnicity B and their ideal pet would be a llama. We have zero interest in correlating together the contents of the fields and pinning them each individual.

Secondly, this has nothing to do with harassment, quite the contrary. It is more about figuring out who is missing from our community -- and, maybe later, figuring out why. Say we have very few women compared to what you would find in a healthy open society. Say that instead of the approximately 50% you would find in the Real World(TM), we have 6% or less. Is it not interesting in itself to know this? It would mean that, for some reason, our community is unappealing or uninviting for women. Surely we would want to know this so we can figure out why this happens and implement policies to help correct the imbalance.

Finally, nobody is under any obligation to answer questions they are not comfortable with. Indeed, they don't have to take the survey at all.

paulb updated the task description. (Show Details)Nov 26 2018, 11:11 AM
filipf added a subscriber: filipf.Nov 26 2018, 11:12 AM

I have a background in social statistics so this is interesting to me, and it would also be useful to have data on the community. As for constructing the survey, since the topics suggested are just sociodemographic variables, it's not a difficult task. The end result would just be a descriptive analysis so analyzing the data isn't a problem either. There could be some dilemmas regarding how you code answers and the issues raised around privacy and who's not comfortable with answering certain questions... it would be good to have an option "prefer not to say" so that people don't just walk away from the survey. It's also super important to have an introductory text where you will explain why you are collecting the data, where and how it will be stored, how long it will be stored for and how it will be analyzed (e.g. you say that you'll be looking at grouped results, not individual responses).

Now as for trying to answer the "why" questions, I don't know what the plans are, but qualitative research is usually a better option when gathering stories and experiences. Why? Well, survey questions might not be exhaustive enough and you don't get a chance to ask additional questions. There is also a problem if you're contacting active members of the community who can only tell you their opinions on diversity and inclusiveness, but who themselves might not feel excluded or left out. In that regar maybe it would be interesting to gather some insights from people who have left the project. Perhaps we'd find the obstacles they faced are not related to inclusiveness, but rather to some other factors.

... Which leads me to my speculation that there are historic and societal reasons that KDE is dominated by European middle aged male developers, meaning that issues concerning inclusiveness are not necessarily "our fault". It simply started out as a European, mostly German project from what I can tell. I think we should make all groups feel welcome in the project, but not posit that we *must* have diversity above all. For example, if we were wanting to have a 1:1 male to female ratio we'd have to be implementing lots of strong policies because 1:1 is usually not the case with real world sectors that correspond with what we're doing here. That doesn't absolve us from not playing a part in bettering the representation of women in these fields, but if we're having to implement drastic measures (due to wanting a 1:1 ratio) it raises the question if positive discrimination sometimes becomes discrimination and if it's possibly at odds with meritocracy. Although it's naive to say this is *fully* attainable in practice, the way I see it the ideal of FOSS communities is that you're judged by your code and that the individual involved and their identity are not too important. I believe KDE is doing a nice job living up to that ideal. But that need not discourage us from researching the topic.

paulb added a comment.EditedNov 26 2018, 11:25 AM

Agree on most points @filipf. That said...

Although it's naive to say this is *fully* attainable in practice, the way I see it the ideal of FOSS communities is that you're judged by your code and that the individual involved and their identity are not too important.

This "ideal" of gender/race blindness is not often achieved. The attitude of many coding communities puts off a lot of people who are not cut from the same mould, making for tacit sexism and racism. These communities are also often opposed to change (making them active and conscious racists/sexists). Just mention the word "inclusiveness" on r/linux, for example, and see how far you get.

Either way. your help would be very much appreciated on this task. I have started writing questions... Well, I say writing, but I mean "copy-pasting". Can you give me a hand?

I don't think that the lack of diversity in KDE is because anybody actively opposes it (this does happen in other communities, though), but there is a marked and unnatural lack of diversity which I think most will agree can be improved. We need a tool to be able to diagnose the problem and give us something to support actions to improve diversity.

Anything you can help with in that department, also greatly appreciated.

Is not long and cover a lot of areas.

Okay, @rgomezantoli , but I, for example, don't identify with any of those areas. My guess there will be a lot of people who feel the same.

You all right @paulb, I miss some areas, but was only a example, I think that we can modify it in order to cover all areas.

Sure thing @paulb . Do you know where the survey will be hosted? If KDE's hosting an instance of LimeSurvey that would be fantastic because the community would probably like a FOSS project more than something like Google Docs.

Here are a few rough ideas:

INTRODUCTORY TEXT
Hello,

Welcome to KDE's survey on diversity. The goal of the survey is to ___ (what?) + [point out that you're strictly researching the members of the community not random people who will see the link]. Results obtained in the survey could help us __ (what?).

The survey is anonymous and your participation is voluntary. Your IP will not be recorded and you are free to quit at any given moment or to not answer certain questions.

Results will be stored ___ (where?) and only ___ (who?) will have access to them. Furthermore, results will be analyzed solely as grouped, not individual responses.

Filling out the survey should approximately take __ minutes.

If you have any additional questions or comments, feel free to contact Paul Brown at ____(email).

By clicking "I understand" you confirm that you are a part of the KDE community and that you have understood how your responses will be handled.

VARIABLES
q1 - Age
How old are you?
__ [numerical value limited to max 2 digits]

q2 - Membership length
In total, how long have you been a part of the KDE community?

[Drop down menu:]

  1. less than 1 year
  2. 1-2 years
  3. 3-4 years
  4. 5-6 years
  5. 7-8 years
  6. 9-10 years
  7. 11-12 years
  8. 13-14 years
  9. 15-16 years
  10. 17-18 years
  11. 18-19 years
  12. 20 years or more

I'd definitely put this question in because it allows to see if the demographics of the community change based on how long they've been in it. There's lots of answers here, but when you're analyzing data you could simply group it into bigger ranges.

q3 - Gender
What best describes your gender identity?

I'd go the Google way:

There's just too much you can list and instead of having the dilemma of what you've forgotten to include, best to just leave it up to people to fill out.

q4 - Biological sex
Does your gender identity correspond with your biological sex?

  1. yes
  2. no
  3. other (how?)
  4. prefer not to say

Not sure if this suffices or if you'd want to get into the specifics.

q5 - Educational status
What is the highest educational qualification you've obtained so far?

  1. no educational qualifications
  2. elementary/primary school diploma
  3. high/secondary school diploma
  4. a bachelor's degree
  5. a masters degree
  6. a PhD degree
  7. other (what?)

Tricky question where you need to be aware of educational systems all around the globe. There is another degree between 3 and 4, but I don't know how to translate it ie. if it works for other countries.

q6 - Area of studies
[if answer to previous is > 3, ask:] Which area did you do your studies in?

  1. social sciences (e.g. economics, law, sociology, psychology, educational sciences)
  2. humanities (e.g. philosophy, history, languages)
  3. technical sciences (e.g. engineering, architecture)
  4. natural sciences (e.g. maths, physics)
  5. biomedicine and healthcare (e.g. medicine, pharmacy)
  6. biotechnical sciences (e.g. agronomy, forestry)
  7. arts

This is the Croatian classification of sciences, minus the phantom "interdisciplinary area". People from other countries need to chime in to see if it works for them.

[important!: allow for more than 1 choice to account for double degrees and what not]

q7 - Sexual orientation
What is your sexual orientation?

  1. Bisexual
  2. Heterosexual
  3. Homosexual
  4. Other (what?)
  5. Prefer not to say

These are the 3 most general categories. People say things such as pansexual but more generally speaking that's being bisexual. If anyone has a need to specify IMO they can use the "other" category.

q8 - Ethnicity
What is your ethnicity?

People from ethnically homogeneous countries such as me usually find this question weird because our nationality is sufficient to explain ethnicity so I'd leave this up to people who have more experience with answering these questions.

q9 - Country of birth
Which country were you born in?
[drop-down menu with all the countries in the world]

q10 - Current country of residence
Do you still live in that country?

  1. Yes
  2. No

[if answer to previous = no, ask:] Which country do you live in now?
[drop-down menu with all the countries in the world]

q11 - Employment status
What best describes your current employment situation?

  1. employed full time
  2. employed part time
  3. self-employed
  4. unemployed
  5. student

q12 - Level of involvement in the community
What best describes your involvement in the KDE community?

  1. extremely low involvement
  2. low involvement
  3. moderate involvement
  4. high involvement
  5. extremely high involvement

An interesting question that may hint whether or not existing minority members of the community are somehow less involved than non-minority ones.


Feel free to correct anything, I sometimes have an issue with not saying things in the simplest and most efficient way possible.

@paulb This task is assigned to me, so should I draft this survey in LimeSurvey with questions that @filipf wrote above?

paulb added a comment.Nov 29 2018, 4:19 PM

@paulb This task is assigned to me, so should I draft this survey in LimeSurvey with questions that @filipf wrote above?

I think we still need to tweak the suggestions and come up with a final draft. For example, this one:

q4 - Biological sex
Does your gender identity correspond with your biological sex?

  • yes
  • no
  • other (how?)
  • prefer not to say

Should definitely be more specific so we can find out how many biological men/women/other there are in our community.

Maybe we should transfer all suggestions to a document on share and start editing until we have a final draft we can put on LimeSurvey

paulb updated the task description. (Show Details)Dec 7 2018, 12:08 PM
paulb updated the task description. (Show Details)Dec 7 2018, 12:31 PM

Maybe these questions would help me to imagine which people I would meet on KDE events:

Just for the sake of brainstorming (stupid/funny included): […] current country, political preferences, music preferences, movie preferences, book preferences, sport preferences, videogame preferences, number of pets and their species…

Additionally: General/special interests.

When meeting/inviting other people, I also want to know whether they smoke, are vegetarians/*, what they expect from me,... but this is maybe not useful here.

paulb updated the task description. (Show Details)Jan 28 2019, 8:18 AM

I’m taking the StackOverflow survey, and it seems like we might be interested in their demographics Q&A. https://insights.stackoverflow.com/survey/

What happened with this task? I can't remember if we came to some kind of a decision about it or not...and it's assigned to me :(

If this survey is a circular dependency, we probably should turn this whole task into a survey.

It appears to me that we are discussing what we want to learn from the survey, why we want it, and whether we should do the survey at all. At the same time, we are missing the data on this topic, so we don’t come to a conclusion.

I think this gives a good survey, so we should just ask everything we want to know in this task:

  1. Part: Survey on diversity
    • Diversity questions...
  2. Part: “Metasurvey” on survey on diversity
    • Do you think we should care about diversity?
    • Why do you think that?
    • ...
  3. Part: Leave some space for comments
ngraham added a subscriber: ngraham.Oct 6 2019, 4:35 PM

I'm pretty sure we already know what we want the survey to tell us or confirm:

  • Female representation: far below average
  • Non-European representation: below average
  • LGBTQ representation: slightly below average

To me the more interesting questions are:

  1. Is the current state of affairs driven by something changeable (e.g. a more welcoming attitude or more outreach) or something non-changeable (e.g. some kinds of people just aren't all that interested in libre software or aftermarket computer operating systems), or a combination of the two?
  2. If there's something here we can change, do we want to invest some of our limited resources into changing it?
  3. If we do, are there are actions we can actually take that will meaningfully move the needle, or will the invested resources be mostly wasted?
  4. If there are, can we ensure that these actions don't annoy, oppress, or drive away current contributors?

Personally I would recommend that we skip the survey and just move on to answering those questions.

paulb added a comment.Oct 6 2019, 5:45 PM

I'm pretty sure we already know what we want the survey to tell us or confirm:

  • Female representation: far below average
  • Non-European representation: below average
  • LGBTQ representation: slightly below average

Yeah, pretty much. We were looking for hard data that would confirm these assumptions. But just by looking at the photo of Akademy attendees, we have our answers.

To me the more interesting questions are:

  1. Is the current state of affairs driven by something changeable (e.g. a more welcoming attitude or more outreach) or something non-changeable (e.g. some kinds of people just aren't all that interested in libre software or aftermarket computer operating systems), or a combination of the two?
  2. If there's something here we can change, do we want to invest some of our limited resources into changing it?
  3. If we do, are there are actions we can actually take that will meaningfully move the needle, or will the invested resources be mostly wasted?
  4. If there are, can we ensure that these actions don't annoy, oppress, or drive away current contributors?

    Personally I would recommend that we skip the survey and just move on to answering those questions.

Agreed also. What I am not sure is how we can answer these questions. As a community made up overwhelmingly by one kind of people, our perspective is going to be skewed. On the other hand, who doesn't appreciate a challenge, eh? What would our next steps be?

lydia added a subscriber: lydia.Oct 6 2019, 5:48 PM

We could work with one of the people doing consultancy around diversity and inclusion in free software to get an outside view.