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Turning Diversity Discussions into Action

BY Imad Sousou ON Mar 05, 2018

It’s been great to see increased emphasis on diversity in the tech industry. From events like the Diversity Empowerment Summit to the recently launched Chasing Grace Project, there is progress in fostering diverse perspectives and talent to help ensure a strong future for our industry. But making sure these valuable discussions result in action still is a challenge.

I believe metrics are very important, providing us with insights and best practices to help us succeed—and adjust where needed. Much like performance metrics can show when a product has room for improvement, diversity metrics can do the same for representation. That’s the goal behind the Community Health Analytics Open Source Software project (CHAOSS), launched last September by the Linux Foundation: to create analytics and metrics we can use to help define the health of a community.

It’s in this spirit Intel spearheaded gender diversity research in the OpenStack community last year and will continue to support this important work. The results reflect female participation in the community’s leadership and governance, as well as technical projects. It also provides deeper insight into technical contributions by identifying the projects women participate in and how they contribute.

Most important, each report offers actionable recommendations—from investing in mentoring and shadowing programs for high-potential female leadership candidates, to collaborating with the projects that achieve the highest gender diversity and retention to learn best practices. Putting these ideas into practice means we can then measure their results, which spurs continuous improvement.

While this research started in the OpenStack community, it has proven itself relevant and beneficial across other communities. Since its introduction, the CHAOSS project has formed a Diversity and Inclusion Work Group. Through this work group, we are working to establish a consistent definition and set of metrics for use across communities, encouraging diverse talent, perspectives and contributions. I am excited to see the metrics developed by the research used as a starting point for this Work Group’s efforts.

I invite you to get involved in the CHAOSS project through the Diversity and Inclusion Work Group, and help us define the metrics that will drive real change. Together, we can make a difference in our industry that will benefit everyone.

Imad Sousou is corporate vice president of the Software and Services Group and general manager of the Open Source Technology Center at Intel.