Diversity and Inclusion is an important and complex topic that is close to our heart. We strongly believe that a wide array of perspectives are a key factor in the success of any business, and can only bring richer insights and fairer decisions.
Today we want to share our thoughts and address early feedback we received, in particular regarding the lack of geographical diversity in the governance of Mage-OS Association.
Today, our board is made up of seven males and one female who serves as the Vice President with responsibilities to make decisions on behalf of the President.
Our Business Control Committee has gender parity with one male and one female.
The ten individuals are spread between seven countries in Europe and North America. It is not yet the role model for diversity and inclusion that we are aiming for. We need your help to get there.
How did we get to this situation?
When we decided to take an active role in the Magento Open Source ecosystem, the conversations happened to be between friends and business partners clustered in Europe.
We felt an urgent need to move fast, and in order to do that we kept the group small and agile.
We, the Mage-OS Association, do not believe we represent the whole ‘Magento Community’. We are just one part of it. But we also believe we can grow that part.
Where to now?
The strategy of keeping the steering group small enabled us to move fast and create results. However, now that we have a solid foundation, we want to grow to represent more of the Magento Community, while continuing our momentum.
The Mage-OS Association is founded, but still very young. We have technical processes and infrastructure, but they are far from complete. We have Discord as a community hub, but it is still small.
These foundational key stones will enable us to grow and evolve, and include everyone in the Magento Community that agrees with our core values and our purpose.
Leadership & Board Membership
Several times already we’ve heard that the Mage-OS Board should have representation from other geographic regions. And we agree, this would be ideal.
However, it is not practical to have a board position only to represent.
Being on the board right now means doing whatever work is required for Mage-OS, without compensation, in addition to a regular job. This commitment enables Mage-OS to achieve its goals.
Anybody who takes it on themselves to do that work will naturally become influential within Mage-OS as it continues to take form.
Even without a position on the board, the direction of Mage-OS can be influenced significantly by engaged individuals who take responsibility and put in the hours.
Aside: Board members are elected by the general assembly, which consists of all Mage-OS Association members. Half of the board member positions will be up for election in two years, the other half in three. After this initial cycle the term of office for all board members is two years.
Putting in many hours into open source work for free is only possible when being in a privileged position. Creating a diverse and inclusive board with global representation, while also requiring work for free, is a dilemma. We believe it can be resolved over time through constant care and attention.
In the ideal scenario, the Mage-OS Association is able to pay members from less privileged situations to work on Mage-OS, and allow them to gain influence and take on official roles. This will allow real diversity, and has been part of the vision for Mage-OS from the beginning.
Right now we don’t have funds to distribute for that purpose. Acquiring funds is the next step for the Mage-OS Association. Because one of the key values of Mage-OS is independence, the majority of funds will come through membership fees. (Join the discussion in #membership.)
Soon we will be able to hire a Chief Operating Officer, who will work full time on running the association and grow it further. After that we can start funding members to work on Mage-OS. There is still a way to go, but by taking one step at a time, we will get there.
We are aware that Diversity is not just about geography and culture, and we are eager to also hear your thoughts and ideas on how we can be improved further in other areas such as Gender Equality.
We look forward to working with you on creating the future of Mage-OS!
The Magento family is a global network made up of business and friendship.
The Mage-OS Association Board can’t travel to all events. Constant travel is unsustainable for individuals and for the environment. Even so, we feel local and physical representation of Mage-OS within the Magento Community is super important.
This is why we need local Mage-OS representatives!
Representatives would be people that attend Magento and eCommerce events in their region to give Mage-OS visibility, answer questions, and gather ideas and feedback from their local community (merchants, developers, agencies, and service providers). Then they share this information in the Mage-OS Discord to raise awareness of their local situation.
If time allows and if interested, representatives could also organize Magento meetups or give presentations about Mage-OS at events.
Representatives from different regions can support each other by sharing slides, processes, and experiences.
We invite you to become a Mage-OS representative for your local community!
What you can do today
Please help us:
- Develop the Mage-OS local representation and global community by letting us know you are interested in Discord!
- Share best practices for tech companies and organizations to be more inclusive and diverse by highlighting the resources you’ve found useful, via Discord or email: firstname.lastname@example.org