OpenStreetMap

OSMF elects all Male, Northern Board

Posted by Heather Leson on 16 December 2019 in English (English)

Here we are on the cusp of 2020. OSMF has elected a new board. Congratulations. But, now we have an all male, all northern/western board for a global open map, open source, and open data community & project.

Over the past years, I have stated quietly (posts, events, face-to-face conversations) that there is a power imbalance. Change happens in governance, I thought, so I ran and lead on both the HOT and OSMF boards to try to address some of this. Passive responses to the issues of gender imbalance, inclusion and diversity of governance have received the following types of responses:

  1. It is up to the ‘community.’
  2. It is up to the working groups.
  3. Prove that there are issues. I don’t see any issues.

Leading up to this last election, I talked with many people to ask them to run. Women would not do so due to toxic environment, power imbalances, reputation targeting, and emotionally draining conversations. This was also the same case cited by leaders from the global majority (sometimes called the global south). People from Asia and Africa told me - the culture of governance in OSM/OSMF is not professional and would not be productive. Simply put - communication is hard in OSM and we need to recognize this.

The gender diversity of the membership a few years ago is about 10 - 12% (I reviewed and hand coded/searched this data from the Membership working group.) Kate Chapman and I wrote about OSM community to cite these gap and outline the ‘community of communities.’ [1] We tried on the volunteer board to talk about this in the sea of all the other priorities. With allies on the diversity mailing list, we’ve hosted sessions about experiences and needs at State of the Map.

What is an open organization?

Being “open” is more than the code or the data. It is about the community around it.

“While every organization is different—and therefore every example of an open organization is unique—we believe these five characteristics serve as the basic conditions for openness in most contexts[2]:

  • Transparency
  • Inclusivity
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Community”

Recommendations

So here are my recommendations to shift OSMF:

Governance

  1. Codify it - The Articles of Association need to state that women and global regional members are on the board.
  2. Codify it - The Working Groups need to have women and global regional members.

Community engagement

  1. Hire- a community manager to do a proper community strategy and implement it. [2] If you don’t want OSMF to hire staff, ask one of the companies to ‘second’ / hire one for us.
  2. Research - procure a research team (pay) to do an inclusive and through assessment on gender, inclusion, and diversity. This person reports to the diversity mailing list and local chapters.
  3. Change the OSM sign up to have optional gender identification when people sign up. Or, reverse engineer and allow us to self-identify. For a data project, we are surely not data driven on community engagement.

We can no longer wait for a volunteer board and overworked working groups. This continues to be bigger than the current membership and community. It is a large, beautiful open project that needs to be a leader in a global space. It needs to be inclusive as a map, as a project, in its governance, and in its community.

Thank you to all those who champion for OSM to be a better place.

[1] https://opensource.com/open-organization/resources/book-series#workboo

[2] https://opensource.com/open-organization/resources/open-org-definition

[3] https://communityroundtable.com/what-we-do/

Location: Saint-Jean et Charmilles, Geneva, Switzerland

Comment from escada on 16 December 2019 at 15:09

Hello Heather,

I always thought that the working groups did not find enough volunteers (male or female). Will those codified restrictions mean they have to turn down the rare (male) volunteers until women start participating? Wouldn’t this make it harder for the WGs?

As for the board, would not there be a chance that requiring female boards members, that there will be an uneven representation of “craft” mappers, vs corporate employees vs HOT members? While all three groups have the best intentions to create great map data, I have the impression they have different methodologies to achieve this. I have no problem with a more diverse board (gender and geographically), as long as the members can choose which way they prefer. Requiring that certain groups are represented in the board might go against this.

Furthermore, would such kind of favouritism not work against the female board members?

Are you sure that people voted for an all-white, male, Western board because of those 3 characteristics, and not because of the experience and the manifestoes of the candidates?

Comment from mikelmaron on 16 December 2019 at 17:13

Codify it - The Articles of Association need to state that women and global regional members are on the board.

Are you suggesting designated number of women on the Board?

Regarding community suggestions, I think #2 research and #3 change member sign up are immediately actionable. #1 that’s a harder one to make a case for. can you say more about the what a community strategy should cover?

Comment from mikelmaron on 16 December 2019 at 18:58

@philippec lame comment, in a regular pattern of lame comments from you when discussion of gender diversity comes up. The implication that only someone who regularly maps is part of the community, and that this needs to be proven to you, is ridiculous. I happen to know many people who make contributions to OSM besides regular mapping.

Comment from Glassman on 16 December 2019 at 20:32

Thanks for your insights on how OSMF should move forward. I want to comment on two areas you brought up toxic environment and getting diversity data.

Leading up to this last election, I talked with many people to ask them to run. Women would not do so due to toxic environment, power imbalances, reputation targeting, and emotionally draining conversations. This was also the same case cited by leaders from the global majority (sometimes called the global south). People from Asia and Africa told me - the culture of governance in OSM/OSMF is not professional and would not be productive. Simply put - communication is hard in OSM and we need to recognize this.

Solving this will be difficult because it so pervasive and entrenched. I would suggest 1) a good Code of Conduct (CoC), 2) means to enforce it, and 3) training on how to recognize and address CoC issues. OSM is likely the largest open community without a CoC. Just having a CoC will not solve the problem, but it is a step forward. The new Board will hopefully address this shortfall.

One area the Board could tackle immediately is to gather gender percentages from the Working Groups with the goal to set targets for gender and diversity in them. The same could be done with microgrants if they are not already.

Comment from Ivan Gayton on 16 December 2019 at 21:43

The comment from @philippec directly implies that unless someone is a regular mapper they have no standing to call for change within the culture of OSM.

@philippec, I am sure that you believe in the greatness of OpenStreetMap. I hope you understand that we should not answer requests for a more inclusive community by pointing to what you consider someone’s personal failings as evidence that they have no right to make such requests.

A welcoming environment, far more than quotas, is what is needed to encourage a diverse community of contributors to OSM (which in turn makes the map better). Belittling the contributions of others works against this goal.

Comment from mikelmaron on 16 December 2019 at 21:50

Thanks @Ivan Gayton, much better said version of what I intended.

Comment from Heather Leson on 17 December 2019 at 04:07

Thanks for this conversation.

@escada - you are absolutely right that people should vote on people’s qualifications and what they bring to OSM. However, if no women you ‘approve of’ run or feel like they can run and/or provide leadership in working groups and/or the board, is that not also a fundamental gap? To be honest, I am bit shocked that I need to state this gap needs addressing. Surely, it is becoming a business priority, would we not want our beloved open project and community to be more representative. Let me state this in clearer form - if the data and the decisions are not done by the population, whose map is it? If women are part of this population, would the data and decisions about the data/map processes/project be greatly improved by less bias and more inclusion? If other leaders around the world refuse to engage in governance, does this make it a global project? Again, this is also about global representation. We are truly one of the few large open projects that is not trying to address this. [1] On Favoritism - wow, where to start. I favour the right that every woman in this community and every person from around the world would feel welcome and open to being part of the governance. I favour your right to say what you want here. But, I favour a code of conduct which a practice of etiquette that kindly asks - how might we be “OPEN” streetmap.

Regarding community recruitment, yes, working groups are full of amazing, hard working volunteers. I appreciate all that they do. But if all the structures of power continue to be lead by essentially 20 - 30 people, how might we grow to be more inclusive and diverse. Of course, making it part of the AOA is a last effort. In many larger organizations around the world, they are codifying equality because it does not happen ‘organically.’ So, if it can happen organically, by consensus and by community engagement and a shift of cultural norms, great. But, let’s not wait another 14 years.


@mikel “Are you suggesting designated number of women on the Board?” Yes. It has been years. It is not happening organically. My organization just voted that the governance has to include a % of women. It is still a science project of inclusion to do it this way, but if we want change, sometimes we need to codify it. So I propose: Minimum 1 seat for a woman for the board and 2 - 3 designated seats for local chapters/sotm working groups from around the world. This might be unpopular until the culture has more shared leadership, but the community and project deserves to be open and global.

“#1 that’s a harder one to make a case for. can you say more about the what a community strategy should cover?” Thanks for this question. * This is a list of community management research which I shared previously.. * The Community Roundtable. explains clearly what a community manager does. * Jono Bacon has been a leader in the open space about this. His books and videos are here. read The Art of Community for free online. *Kate and I wrote a chapter in the Open Organization workbook. There are many other great articles on community engagement strategy. *The Community Leadership Summit shows how wide the network is on building this.


@mikel @ivangayton @philippec Thanks for this thread. @philippec - Yes, clearly there is data about my map contributions. Would it not be finally the time to have data on gender, inclusion, data quality, community engagement, and more? “Open” means that we need to also have a strong sustainable community. Let’s talk metrics.

*Activity is just one attribute. If you want to have a clear, balanced dataset of a community project, you also need size, and performance (Pascal has got us covered). Yet, we are missing diversity and demographics. Thus, if you want metrics to be smart and open, then we have work to do. My focus has always been super transparent - community engagement, diversity and inclusion. [2]
*Metrics in an open project can be even more refined. See Linux Foundations’ guide[3]

OSM is more than the data, it is the community. As such, if we want to be data-driven and focused on contributions, let’s be sure that the metrics actually have a clear, balanced picture. Let’s be sure that OSM has a strategy and a plan to address this. So how about some of these metrics:

*What’s the growth rate of the community? *How sticky is the community? *What’s the churn rate of the members? *Which member cohort is the most active in the community? *How is the active member cohort changing with the growth of the community? *What’s the retention rate of active users over time?[4]

As for my contribution, perhaps we can talk about the amount of hours I have spent answering board emails. Or, the amount of time I have spent advocating for gender, inclusion and diversity in OSM. Or, the amount of time I have spent advocating in a large humanitarian organization. Or, the amount of times I have mentored community members, wrote letters and supported their contributions. Or, the amount of times I have had to justify that the community is more than data. Or, the quality of conversations I’ve had with OSM community leaders who will never post to diaries or OSM mailing lists due to the toxic environment. Or, the amount of time and emotional labour it takes to respond to comments like @philippec. Sure, I’ve been patient and try to be welcoming to this narrative as it is a viewpoint. But, let me ask you this - do you want OSM to be inclusive with quality data? If yes, then you need other contributors who have those skills.

Thank you to all the people who emailed or connected otherwise. And, thanks to the new board, they do deserve time, but we as a community need to do the work with them

[1] https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/technology-media-and-telecommunications/our-insights/closing-the-tech-gender-gap-through-philanthropy-and-corporate-social-responsibility and https://www.ey.com/en_us/women-fast-forward/why-we-need-to-fix-the-gender-bias-bug-in-technology [2] https://opensource.com/business/15/12/top-5-open-source-community-metrics-track [3] https://www.linuxfoundation.org/resources/open-source-guides/measuring-your-open-source-program-success/ [4] https://blog.tribe.so/top-metrics-every-community-manager-must-report/

Comment from Adrian McEwen on 17 December 2019 at 13:26

Thanks for posting this Heather. As a long-time infrequent contributor I’ve found it difficult to take my contributions beyond the most basic edits, and I think the sorts of recommendations you’re making would help and make the OSM community more welcoming and better.

Comment from mikelmaron on 17 December 2019 at 14:22

Minimum 1 seat for a woman for the board and 2 - 3 designated seats for local chapters/sotm working groups from around the world. This might be unpopular until the culture has more shared leadership, but the community and project deserves to be open and global.

If it’s unpopular, it won’t happen, since AoA changes require 75% approval from membership.

I think there is widespread interest for Local Chapters taking a greater role in governance, and that may be a means to prioritize balance of gender and geography in a structured way.

re: Community Manager / Strategy … I understand this objective, and I agree it would be valuable. What I’m thinking about are specifics of areas in OSM which a plan needs to address. What is not being looked after cohesively already? I believe this is another area where Local Chapters can take a bigger role. At least, they can start defining priority needs for their local efforts, and seek to connect those efforts across the globe.

Comment from rab on 17 December 2019 at 17:01

and how many of this local chapters will be controlled by HOT? With all the western male big money influence from organizations like red cross, msf, facebook,apple,uber.. in behind.

Comment from migurski on 17 December 2019 at 17:32

Heather, thank you for posting this. I appreciate your sustained push for better representation is the OSM community, and I agree that active community management is valuable. It would be interesting to migrate selected official communications away from un-moderatable channels. For example, legal-talk@ and osmf-talk@ could be moved to forum.openstreetmap.org topics where active moderation (including deletion of messages) is technically possible. For a comparable illustration, here’s a thread discussing Metafilter’s approach to moderation:

In our reading, moderators engage with egregiously offensive behaviour (e.g., name-calling, personal derails, trolling, *-isms) by deleting the respective comments. In other cases, they remind members within threads of best practices (e.g., put in NSFW links when appropriate) and site guidelines (e.g., no rehashing of previously discussed topics) in a preventative mode.

Moderators also engage with the community in more pro-active ways. They shape the discussions by bringing in their individual perspectives and they care. They point out that people should look for help if needed and where to find it, they show solidarity and they appreciate content posted by others.

We chose to look at MetaFilter because the quality of discourse here has been applauded when it comes to people discussing controversial topics on the internet and the moderators appear to be a core reason for the constructive conversations on the site.

Comment from mikelmaron on 17 December 2019 at 17:36

@rab huh? Right now there are exactly zero official local chapters in countries where HOT is active. As far as HOT controlling local chapters, HOT is not set up for that at all. If anything, they need to reinvest in cooperating with communities and OSM.

Also “western male big money”? Yes agree there is more influence from humanitarian organizations in HOT, and companies, and there are problems with that (like mapathons for straight up CSR with companies with no basis in OSM – not the ones you list). But risk of this leading to unduly influencing local chapters is not well supported by fact.

Comment from scruss on 17 December 2019 at 20:26

Heather, @migurski - yes we definitely need active community management on the lists: see the current bourach of a thread on legal for so much of this.

One difference about Metafilter moderators, though: they’re paid to manage the community

Comment from migurski on 17 December 2019 at 20:28

Hey @scruss, that’s true. I believe Heather is recommending a paid community manager for OSM as well.

Comment from Ivan Gayton on 17 December 2019 at 21:26

Honestly some moderation seems like one of the only plausible avenues to a welcoming conversation here.

I think this is eminently possible. Other free open projects have navigated—or are in the process of navigating—the transition from technocratic to more inclusive communities. Linus Torvalds stepped down for a short while to soul-search and the Linux kernel dev mailing list seems to have improved a lot subsequently. Richard Stallman either jumped or was pushed; the Free Software Foundation is still reeling but the general mood seems more optimistic than I’ve seen for a while. Python has—I think in large part due to founder Guido van Rossum’s unwavering commitment to inclusiveness—excelled in both community diversity and technical excellence (neither at the expense of the other; quite the contrary). There are models to inspire and guide us in this.

Let me be clear: the OSM project—like others going through growing pains of inclusiveness—has nothing to be ashamed of. I am glad that Richard Stallman has stepped aside as leader of the FSF, but I respect what he did for software freedom nearly to the point of reverence. In the case of Torvalds, I am overjoyed that he appears sincerely willing to be part of the change despite the occasional relapse into overly colorful personal criticism (it ain’t perfect, and not everyone is satisfied, but I’d much rather that than a purge; sincerity, not perfection, is what we need here). And van Rossum has pulled off the hat trick of technical accomplishment and community health with grace and generosity. The OSM community has had a lot of toxic communication for years, but nevertheless has accomplished astounding things and created enormous good. That many of us are calling for urgent change does not imply lack of respect for what has been built and those who built it.

To all of you technical titans who built this: don’t see us as detracting from your work. Many of the new entrants to the community couldn’t have built what you did; I know I couldn’t have. Maybe we don’t see the idea of meritocracy the way you have (certainly we don’t see map edits or engineering prowess as the only relevant qualification to be full members of the community), but we know, and respect, what you have done. I promise you: we’re not going to wreck your project. We’re going to make it stronger. Yes, we need you to change some things. You can’t maintain a culture where women are told they should be ashamed of themselves for daring to apply for leadership positions without first meeting your criteria of contributions. You can’t shout people down and accuse others of selfish motivations for daring to demand more diversity. You can’t cite freedom of speech as a justification to make personal attacks on those you disagree with in the forums (note that you are free to make personal attacks, but the community is equally free to mute such speech in their house). But this won’t diminish what you’ve done! It’ll make it greater when more people get behind it.

Maybe we could think about some liaison with similar projects going through this kind of transition. I bet there are folks in the Python community who’d be willing to share insights.

Comment from mikelmaron on 17 December 2019 at 21:58

I don’t think this is your intention @Ivan Gayton, but for avoidance of doubt for anyone else reading, we’ve seen nothing in OSM like the behavior and words of Richard Stallman. It would be easy to say “but that’s not OSM, there’s no one here who acts that bad” and thereby ignore the real cultural issue facing OSM.

Comment from Ivan Gayton on 17 December 2019 at 22:13

True @mikelmaron, certainly not implying that anyone in OSM has behaved as badly as rms has.

Trying to make three points:

1) lots of important free/open projects and communities starting to realize they need to get serious about inclusion; we are not alone.

2) even pretty bad behavior doesn’t negate all the good someone has done, particularly if they are willing to be part of the change. Future is more important than past, and I don’t wish to judge past behavior by current standards.

3) We don’t want to push the old out to welcome the new. We value the people who built OSM, even those who have not been comfortable with change.

Thanks for clarification; indeed wouldn’t want someone to think I was equating the behavior of anyone at OSM with the worst excesses of Richard Stallman.

Comment from Mateusz Konieczny on 28 December 2019 at 19:15

Women would not do so due to toxic environment, power imbalances, reputation targeting, and emotionally draining conversations.

It sounds scary, but it is not actionable without making it more specific.

For example, can you describe what you actually mean by “toxic environment”? Maybe I can do something to improve situation (or at least stop making it worse).

Codify it - The Working Groups need to have women and global regional members

Are there any working groups where people interested in participating outnumber available slots? Are there any working groups where qualified woman interested in participating was removed due to lack of space?

we definitely need active community management on the lists: see the current bourach of a thread on legal for so much of this

What is wrong with thread on legal mailing list (I am one of participants and I have failed to notice any outrageous problems)?

Comment from Ivan Gayton on 28 December 2019 at 21:14

Hi @Mateusz Konieczny,

One example of reputation targeting is visible on this thread. Heather raises some concerns about diversity and inclusion, and a commenter posts a link to her OSM profile with the text: “Show the world that you are able.” I’m not sure how you interpret this comment, but to me it’s an unvarnished example of dismissing someone’s argument by suggesting they have not earned the right to speak.

If you want to help, I suggest looking out for such behavior and countering it. Perhaps by expressing support for the right of people whose contributions are not measured in edits alone or by crying foul on hostile messages. You could, for example, join the few of us who specifically called out the above comment, or post a comment along the lines of “thanks for bringing this up, I welcome your contribution, and let’s work on this together.”

“I have failed to notice any outrageous problems” does not come off exactly like an invitation to share the problems, it’s more of a challenge, implicitly saying “prove it,” putting the onus on the person experiencing the hostility to demonstrate that they are not imagining it. A lot of people, rather than investing in this, will simply find another place to put their energy where they are not required to endure hostility or prove its existence in the face of skepticism.

It might be instructive to re-read that mailing list while specifically keeping in mind the potential experience of, say, a female participant.

Better yet, if you want to discover whether women (or people of color, or LGTBQ people, or people from low-income countries, or other folks less represented in global wealth and power) are experiencing hostility, a good way to do so is to ask them. As opposed to asking them to prove it. Which, by the way, brings us to the question of whether there are qualified women interested in participating who have been removed due to lack of space.

Probably not.

These qualified women aren’t being removed, they are self-deporting from this community because it’s not a fun place to hang out when people respond to your suggestions by questioning your legitimacy (i.e. implicitly saying “why should we listen to your concerns when you have so few edits on your profile”) and then questioning if the hostility even exists.

Comment from Mateusz Konieczny on 28 December 2019 at 23:01

a good way to do so is to ask them. As opposed to asking them to prove it.

To clarify: I just attempted to do that. Sorry if my English was poor and I failed to communicate it properly.

I asked for more specific examples / clarification, as “toxic environment” is something so generic that it is not actionable at all.

If you think that I could formulate it easier - please tell me how it would be better to phrase it.

These qualified women aren’t being removed, they are self-deporting from this community

In such case it seems to me that quota system is not going to help at all, and it would be necessary to do something else.

A lot of people, rather than investing in this, will simply find another place to put their energy where they are not required to endure hostility or prove its existence in the face of skepticism.

That is why I am not PMing random users asking about this but ask it in comments under post that describes problem and where people interested in discussing the problem posted.

it’s more of a challenge, implicitly saying “prove it,” putting the onus on the person experiencing the hostility to demonstrate that they are not imagining it

To say it explicitly: yes, I request examples of problem described here.

The top post makes serious claims, and includes significant demands

  • quota system
  • hiring people
  • making sign-up form even more bloated (one of main blockers for potential contributors is that sign-up form is dysfunctional on mobile due to huge number of fields - at least according to my small scale mobile-focused test - see https://github.com/westnordost/StreetComplete/issues/1470 )

The post even mentions that common response is “Prove that there are issues. I don’t see any issues.” and still fails to providence any evidence or specific examples that problem exists.

I’m not sure how you interpret this comment, but to me it’s an unvarnished example of dismissing someone’s argument by suggesting they have not earned the right to speak.

After thinking about it I agree that it is not a relevant argument and is an ad hominem argument, as this post is not among diversity among mappers but among OSMF board members.

You could, for example, join the few of us who specifically called out the above comment, or post a comment along the lines of “thanks for bringing this up, I welcome your contribution, and let’s work on this together.”

Maybe I made a mistake, but I treated this comment as irrelevant noise, not crossing into “should be called out as hurtful”. Looking at it - it is not adding anything to the discussion and I agree that it should not be made.

Comment from Ivan Gayton on 29 December 2019 at 02:07

Hi @Mateusz,

Thanks so much for engaging positively with me here; I truly appreciate it. I do believe that you are entirely sincere in wanting to understand the problems people are experiencing. You even stated your interest in helping to improve the situation, which makes your good-faith intent quite clear. Cheers.

Ok, first point: it’s fair to ask to understand what constitutes a toxic environment. A potentially effective kind of approach to asking might be: “Please tell me about the kinds of things you are experiencing that make you feel unwelcome, exhausted, or in a toxic environment. I’d like to understand these things better so that I can help reduce them in our community.” That might get you the information you’re looking for without making anyone feel like there’s some onus of proof upon them. Asking for “evidence” is not terribly helpful.

To a large extent, the evidence of a hostile environment for women (or any other minority) is the experience of the people on the sharp end of it. If women say they feel unwelcome, and your community seems to be really short on women, that’s evidence right there. Sure, we can dig up some examples of hostile comments in threads—as I’ve just done, in this one—but the real question is: “what do the present and potential diverse members of our community hope to experience with us, and how can we get closer to making that happen?”

I’m not saying that there’s no standard of objective truth or that people’s experience is always valid without limit. There are people who simply take offence reflexively; you can’t help offending someone who is determined to be offended. However, in our case there are a lot of women reporting a similar experience, and we can empirically see that there’s not a lot of estrogen (or melanin for that matter) in influential or leadership positions in OSM, so it’s probably not just them being hyper-sensitive.

You point out that this posting makes claims and demands (another way to put that is that it expresses someone’s experience and those of their colleagues and lays out their suggestions for improvement). I think it’s important to separate the two things; I feel that debating how to go about mitigating the problem (the demands) is fair and can be productive, but debating the experience (the claims) is very risky; almost invariably you’ll end up making the affected person’s experience even worse (again, the exception here is the occasional person who takes offence no matter what and doesn’t respond to good-faith efforts, but this is really very rare and I think you should only assume that it’s the case if it becomes overwhelmingly obvious; the consequences of a single false positive on this are way worse than a number of false negatives).

To say that reporting a toxic environment “makes serious claims” can be seen as implying that we should only do something about it if their claims are somehow substantiated. You mentioned that you dismissed a comment as “irrelevant noise” before realizing that it was actually ad hominem; this is exactly the kind of noise that constitutes a toxic environment. Ignoring it says, “You’re welcome to contribute, but you’ll have to put up with people disparaging you personally, which the rest of us will just ignore and expect you to do the same.”

So that’s the kind of thing that we should all be looking out for, and not dismissing as irrelevant noise. If every time someone makes a comment like that a bunch of others say, “hey, that’s not appropriate, please stop that, and by the way XXX person who’s just been treated that way the rest of us don’t appreciate it and hope you’ll continue the conversation even if I disagree with you,” the person being targeted doesn’t feel alone. It makes it easier to ignore the nasty comment and carry on.

As for the suggestions (the demands if you like) I really agree with you that the solutions are not simple or obvious.

While I personally agree with Heather that quotas might help in this case (normally I do not support quotas, and if they are used I think they should be temporary and limited, but I think we’ve exhausted too many other avenues to reject them at this point). I think it’s perfectly fair to argue against them, though in this case I’m personally gonna fall on the pro side of the argument. But either way, they are not the solution; as you say, that is something else. To be discussed.

As for hiring someone and/or making the sign-up form bigger (I work in Africa where a huge proportion of potential contributors are on mobile, and I agree it’s already difficult), neither will solve the situation alone, and carry significant downsides. These are perfectly fair points to make.

We can disagree on what to do about the fact that women—and in my experience some other minorities as well—feel unwelcome, without making them feel like we’re doubting that they do (or should), or that we don’t see it as a problem. If the women on this forum feel that we all really care about their concerns, and are determined to improve the situation, I think that disagreements on exactly how to deal with it will be manageable, if not easy (it’s a genuinely hard problem).

Anyway, again thanks for engaging on this @mateusz. I’m really looking forward to the day we are back to discussing how to make the map better, but I think we need to improve the inclusiveness of this community before OSM can realize its full potential.

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