What is the situation?
As Index continues to flourish and grow, homogeneity is not scalable or sustainable to the Coop’s long-term goals. As a leader in the DAO ecosystem, Index Coop has an opportunity to lead the way when it comes to creating initiatives that foster a diverse group of contributors in an ecosystem that struggles heavily with diversity (see Slide 12 for DAO diversity metrics). The group tentatively called “Women in Index” has already begun creating a space for supporting women and non-binary people in becoming contributors to Index. The group has met weekly since June and we are now discussing how we might continue scaling our efforts in promoting more diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Coop.
What is the problem we are trying to solve?
Today, the majority of contributors to the Coop are men. While Index has created spaces for fostering cultural diversity with initiatives like the growing Lang Op. WG and APAC communities, the fact remains that building a more inclusive and diverse community requires conscious, concerted effort. The vast majority of us gravitate toward linguistic homogeneity and cultural norms because of how our brains are wired. And while it is true that in DAOs, “you get out what you put in”, barriers like the Confidence Gap impact the likelihood of women, for example, becoming contributors. In order to truly build a more fair, people-first ecosystem, we need to acknowledge these barriers and create initiatives that address them.
- Bring more women and non-binary people into IC as highly effective contributors.
- Experiment with methods to foster diverse, sustainable community growth.
Enhance the existing onboarding process with additional resources and initiatives for women and non-binary people.
(a) Establish mentorship program for women and non-binary people looking to join Index as a contributor.
- Use the New Joiner flow to identify new members of Index who identify as women or non-binary. Ask if they’d like to opt-in to the mentorship program. For those who opt-in, match them with mentors who are already contributors in Index.
- Share a form with Index contributors who would be interested in mentoring a new joiner.
(b) Create a space for women and non-binary people to feel comfortable asking questions, learning, and stepping up to become a contributor.
- Continue holding weekly Women in Index calls (with alternating times each week to account for people in APAC time zones) to create a space for new contributors to feel welcome. Add a section at the end of these calls where people can ask questions they have about contributing to Index.
- To challenge more women and non-binary people to become contributors beyond attending Women in IC calls, create a workflow that pushes new joiners to complete the Bronze Owl Quest and start attending WG meetings.
Organize events and create content to attract a more diverse set of contributors.
(a) Organize events with other organizations in crypto that are focused on improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in the space (e.g., she256, Women in Blockchain).
(b) Create content to attract a more diverse set of potential contributors at the top of the funnel.
- Avenues to explore include leveraging Twitter with targeted messaging, creating content documenting and sharing the Coop’s efforts to make the DAO more diverse and inclusive.
What success looks like
Clear improvement in diversity of contributors.
(a) Could be measured by including optional demographics questions in the New Joiner form.
Shorter time-to-contribution for underrepresented groups.
Open up discussion in the forum for feedback from the Coop and to gauge interest in this initiative (all feedback is welcome).
Incorporate feedback and create a more formal proposal to support these efforts. Moving forward with these initiatives may entail creating a funded Working Group (tentatively titled Women in Index Coop) to support contributors who create and maintain initiatives like the mentorship program.
Finally, we’d like to reaffirm our commitment to the Index Coop Guiding Principles.