Women in Index: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Initiative

Authors: @catjam @chasechapman @lee0007 @jujube @rashmiashok11 @Vanita @Alks4778

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.

Program goals

  1. Bring more women and non-binary people into IC as highly effective contributors.
  2. Experiment with methods to foster diverse, sustainable community growth.

Proposed solution

  1. 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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  2. 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.

    1. 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

  1. Clear improvement in diversity of contributors.

    (a) Could be measured by including optional demographics questions in the New Joiner form.

  2. Shorter time-to-contribution for underrepresented groups.

Next Steps

  1. Open up discussion in the forum for feedback from the Coop and to gauge interest in this initiative (all feedback is welcome).

  2. 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.

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Love this initiative, and would just like to say the women already contributing are absolutely killing it. Looking forward to a more diverse and gender balanced Coop.

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I support this initiative wholeheartedly and really looking forward to seeing the program flourish.

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Great initiative! There is a lot that can be done on recruitment (how to make work ads, gender decoders etc.) to help get a more diverse sourcing of candidates. I worked a lot with a recruiter who has done technical recruiting for tech (and including fixing diversity) in a startup I run. If that is interesting let me know and I can intro, I am sure she would be happy to give some pointers.

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I fully support this initiative.
Hopefully we can change this quickly before values and responsibilities are reflected in DOAs as they are in the supposedly traditional institutions.

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THIS. Index Coop is one of crypto’s safest investments and it’s ridiculous to look at the gender split in almost all projects within web3. It’s not about whether the people at top are capable–its about fairly representing this world we’re serving.

Without representation, Index Coop has a very limited view of the people they’re serving and what they need. By becoming an ally and mentor to someone different than you, you will show each other what it’s like to move through the web3 and Index Coop’s space; expanding your empathy and understanding of others will naturally occur.

This infographic really put things into perspective for me

In case it wasn’t obvious, I wholeheartedly support this initiative with every fiber of my being. If you’re an ally and active contributor to Index Coop, we would love to have you! Our initiative’s group is getting more recognition by the day, as we continue to empower those deserving.

I’m 100% confident those who join our mentorship program will become a tight-knit, diverse community of long-standing leaders in this ecosystem. Don’t sleep on this opportunity! DM me here or on Discord, Twitter if you’re interested in becoming a leader thru mentoring a future leader :blush:

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Thank you! I believe that 5 of our 9 LOWG language ops channels are run by women. I’ll highlight this post to the group.

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I’m so excited about this. We have the opportunity to be a leader amongst DAOs on this topic and foster an even more collaborative, high-performing, community-led team by prioritizing diversity and inclusion. Not going to be an easy initiative – but so important!

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Proud of women in Index team and fully support this. Index Coop will surely inspire and set an example model in diversity and inclusion for other DAOs to follow suit. As we progress, gain initial traction and scale this program, I would love for D&I to be embedded into the core organizational KPIs as well as WG level KPIs by identifying baseline metrics, SMART goals and tracking progressive KPIs ( representation % in leadership roles, representation % in hiring roles and community members etc. )

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Maybe I am “color blind” to this issue. I value success - regardless of age, skin color, nationality, and gender. Initiatives are always good.

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Love to see this!

As a complement, it could be helpful to survey the existing membership around current levels of belonging and the contributing or detracting factors. That could help inform onboarding and mentorship.

In case helpful, there’s a collection of tools and some templates here: Notion – The all-in-one workspace for your notes, tasks, wikis, and databases.

Finally, would be amazing to have an historian record the implementation journey for others to learn from.

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It’s great to see this; I’m in support; and great work by all involved! Seeing this effort, I take as a great sign re the Index Coop overall! :owl:

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A lot of this work has been started. It would be a shame to duplicate efforts

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Love this initiative and hope to see this WG funded Q4 so that APAC can collaborate ( yay! timezone friendly community calls) and participate in the mentor program too!

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Yes! TYSM for your advocacy for APAC in this group :slight_smile:

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Thank you, thank you, thank you! for spearheading this @catjam @chasechapman @lee0007 @jujube @rashmiashok11 @Vanita, also @lee0007! I haven’t been able to participate in the working group meetings yet, but hope to in the future. From what little I’ve witnessed on Discord and the Forum, this is a wildly intelligent, compassionate, supportive, and purpose-driven group that is up to something. I want to surround myself with this energy!

A few comments for consideration

  1. The name references women but the goal description includes non-binary people (which I appreciate). Non-binary people may not identify as women, so I wonder if a name change would be more inclusive/important.
  2. How do we address and honor our multiple identities? I may be a woman, a mother and a socially privileged white person in the U.S, which comes with its pros/cons or I may be a gay, single, black, and highly educated person from APAC. Our identities are complex. And I would hate to over-simplify how complicated and interesting each individual in our Coop is. I also want to honor and support minority situations to increase equity. At the risk of watering things down, should this group be more inclusive?

I don’t have a specific solution to offer yet, but I wanted to raise some topics of discussion in hopes that we might crowd-source a variety of perspectives and some unique solutions. I’m interested in this topic/dynamic and eager to learn how the community responds the post.

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Thank you Mary for appreciating the efforts and sharing your comments. We look forward to having you part of the group and share your energy with us.

Point 1: It started as Women In Index, though we always mentioned that this group is for Women and non binary and continued the same, till we got a nod from Joe to make it an active working group and become part of the Leadership 2.0 initiative. The session on Representation and Diversity is scheduled for September 24, 2021.This made us think it’s important we look at changing the name and making it more inclusive/important. The team is working on this and we would request you to also suggest a few names which help fulfill inclusivity.

Point No 2: Is the biggest challenge, as to how we would engage multiple identities to make it inclusive. The team is working on putting up a presentation for community discussion on Representation and Diversity and has participation of a few leaders from Index Coop to help put this together.

We would be happy to get any ideas and inputs from you.

Regards,
Vanita

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Support this so incredibly hard. Thank you @chasechapman for spearheading!! :pray:

This is awesome! I 100% support this. I recall my own experience when I first started in Index, the confidence gap hit me hard (and the other pain points mentioned above as well), but I was lucky to get guidance along the way by the Women in IC community and our male allies. I definitely see value in this proposed solutions. Hope to see this WG funded :slight_smile:

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I was so excited to see when this initiative started in June, and now to see that this is growing with lot of support is really heart warming. This initiative is very important for the unheard or unseen to contribute abundantly without judgments I believe. Cheers to sisterhood. Its such a nice feeling to see women working for other women, non - binary and all genders. Thanks for this initiative lovely ladies. I so so want to be part of this. Wishing you all huge success!!
In addition to Women in IC calls, I suggest create a task, make the people to be part of and actually be able to contribute based on the topic /task given. This would make them do more research and get involved more than just listening. This would obviously let us learn more about the topic.